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Post-mastectomy seroma blues

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Re: Post-mastectomy seroma blues

Hi Maire

 

After putting it off and distracting myself with many displacement activities, I just sat and read the information about the chemo I’m going to be having, 4 cycles of EC followed by 12 weeks of paclitaxel. Well, pretty serious stuff!  Feels like cracking a nut, not with a hammer but a nuclear missile 😱. I think I’ll ring the Helpline later to talk it through. However a friend did say hers wasn’t as bad as she had worried it would be.

My biggest issue right now is waking up at night and not being able to get back to sleep, and I think Ive started grinding my teeth. All my stress I guess, that I try to hide during the day through black humour, denial  and stiff upper lip! 

 Hope you are feeling a little better today 🌷

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Re: Post-mastectomy seroma blues

Hi Carmen,

Im having EC-T chemo and it’s been pretty tough. I’d say from days 1-10 are the worst and then I slowly recover. I do think the leaking wound has been a factor with my body trying to heal but also dealing with chemo and a seroma. Today I’ve woken with a headache and my suspicion is this is related to what’s going on with the mastectomy scar situation.

I hope chemo goes well for you. I had it before in 2013 and I found it much easier then. I think I’ve just been unlucky this time round.

Good luck with it. For loads of people it is much better than expected x

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Re: Post-mastectomy seroma blues

That sounds really rough, poor you. I don’t think we are  really prepared for maybe developing a seroma. Mine also wakes me up at night sometimes because I think I press on it and it hurts. My scar is healing okay but there were times when I worried it would come open. I did ring a friend of a friend who is a lymphoedema nurse. She explained that when the lymph nodes are cut, the lymph vessels continue to leak lymphatic fluid until the loose ends seal themselves off, and new lymph vessels develop to breach the gap between the two cut ends. She also said that having a lot of lymph fluid can indicate a good immune system,  so that is reassuring. Over time the body adapts and lymphatic fluid will be reabsorbed, but it can take a while, as we are finding out

I’m starting chemo next week and I’m a bit worried about the seroma. How are you finding the chemo? I’m a bit apprehensive. Hope it’s going okay for you. 🌻

 

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Re: Post-mastectomy seroma blues

Hi, I had the wee drain for a week before it was removed. The fluid then built up again and several weeks later the exact same thing happened, woke up and bed was soaked through. 
I am now 4 months from surgery and still have the tiniest hole on my scar which leaks a really small amount of fluid.

i feel I’m in a bit of a vicious  Circle as I’m currently undergoing chemo. The fact my scar is not fully healed is a constant source of worry as I fear there is a route for infection.  Things seem to settle down then the area starts to feel inflamed and uncomfortable. I still can’t sleep on left side.  The breast care nurses have been great but I feel I am constantly concerned re infection.

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Re: Post-mastectomy seroma blues

 

Hi Maire

I was browsing and saw this thread. I did have a drain for about 4 days post op which I hated, and then developed a seroma under my lymph node excision scar about a week later, which has been aspirated 3 times. It’s still sore but I think it’s smaller so guess I won’t have it drained again. The second time I found the nurse rather dismissive. although she said I could  have it drained again if it became too uncomfortable.

I’m a month post op now. How long did you keep your mini drain in for, and how are things now?

PS I loved your comment about feeding your plants😊

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Re: Post-mastectomy seroma blues

I’ve just posted on another thread but adding here in the hope it helps. I had a mastectomy and sentinel node removal (3 or 5 nodes- I’ve had diff reports) on 18th June. Immediately after fluid started to build up under arm. Similar to previous poster I couldn’t lay my arm flat. The fluid sloshed about when I walked but I was told to ignore as it would eventually reabsorb.

A week after surgery I had my dressing removed and mentioned the fluid but nurse said it wasn’t a lot and wound looked fine.  I did mention that I have a small frame so even though it didn’t look like a large seroma it was quite big for me.

Yesterday the sloshing stopped but this was because there was no more space for fluid to move. The seroma was now in the breast space. But it was a relief not to hear it sloshing.

This morning I woke up with fluid leaking out the wound and bed was soaked. I called the nurse, they asked me to come in and drained 350ml if fluid out. Added to the amount lost overnight, it was probably upwards of 400ml.
I must admit I was frightened when I saw fluid leaking and was concerned my wound might burst when driving to clinic.
Anyway the nurse was great. Said it happens and I now have a wee drain which is just like one of those cocktail bags with a tap.

Im wondering if the fluid would be good for my plants 🤣.

Just sharing my story in case it happens to anyone else. I’ve to go back on Friday where they’ll put on a new dressing I’ve a feeling it might take a while to resolve so am preparing myself for future drainage.

 

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Re: Post-mastectomy seroma blues

Hi I had a mastectomy and implant reconstruction surgery in April and developed seroma in the breast area. I had it drained twice and because of my personal experience I would recommend that you discussed this with your surgeon. Ideally aspiration via ultrasound. My seroma fluid  was not absorbed by my body.

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Re: Post-mastectomy seroma blues

Hi there, 

Thank you for your reply - I really appreciate you taking the time to respond and share your experience 🙂

I have spoken to my BCN on the phone and she too has reassured me it's normal and nothing to worry about, and that with time it should subside. 

However, I have my surgery follow-up appointment next week, and I think I will ask for the seroma to be drained while I'm there. I understand that they can re-occur, but at this point I just want to do whatever I can so that I can move forward with the reality of being flat on one side. Reconstruction isn't for me, so the sooner I'm healed and flat, the better really. 

Thanks again for your kind words and support. I hope you are as well as can be. Much love. x 

 

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Re: Post-mastectomy seroma blues

Hi , 

Reading your post prompted me to register on here , so I could let you know you aren’t alone in what you are experiencing.

Like you I had a mastectomy & SNB with no drain on my right breast , this was on 7th May . By 13th May I had what looked like a very pert 34B ( minus the nipple & with a scar , but looked good ! ) next to my saggy one on the left ! 
I wasn’t overly concerned as my BCN said it’s not uncommon to get a seroma after surgery , it was tender & a little uncomfortable . Due to Covid 19 they weren’t doing face to face appointments so I emailed them a picture , as like you I wanted reassurance it was nothing to worry about . I have to say she was brilliant & phoned back straight away to say it was a seroma and nothing to worry about but if it became to uncomfortable they would drain it in the clinic for me . 
Maybe for your own peace of mind get it checked & drained if necessary as by leaving mine it gave me a false sense of security and it hit me hard when it was flat after my axillary node clearance . 

Hope this has given you a little peace of mind that you aren’t alone in what you are experiencing .

Sending you a hug x

 

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Re: Post-mastectomy seroma blues

Hi

Having just read your post it encouraged me to register to the site, so this is my first time on here. Previously I would browse though & find the support/answers I needed at the time. However, I can totally relate to how you are feeling as I went through the same.

On 7th May I had a mastectomy & SNB on my right breast, with no drain, home the same day. I remember in the recovery room taking a peek and thinking ok it’s flat , that’s what I was expecting . 
By the 18th May it was as if I’d got my boob back again ! So when looking in the mirror I had a saggy 34B on my left side but on the right side was what looked like a lovely pert one  ( minus a nipple & with a scar , but looked good )

Like you I was concerned and emailed a picture to my BCN , she phoned me straight back and said it’s normal , yes it’s a seroma & if it becomes to uncomfortable, they can drain it in the clinic. Before it came to that I was called back in for a full armpit axillary node removal on 28th May & they drained the fluid at the same time. Crazily it was then that I think reality finally kicked in seeing it totally flat . It was only then I could relate to the emotions that come with Cancer & it was the first time I’d cried since my diagnosis.

I guess the swelling gave me a false sense of security, I really dont know . In hindsight I wish I had got it drained after a week of swelling , but when they say ‘let us know if it becomes uncomfortable’ it’s difficult as everyone’s pain threshold is different, and when recovering from surgery you’re already uncomfortable & we don’t know what’s normal or not.

So I guess what I’m saying is you aren’t alone & maybe do what I did and ask if you can send a picture to your BCN  as she really did reassure me that it was part of the healing process. Let’s be honest it’s scary being sent home after major surgery & not being able to have a follow up consultation face to face because of Covid 19. 

Stay strong lovely lady x

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Post-mastectomy seroma blues

Hello everyone, 

Last week (27th) I had a mastectomy of my left breast and a SLNB, without a drain. 

Since surgery, I've developed a large seroma In my breast tissue. It's as though the fluid has filled up the empty space where my breast was, to the point where I don't even look like I've had a mastectomy at all. I could probably fill my usual b-cup size bras if I was wearing bras at the moment! 

I understand that seromas are common and that the fluid should be gradually absorbed into my body over time, but it seems to be getting more noticeable each day, and in a weird way, I have been working hard to emotionally prepare myself for being flat on one side, and now I'm not, it is making me feel quite uneasy. 

I've found a few posts on here from other women who have had seromas, but mainly in the underarm area, and I know they can be aspirated if they cause too much discomfort, but I know some clinics are reluctant to do so due to infection risk.

suppose I'm just hoping to hear from someone else who might have been through something similar. 

Take care x