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Lymphoedema after prophylactic mastectomy


Re: Lymphoedema after prophylactic mastectomy

Hi BlissC


Thanks for posting.


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.


Our opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am - 4pm and 9am -1pm on Saturday. Out of hours you can leave a message and we will call you back when we next open.  


Please be aware that we will be closed on Monday 26 August due to the bank holiday.


Best wishes




Breast Cancer Care Nurse


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Lymphoedema after prophylactic mastectomy

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?