I haven't had a reconstruction but double mastectomy in June 09 and have had terrible problems with seromas both sides going on right up until Christmas. I've also had tightening and a lot of pain in back, shoulders and neck and I've just started having physio.
I am writing this because what I am thinking is that all your experiencing may not be specific to the reconstruction but could be because of the mastectomy.
Also it is still very early days.
If you can push for some physio that might be helpful.
Very sorry to hear how bad you are feeling. I had mx and Ld recon in November 09 like you (on 7th). I still feel a little tight in the back but I have improved dramatically in the past few weeks and it's definitely bearable now. My advice is to find a good physio - ask around to find one who has experience of treating ladies who've had this op. At first I had physio at the hospital and she didn't really do much for me. I then got a recommendation for another local physio and she has been fabulous. Through very careful massage she has really loosened up the muscle and made a huge difference to the stiffness in my back (and also got rid of lower back shooting pains on my LD side). Good luck and I really hope things improve for you.
I am new to these forums and not sure where to start. I have a mastectomy and extended LD flap recon in November 09. I accidently pulled my drain out after a week and had to have my back drained for a few weeks after with various amounts taken out, eventually the breast care nurse would not drain any more talking about the risk of infection.
I would like to ask everyone how they feel about their reconstruction, i know it is still early days but i am so uncomfortable. The area where the fluid was drained from is hard and stiff and i feel that i am walking around with a boulder attached to my shoulder blade, is this normal. My constulant doesnt seem to listen to me and says i will always feel some tightness but this hurts it is not tight.
I am regreting having the reconstruction i still cant get clothes off on my own and feel very much on my own.
I would welcolme any advice.
I had bi lat let dorsi flap recon a couple of years ago. I had terrible seratoma. I remember it felt like I was sleeping on a water bed!
They dont like to drain because of the chance of introducing infection, I know I went on a forum at the time and a lady managed to get hers drained and did get an infection.
It'll go on its own all of a sudden, your bodys doing what it needs to do, i know its horrid but it wont last
I had a double mastectomy and LD back flap recon 10 weeks ago and I am still having fluid drawn off a seroma on my back. The consultant warned me that this was very likely to happen and said it would get less as the area begins to heal.
At first I had the fluid taken off 3x a week, then it gradually reduced down to once a week and I am now going every 2 weeks. I have spoken to other people who have had an LD flap recon and they all had the same problem, which eventually resolved itself.
I think its early days for you but I'm not sure why they haven't suggested draining it off. There is a risk of introducing infection (I did actually get an infection which responded to antibiotics) but if the seroma is very large my understanding is that it needs draining as the body cannot reabsorb so much fluid.
I had double mastectomy in 2007 with immediate LD reconstruction on one side but had to have chemo and radiotherapy before I could have reconstruction on the other breast (the one where the cancer was). The other reconstruction was in Nov 2008 and I am still going to have a seroma on my back drained every 3-4 weeks. I have had 2 steroid injections which work in some people and they have done nothing. My surgeon has said another otion is to have an antibiotic injected into it which makes the tissue stick together but this can be very painful and I think I have gone through enough even though I am fed up of it by now. My surgeon is happy about me not having that procedure and recommends that I just carry on having it drained and it will subside eventually. Love Sandra
...my surgeon said that it is so normal that the guidelines may be changed to advise women about is as a'side effect', rather than a complication. Had mine drained 3 times now, 200-300ml each time and is not getting any less. Its like having an extra breast on my back, but just have to be patient.
I had a seroma after my SLNB which was drained twice but came back. Two weeks later it's going down noticably. I know yours is from a different cause but just wanted to add a post so say they do go albeit slowly.
Saw the surgeon today (4 weeks post surgery) and will not now return for another three weeks.
He advises that I am to wear the binder at night only (not around the breasts, but in order to compress the area of seroma which lies under the horizontal bra strap line).
Re the compression garment - as I say, like a surgical boob tube which fastens with velcro.
I woke up after surgery wearing this, and I think its main purpose was to keep the breasts comfortable. The following day, after putting on a sports bra, I continued to wear the binder on top of the bra.
I think surgeons vary, because last year when I had the first LD flap for 6 weeks I had to wear a (very uncomfortable!) velcro strap above the breasts and it really cut in under my arms.
The binder certainly helped a lot when the quantity of seroma had built up to 100ml+, and I continue to wear it (4 weeks since surgery), though take it off for spells when it gets itchy.
I return today for a check up and will see whether I am advised to continue wearing it.
I had mastectomy and LD flap recon on 30th Nov. Had to go back 10 days later and had 350ml drained - it was making me feel sick and I couldn't actually move as it was so tight. Then two days after that another 200ml. Just waiting for Tuesday to go back again if it becomes too uncomfortable as the Royal Marsden won't have anyone experienced to drain it again over the holiday period - it looks like there will be another 200 ml to drain and it is just getting inflexible again. I have been told this is perfectly normal, but it is so frustrating isn't it? The new breast/arm/scars etc seem comfortable compared to the seroma and I do feel disappointed that it is this 'complication' that is tiring me out. I was told that it makes no difference whether you do more or rest, but am interested in the 'compression' garment that others have used as this wasn't suggested, so I will ask about getting one after my next drain. The consolation is that this will get better; it's not a good look though is it? Quasimodo was what my son suggested !
I had ld recon Autumn 2008 and I still have a small seroma on my lower back. The area did gradually go down, still highly noticeable at 9 months but decreasing and finally seemd to go after 14 months but there is now a hard bump where it was.
I think it is quite an ndividal thing but I was told by chemo nurses that in their experiece being active makes it worse - so an excuse to lie around, ladies.
I had mastectomy with LD recon 4 years ago and I had to go back every week for 6 weeks to have the seroma drained. I don't know how you are coping I found it really painful and impossible to get comfortable at night.
Every time I went there was less to drain, my hospital seemed happy to do it and I was more than happy to let them.
Hope yours settles soon.
Thanks for your replies, I called the breast care nurse again and asked to see the surgeon, who I saw today. She looked at the seroma and wasn't concerned, said they don't drain collections anymore as it would just recollect. I'm only a few weeks post op so will see what they say when i see them again at 6 weeks
I had a left LD flap (I was so pleased with the right hand one I went back for another!) three weeks ago today.
I stayed in 7 nights because the last of the 4 drains (the one which drained the big scar on the back where the pedicle was removed) was still discharging too much.
I returned to the hospital twice within the week of discharge (at the hospital's request, not because I felt I had a problem) and then again this last Monday when the surgeon decided he would drain the seroma as it was in the region of 100-150ml. It wasn't painful, but as you say, sloshed around a bit and was uncomfortable, especially at night.
I continue to wear the binder (a kind of surgical boob tube)to compress the area, and I don't think too much has re-accumulated, although I return again next Monday so if too much has built up, I can have it aspirated.
I had ld with implant 9 weeks ago, was in hosp 7 days then drains came out. I was automatically made an apt for 2 weeks later, where they drained a build up of fluid on my back and checked the wound.
I was told, if, between check ups, my back gets uncomfortable, i should ring for ano apt to get it checked and drained if necessary. It did and i had it drained another 2 times.
It sounds to me like you need to be seen if its uncomfortable.
Insist that you are seen and dont be fobbed off. I know they say inserting a needle can cause infection, and they dont like to do it too much, but lots of ladies have it done for quite a few weeks.
Hello, I had left LD recon with implant on 1/12/09, back drain stayed in for 8 days as still draining lots. Now 2 weeks post op and have developed a large seroma ( just under the scar and is about two-three hands in size on my back, sloshes around when I walk, and uncomfortable!
I rang my breast care nurse who said to carry on with exercises as normal and not to worry, this seems strange as is different to what the physio's on the ward said?
Any experience or am I just being melodramatic!