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It has been exactly 15 days since my mastectomy and LD flap recon and my drain was removed a week ago (it was then at 60-70ml a day level). Obviously the fluid has to go somewhere and in my case, my body is creating fluid around the back where the muscle used to be. It is not painful but I can feel it 'swishing' around when I press it. On monday my BCN said there was probably around 200ml in there but said unless I really really really wanted to have it drained (who really REALLY wants that?!??) then it should probably be left and the body would absorb it over the next few weeks.
As of today, it appears to be pretty much the same, no pain so I aint bothered too much but I just wondered if any of you out there had a similar experience and how long it took for the fluid to reduce? Its just such a weird feeling to press on my side and feel something moving in my back (a bit x files like).
Any shared thoughts would be much appreciated.
Find the best opportunities you can in any adversity and you will survive.
I had a mastectomy and axillary clearance in late Feb. My surgeon didn't put in any drains as he prefers not to (slightly increased risk of infection) and said that the bod copes with the excess fluid by itself anyway. I developed a large seroma where the boob had been and under my arm, about the size (and sound) of a hot-water bottle. In the end I did have it drained 3 times. 350mls the first time 650mls the second time and 300mls the third time, only because it got very uncomfortable and tight. After that it settled down and started to disperse. I do still have a tiny bit of fluid, I can feel it if I squish it about, but its nearly gone.
Having the fluid drained only takes minutes and was no problem as I was still (and still am) numb round the site. It was quite funny really (as so many things are around this) it looks like nothing so much as a half pint of beer! I don't know what I expected!
'When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life you have a
thousand reasons to smile'
My Surgeon is a bit obsessive with his drains !!!! I was always told that the drain has to lose less than 40 ml before it came out. When I had the mastectomy it was in for 2 weeks. I did develop a Seroma and just saw my BC and she drained it. She told me that whilst its not urgent to have it drained its better to. When I had Recon, drain was in for 7 weeks !!!! mind you did not have any Seromas afterwards !!!
I developed a seroma after my surgery. It wasn't painful just uncomfortable. Struggled to get comfy as couldn't lean back on it. BC nurse said could drain if wanted but would only refill and better to leave it unless gets really painful. I left it and mine gradually disappeared over a couple of weeks.
Good luck with yours x
Thanks for your posts ladies. I could not understand why they were so keen to take the drain out only 9 days after surgery but the nurse said it was a trade-off between infection and draining.
Clh, my nurse said the same. I am reluctant to drain it unless it becomes painful as she assured me it WILL fill up again. A couple of weeks sounds good though, I can cope with that. Half a pint of beer also sounds good!! :-)
I just wondered how long I could expect to have to have this fluid sack inside my skin. Its weird but bearable. I dont know if its my imagination but I feel like it gets smaller if I exercise the arm??? If that were the case, maybe I could exercises it all day and get rid of it!! LOL If only!!
I had drains in for over a fortnight - and leaked as well! Then I started filling up inside instead. Then antibiotics (two kinds so far)
I also feel that exercise reduces it - perhaps the lymph has to work harder and pumps it away.
It's really uncomfortable under my arm tho so I'm glad to get it aspirated every couple of days. My understanding is that if it hangs around then there is a greater chance of infection. It's such lovely liquid, all healing, but the bacteria love it, too. Aspiration doesn't hurt - just don't look at the syringe! ;-)
I just went for an aspiration today as yesterday I was so uncomfortable. It was not a painful process really and I feel much better now. Only had about 250ml in there but I am only small and it was too much for me.
Although, like you, I thought it seemed better when I was exercising my arm, the nurse told me today not to exercise too much as it creates a build up of fluid!! Uh? So now I am not sure what is best. I dont want it to build up again too much.
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