Haematoma and healing before radiotherapy

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I have had a large haematoma since my lumpectomy and now 9 weeks down the line and had draining of this until 2 weeks ago. Both specialists surgeon and radiotherapy said they "thought" it should be ready by time appointment came through. Consultant radiotherapist said it needed to be healed or it could cause healing problems after the therapy. I now have an appointment for radiotherapy to start next wed but there is still a lot of hard tissue is this normal? Have others has alot of hard tissue and gone for radiotherapy? Anyone has subsequent problems from this? I am worried, as already had mistakes to deal with but obviously keen to start the radiotherapy if its safe to do so. 

  • Hi pat2, 

    I have just joined this group and seen that you have had a haematoma. I have also had one and my tissue is still very hard also. Just wondering how you got on with the radiotherapy and if this affected it in any way? I am also wondering if there are any do’s and donts before my appointments as I am still waiting for a date for my treatment to start and I just want to be ready. Anyway hope you are recovering well after your treatment xx

  • Hi Jeanie

    Apologies for the delay in answering your question. I think firstly I need to say I am not a health professional and can only say what has happened to me and we are all different and our bodies react differently due to our individual circumstances and hopefully although I have had problems you wont have any and I wish you all the best for your treatment and a speedy recovery.I dont want to put you off your radiotherapy as I know its important to prevent recurrence. I will however tell you of my experience post RT as you have asked and hopefully  it might help you make a list of questions for your team. Do ask the professionals questions and if you are still unsure you could ask for a second opinion.

    I have 2 areas of concern in my breast post RT. One the haematoma area which is sore swollen etc and clinic told me thats the haematoma is on going and will take time to rectify. They didnt say more wish I had asked how long. However for me as long as it doesn't cause me any further complications of any kind and massage helps at least I had my radiotherapy to help prevent recurrence. I am however upset that I wasn't told more before RT by clinic. The RT consultant told me he was concerned about post RT healing which put me off having it came home and cried my heart out! Decided better to wait until they were happy. Went to see consultant to tell him what they had said and that I was now very worried about having the RT. He did another draining of haematoma which was extremely painful said it would be OK and I could have massage after RT if there were complications that would sort the problem out. Therefore ask questions do they expect probs post RT if so what and where and for how long. Also will it be only in haematoma area or could other areas be affected etc. I also realise now that RT nurses dont know that much I told them throughout my RT of the swelling and pain the journey to the hospital was awful many days as every speed bump and little dip in the road was painful. They kept reassuring me all was OK. My advise here is if you are worried during RT speak to your breast nurse not just RT.  The massage if fine , gentle not painful so dont worry about that and the Lymph nurses are lovely people where I live and they have taught me self massage which has helped tremendously in the haematoma area.  Therefore to sum up RT re haematoma at least I had my RT shame I didnt know more about Lymph, prob wished they had waited a couple more weeks before RT after RT consultants advise.

    Do get yourself on a Lymphoedema course if you can.  Ask your nurse about getting you on one as soon as possible so you know what to look out for and also how to reduce the risks. No one told me I was at a higher risk and I could have been doing more exercises than just ones for post op. Also importance of wearing bra for support wasn't mentioned to me. Tenovus have a bus with info session which is absolutely fab and they will even examine you after session which would be an extra thing you could do to check all is OK re Lymphoedema.  

    Unfortunately I have had a separate issue which I dont think has anything to do with haematoma so I guess is irrelevant for you but I am not  a professional medic so I dont know. Therefore ask if there is any increased risk to rest of breast due to haematoma during RT.  I  have had a severe reaction to the RT which is much worse than the haematoma area which I can cope with. which I guess is unusual as most sail through it with minimal problems. I do have allergies to antibiotics and reactions to anaesthetics etc and fair skin so I guess not the  easiest of patients.  I have had severe reaction at nipple area and underlying tissue with RT induced lymphoedema .. 4 lots of antibiotics for cellulitis . This bit is no fun and when infection starts I cant walk far without a lot of pain from movement.  I dont think this is due to haematoma so wouldnt affect you as its a different area but I am not a medical practitioner so I dont know if I am right in saying this. The RT dept deny any RT damage and say its down to surgery or infection but consultant says RT caused damage and Lymphoedema in nipple area. I don't care why or who just want it sorted! So in hindsight appears RT dept nurses dont know that much and infact didnt even diagnose a problem when it was evident from bruising , swelling and freckled orange peel skin. Therefore any worries during and after RT do tell them but also your breast nurse so you get checked out properly.  Our nurses in RT seem scared of referring to the Drs! I am now starting weekly MLD and consultant put me on another 2 weeks antibiotics to start when finished ones I am on.  Its not easy right now but I guess the RT will have killed any lingering cancer which is a positive thing for me to focus on and have have 2 fabulous Lymph therapists kind caring and professional to help me on my way to full recovery and once its healed I can start to get back to normal on get on with life without the worry I didnt get gthe RT . 

    Hope this helps

    Take care and please feel free to ask anything else.  Its not easy is it but at least we are getting treatment to get rid of this damn cancer. Try to focus on what you can do for yourself we can self help a lot eating healthy and exercise is a huge third against cancer . It helps me stay positive when I self help! I make veg soup daily, drink more water, keep up with arm exercises, if you are able walk half an hour a day. Go out an enjoy yourself as much as you can. When it all gets too much its Ok to cry. I tend to bottle it all up then it all comes out every couple of months for a day. 

    xxx