Advice about any experiences of Seroma post-op mastectomy please?

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Hi,  I had a mastectomy and node clearance in the armpit today, done as day surgery 7 days ago.

I had 2 drains which were removed 2 days ago by district nurses.  I was still losing between 100ml - 200ml per drain each day but was told they must come put on day 5 regardless. 

I've had minimal seepage since drain removal.  It's been spotting at most.   Last night I noticed that I've got fluid retention building up around the breast that was removed amd also in the armpit and side of torso.  It looks like I've got a cleavage because of the swelling.  I'm not due my clinic check up until around 2 weeks post-op.

I have read that Seroma is normal and can be absorbed back into the body?   I'm just very aware I'm lacking lymph nodes to filter the fluids.  Is there a certain level of swelling that's normal or a certain level/signs to get worried about?

I'd phone my Macmillan nurse but she never answers or responds.  The district nurses have finished visiting now but they told me they didn't know.

  • Edit:  the op was 7 days ago.  Not sure why my phone added the word "today" in there!   See no evil

  • Hello

    I was informed that drain can be removed when down to 50ml, maybe that's why you are retaining fluid. Shame Mcmillan aren't getting back to you when you are so concerned. Keep trying, or speak to your GP. Good luck.

  • Hi /Dolly_DD

    Seromas can happen after breast surgery and they do absorb back into the body though it might take a few months for that to happen.  When your breast starts to feel uncomfortable and heavy then that's the time to get it sorted.  As you seem to be having problems contacting your breast care nurse ring the clinic number and request to be seen straight away if need be.

    Wishing you the best of luck with your results appointment.

    Best wishes


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  • Thank you. Sparkling heart Yes I was told 50ml or 5 days, whichever came first.  My partner came home from work today and said "it looks like you're growing a new boob" as it's more swollen.  I'll phone the breast clinic tomorrow as I know I won't get anywhere trying to contact my nurse.  

  •   thank you for your reply.  I'll give them a call tomorrow as the swelling has got worse today.  Its not agony but it's heavy and uncomfortable.   But I'm only 7 days post op so I don't know what's "normal" uncomfortable and what isn't.   I'll phone them tomorrow though and see what they say Slight smile

  • Hi Dolly_DD

    How you are feeling today?

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  • I’m guessing it might be different guidelines depending where you live (which shouldn’t really be the case).  I was also told 50 ml and I had my drain in for 6 days and they were willing to send me home with it if it hadn’t reduced to the 50 ml. I hope you are feeling better soon and manage to get a hold of someone that can help. 
    Best wishes


  •  Hi   thank you for asking.  the swelling has got much worse today.   I phoned the breast clinic at 9am this morning and was told that my Macmillan breast care nurse would phone me back today.   By 4pm she hadn't phoned so I called back and was told by the receptionist to go to the drop-in breast clinic tomorrow.   So fingers crossed they'll be able to sort something out for me tomorrow. 

  •    thank you for your reply. That's so interesting how different everywhere seems to be.  I'll be going to the drop-in clinic tomorrow.  I hope that you're recovery is going well 

  • Thanks. I hope they can give you some advice tomorrow. It’s good that there’s a drop in clinic.