Seroma after mastectomy

Hi I had a Mastectomy 3 weeks ago and had to have a Seroma drained yesterday they put a small dressing on but today fluid has been seeping through the dressing is it normal for this to be happening 

  • Hi Harpers13

    Thanks for getting in touch. My name is Karen and I am one of the Cancer Information Nurse Specialists on the Macmillan Support Line.  


    I can see that you’ve joined the Macmillan breast cancer forum, I hope this is a helpful and supportive environment for you.


    Having surgery for breast cancer can be a worrying time. If it would be helpful to speak to one of us, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on the support line.


    There are some common effects after breast surgery, including swelling and fluid collecting around the wound (seroma).


    This normally occurs under the arm or in the breast or chest wall and is usually reabsorbed by the body over time. Sometimes a seroma will refill after it has been aspirated so it may need to be aspirated several times over a few weeks before it goes away completely. 


    It is important to be aware and look out for any signs of infection

    • The wound feels tender, swollen, or warm to the touch
    • Redness in the area
    • Continued fluid (discharge) from the wound
    • Feeling generally unwell with a raised temperature


    We would encourage you to contact GP, breast care nurse or hospital team straight away if fluid continues to seep onto your dressing or you think you have an infection.


    You may need a course of antibiotics to stop the infection and discomfort. A wound infection can happen at any time after the surgery until your wound is completely healed.


    It usually takes about 2 to 3 weeks for skin to heal and around 10 weeks for any internal stitches to dissolve.


    I hope this information is helpful. If you have any further questions, the Macmillan Support Line offers practical, clinical, financial, and emotional support.


    Best wishes


    Karen, Cancer Information Nurse Specialist 


    You can also speak with the Macmillan Support Line team of experts. Phone free on 0808 808 0000 (7 days a week, 8am-8pm) or send us an email