As your surgeon says, there’s a risk of developing a collection of fluid called a seroma after the surgery you’ve had. This can occur in the breast or chest wall and is usually reabsorbed by the body over time.
Your risk of developing lymphoedema after bilateral prophylactic mastectomy is very low as you have not had any lymph node surgery. Occasionally a few lymph nodes will be removed if they are either within or next to the breast tissue, but this is unlikely to affect the main lymphatic drainage channels.
Do discuss this with your surgeon when you go for your post-operative check-up.
Do call our free, confidential Helpline if you would like to talk this through or have any further questions. The number is 0808 800 6000.
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Breast Cancer Care Nurse
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I have a PALB2 mutation and have just (now 4 days post-op) had prophylactic bilateral simple mastectomies (no sentinal node biopsy or axillary dissection). One question I forgot to ask my surgeon was whether there's still an increased risk of lymphoedema with prophylactic mastectomy. I remember her mentioning seroma, but can't remember what she said, if anything, about lymphoedema. Is there still an increased risk of lymphoedema after prophylactic mastectomy with no lymph node involvement?