Breast cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the UK. Men can also develop breast cancer, although this is rare. This group is for anyone affected by breast cancer to get together, ask questions, share experiences and support each other.

Fluid after mastectomy

No. of entries: 7 | Posted on 3 Oct 2010 10:59 AM

Fluid after mastectomy

  • I wonder if anyone can help please?
    I had a mastectomy and node sampling almost two weeks ago and I'm not sure if I have fluid building up. The whole area has been uncomfortable (as you would expect) and hasn't got any more or less painful but I think it looks a bit swollen to me. How do you know if you need to have fluid drained off?

    I'm also doing my daily exercises but still don't have full range of movement in that arm - I'd be interested to know how quickly others have regained their full range.

    Thanks for reading!

    Elicia x

  • Hi, fluid after a mastectomy or lymph node removal is apparently quite common so don't worry!  It's worth giving your breast care nurse a call - I got a little contact card with her details on.  She'll put your mind at rest and get you up to the hospital to get it checked and drained if necessary.  Draining doesn't hurt as the area is numb but they just do this to get rid of excess fluid.  The swelling (seroma) is a build up of fluid as the body is trying to heal the area following the op and this is like waste stuff.  They may need to drain you several times (I think I got it done twice but it does settle down).  Best thing - get it checked out by the nurse.

    I found my range of movement was ok - I did my exercises 4 times a day to begin with as told, and it was pretty good fairly quickly. 


  • Thanks vicky, that's really helpful.

    Elicia x

  • Hi Elica,

    I had a full mastectomy one week ago, i have only just gor out of hospital yesterday, i had reconstruction at same time, and had 2 drains left in all week, if you could see the fluid that came out of me into there im not suprised you have a bit of swelling bless you, but it soon dispurses so i am told, i am glad you are feeling better though, i have had no exersize to do, but apart from a bit of stiffness i have full use of both my arms in fact cannot get my head round how normal i feel as i thought i would be in alot more pain, maybe its the slight fluid retention causing the problem with your arm.

    with love katyx

  • Hi

    I had mastectomy and reconstruction in July ( - my drains were taken away after 5 days but the swelling and pain stayed for ages. I've had a few checks ups so they kept an eye on everything - they keep telling me it will take months to settle. My full range of movement has come back this month after exercises - although it was never that bad - just difficult to get arm up high and hold it there for long. I've just started swimming (carefully with a float to help) and that has helped. Like you I had a few nodes tkaen and it does stay painful for quite a while.

    Call your breast nurse if you are concerned - I did several times. Keep smiling you will get there -

    Green machine x

  • Hi,  I had a a few weeks ago and am still having to have fluid drained by the breast care nurse twice a week. It;s getting better now but it has taken a while to stop the fluid build up


  • Thanks everyone

    I spoke to my breast care nurse and got drained yesterday, and was very pleased that it didn't hurt at all. Feels like I'm filling up already though so can  see this might be an ongoing thing until my 'moob' disappears!

    Still doing the exercises but still cant lift my arm up properly. Will keep trying!

    Thanks again to you all and best wishes to everyone on here

    Elicia x