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Excessive Drainage after Mastectomy

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  • lili1964
    lili1964 Member Posts: 9
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    Moonfwr912 – Hey, you’re from close to my old stomping grounds.  Born and raised in Cedarburg, WI.  My sister and her family reside in Port Washington. 

    I read your post on losing TE because drain was in too long, is that correct?  I’ve not heard that, nor has my PS said anything like that, and now I’m nervous.  

    What exactly happened between 5-1/2 weeks when the drains were removed and the infection at 7 weeks?  I know I was told I need to keep on the antibiotic until 24 hours after last drains are removed – was that the same with you?  Did you get fluid build up after drains were removed?  

    You have my admiration – all the surgeries you’ve undergone for reconstruction……wow!  I swear, if anything happens with my TE’s like I end up with infection or they leak or they fold or WHATEVER….I’m done.  That’s what I say now, I believe it’s what I would say at the time if the time should come up, but who knows?  Can never know what you’d do until you’re in that place and time that you need to decide, right.  Still, you’re one strong, determined lady! 

    Have a great evening! 

    Lisa

  • lili1964
    lili1964 Member Posts: 9
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    Moonfwr912 – Hey, you’re from close to my old stomping grounds.  Born and raised in Cedarburg, WI.  My sister and her family reside in Port Washington. 

    I read your post on losing TE because drain was in too long, is that correct?  I’ve not heard that, nor has my PS said anything like that, and now I’m nervous.  

    What exactly happened between 5-1/2 weeks when the drains were removed and the infection at 7 weeks?  I know I was told I need to keep on the antibiotic until 24 hours after last drains are removed – was that the same with you?  Did you get fluid build up after drains were removed?  

    You have my admiration – all the surgeries you’ve undergone for reconstruction……wow!  I swear, if anything happens with my TE’s like I end up with infection or they leak or they fold or WHATEVER….I’m done.  That’s what I say now, I believe it’s what I would say at the time if the time should come up, but who knows?  Can never know what you’d do until you’re in that place and time that you need to decide, right.  Still, you’re one strong, determined lady! 

    Have a great evening! 

    Lisa

  • moonflwr912
    moonflwr912 Member Posts: 5,938
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    Lili, there a lot of reasons I kept going ahead with reconstruction. One was that my right TE was doing great. Just sitting there all 21 months. The biggest reason though was I was ready to do knee replacement surgery and had actually set my surgery date when BC read its ugly head. Now because of the infections they wont consider knee surgery until I prove that I can hold an implant. Think about it. If they remove a TE you just stuff your bra and go on with your life. Um if they remove a knee implant what is there to replace it if it fails? Um, yeah. So I keep trying. LOL



    my first infection I had a spot on the incision that didn T close. I went back to work. I worked at a hospital. Um, yeah. Came down with an infection 4 days later. 2nd time I think it was too soon after chemo and my body just wasnt ready for it. I got an infection three weeks after surgery.

    Did I mention I am allerguc to almost all antibiotics like Vancomycin? MY INFECTIOUS disease Dr. hated me! LOL

    so I only got put on abx AFTER I got infected. You should be ok as you are still on abx. Sorry about a long post. Much love.

    All

  • nixie
    nixie Member Posts: 13
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    can anyone help?

    wife had her op on the 8th of aug. lumpectomy and lymph node removal. the op took 6 1/2 hrs!!!"!"!"!"!" the drains were in for about 3 weeks. she started rads last week. after the 3rd session her operated on breast started swelling. it looked like a boob job massively gone wrong. done an ultrasound. they said blood build up, theyve drained 250ml of blood from her breast. 2 more rads after that and the breast is swollen again. im guessing with blood. seeing the surgeon tom'row. any1 ever experienced anything like this? might they consider putting the drains back in? what a shitty illness is this?

  • moonflwr912
    moonflwr912 Member Posts: 5,938
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    There could be quite a few reasons for that to happen. I assume they are culturing the specimen from the breast they removed the fluid from? That could tell them if it is infected. Then lymphedema could be adding to the fluid. Depending on how many nodes the took . Rads could be a problem as well. The surgeon will let you know what he thinks. This disease does suck. I will pray for both of you.let us know what they said if you have time. Much love.

  • nixie
    nixie Member Posts: 13
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    just an update;


    the collection of fluid was caused by radiation. dx spontaneous hematoma caused by radiation. no infection but put her on antibiotics regardless. they took some more blood out, 150ml this time, cpl of days back. seeing the surgeon on friday. never ending this shit. after this though we r on our tod. us and tamoxifen and yearly checks. and shitloads of well researched (and i mean well researched) supplements. in 8 months since the dx we must have gone to the hospital at least 100 times. wouldnt have been so bad if the return trip wasnt 90 miles. it took a lot out of her.

  • moonflwr912
    moonflwr912 Member Posts: 5,938
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    HUGS to BOTH of you. Its almost as hard to care for someone as it is to deal with BC. At least they know what caused it. I hope you dont have to make more unexpected trips. The planned ones are plenty. Much love and fast healing.

  • nixie
    nixie Member Posts: 13
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    another update;


    it seems as though hematoma is here to stay. to start off with the surgeon said it should clear up in 3-4 weeks now they r saying we r looking at 12-18 months and as a bonus the bleeding hasnt stopped and the inevitable infection set it. theyve started her on antibiotics. the breast looks ehhhh alien. nothing like a cancer diagnosis in this life eh? so as it stands weekly trips to see the surgeon and take it from there.


    how u keeping moonflower?

  • moonflwr912
    moonflwr912 Member Posts: 5,938
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    The nicie. I am doing ok. Gotta get some.energy back so I can get the house cleaned up before surgery..should be interesting..lol


    Hang in the. As we say, cancer the f€¥&&#/€€n£&/ !! Gift that keeps on giving!


    Much love

  • Mariajoe312
    Mariajoe312 Member Posts: 2
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    I am starting to b concerned myself about these 2 drains that r still draining after 28 days.  2 on my right side were removed about 2 wks after bilateral mastectomy.  My surgeon said because of all the tissue that was removed they take longer.  I did have very large breasts and am overweight so that may be the reason why.  I am ready for a melt down if it takes much longer problem being this wrap around thing is so annoying, irritating and so uncomfortable but she said must stay on tight so my skin stays attached to my chest wall.  I had no idea that post op was so miserable.  24/7 is completely to much for me.  Almost as bad as the 7 hr surgery.  I guess it will eventually stop draining and I will finally b able to shower and move on.  This washing up is horrible.  I need a shower.

  • Mariajoe312
    Mariajoe312 Member Posts: 2
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    my 2 out of 4 drains r in 4 wks now.  I wish they had something to do to speed this draining up.  It feels like I am suffocating with this wrap all this x.    HELP

  • muska
    muska Member Posts: 224
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    Hang in there. I had drains for five weeks. I read somewhere that large breasted women might have more drainage b/c they have more blood vessels that get damaged by this surgery. Surgeons rarely leave the drains for  more than four weeks because of concerns about infections, so my doctor eventually said the drains are coming out. Everything was fine when the last two were out at five weeks.

  • thinkingpositive
    thinkingpositive Member Posts: 564
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    Not sure I am in the right forum as I do not have my pathology report back yet from surgery...original biopsy was dcis and mri confirmed dcis with two additional lesions in other areas.  Decided on mastectomy rather than lumpectomy.    I had a mastectomy on the left breast with tissue expander at the same time last week.  Came home with two drains.  For the first few days they were doing fine - ranging from 20 - 40cc and going up and down...then one night one filled up to 70cc - and was still red.  The next day it was back to 20 cc when I changed it.  Went to the doctor the next day and he said that it could have been a pocket that just happened to let loose that night, but the drainage on that drain was back to normal.  Woke up this morning and the other drain that had been draining pretty normal and ranging between 20 and 40 cc...was up to 80 cc...red...  I am scheduled to go back to the doctor on Tuesday to have him look again, he was thinking that I would be having them taken out then but now I am not too sure.    I worry about infection.  Is there any truth that I have read if the color is not changing and it is red that it is an infection?   

  • Ariom
    Ariom Member Posts: 4,027
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    Hi ThinkingPositive, I found my drainage went up and down and could often be quite red, but also with other matter in it. It does increase considerably, if you are up and about, doing things. If you are resting, it doesn't tend to drain as much.

    I haven't heard about the color of the output being and indicator of infection, other than if it were obvious puss. I got an infection in my incision line and it was very obvious by swelling and redness along the incision line and the slight fever I had.

    Keep an eye on your chest, watch for heat, redness and any change in the appearance of the skin around the incision and of course pain any pain or discharge. 

    It is good that you have an appointment on Monday, your Doctor will be able to give you answers then.

    Take it easy!

  • camillegal
    camillegal Member Posts: 15,711
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    Hi Thinking positive--As Ariom said as long as u'r seeing u'r Dr. he'll should know the answers to u'r questions and try not to worry to much---I know that's not easy---I had my drains in for 3 months an took it 3x a day and sometimes it looked like pure blood---but I never thought about it actually, I did see the BS 2x a week tho--for 3 months, he was so cute I didn't mind. Good Luck

  • happynewyorker
    happynewyorker Member Posts: 12
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    Hi All!!

    I too have one drainage, it's been 2 months since my mastectomy and this drain isn't emptying. I try not to do much and went back to work on the 13th of April.  My drain reached 30 once, it's favorite number is now 40 or 45.  I'm not going to have removed until it reaches 30 or less.  Do you have any suggestions on the pain?  I sleep with a bean bag pillow that helps the pain that I have under my arm.  I take vicodin for the pain, but it seems to hurt more since I returned to work.  I'm having my reconstructive surgery in June, and would hate to have it remain until then.  I heard the record is about 3 months.  Oh, this is for 2015. 

    Oh, anyone have the areola attached to the reconstructive breast during the summer??  I heard it's painful due to wearing lighter clothes.  Anyone can help me out on this, I'd greatly appreciate it.  I don't know anyone that has had a mastectomy and sometimes, it seems to be a sad thing to have, since I can't share with others how it was for them. 

    many thanks,

    Lee 

  • SoccerMom20
    SoccerMom20 Member Posts: 4
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    I returned to work with my drain and had to keep it for over 2 months. I noticed when working I drained a lot more than not (50 ml, twice a day). It hurt but I didn't want to have the fluid removed by a needle (it happened later after the drain was removed). To help with the pain, I still slept sitting up and was propped up with pillows. No pain meds...

  • Deblv
    Deblv Member Posts: 1
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    My dr told me anything after 3 weeks increases infection rate a lot. I'm having same problem and it's painful!

  • Desertgirl57
    Desertgirl57 Member Posts: 1
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    My moms drain tube did not come out until day 62 and she was still at 60 cc a day when they finally pulled it. It leaked a lot the first few days after that which we thought was good as it was not building up in her chest but when the tube incision healed over the swelling started in her chest:(( Monday we will go for a second needle aspiration. They seem to have no idea what to do. She was never put on any antibiotics which I thought was odd. Now they are talking about another surgical procedure to try and correct this. Do we need to take her for a second opinion

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,287
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    Hi Desertgirl, and welcome to Breastcancer.org. We're sorry that your mom is going through all this, and hope she feels better soon. If you decide to pursue a Second Opinion here's more information from the main Breastcancer.org site on how to do that including why, where and when to get it, and what to expect.

    Hope this helps!

    The Mods

  • beth1965
    beth1965 Member Posts: 203
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    I had mine for 3 months -very long months- I am perfectly fine now though once they finally were okay I had one day I went for check up a few weeks later and they poked and squeezed even more fluid out. But ever since I have been perfectly fine. I had double mastectomy my doctor said everyone is different and that your body will do what it needs to do. do not take out before its done or you may have the fluid build back up like it did with me

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,287
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    Desertgirl, how did the aspiration go on Monday? What did your mom's doctor have to say?

    --The Mods

  • Marmie
    Marmie Member Posts: 1
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    tomorrow is the 4th week with one drain remaining on right side. absolutely tired of it but it produces 45-50ml a day. i am hoping with yesterday's 60cc expansion the flow will be reduced. plus doc said today i'm doing too much !

    "place your arm across your waist and leave it there". ugh.

    as a right handed person that's a challenge but if it means finally ridding myself of the tube, i guess i will be hugging my waist! :) next wednesday i hope will be removal day.

  • wcts17
    wcts17 Member Posts: 2
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    Hi all, I've been reading peoples post on their Excessive Drainage after having bilateral mastectomies with reconstruction. I had my first surgery which was lumpectomy times 2, I had 3 biopsy's in March, then in May the lumpectomies. I was looking at 6 1/2 weeks of Radiation, after the lumpectomies they wanted to go back in and get more out. In the beginning I was told it was nothing to worry about. Well they took a place out of my breast that was 8cm X 6cm X 3 cm and within that area they took out 4.6 cm which was positives. The Radiation doctor said he would not do the radiation on me until they went back in and took more, as the margins were less than 1mm still showing positive around the edges. So I choose to have the bilateral mastectomies with reconstruction surgery on July 22, 2016, once the surgery was over and the results came back from the biopsy done during surgery there was still 2.8cm positive, so I really felt like I made the best decision. I'm wondering about these drains, I understand what they are suppose to be doing but the part I don't understand is, I had #2 drain taking out on  Aug. 24, then drain #3 out on Aug. 31 and then drain #4 came out Sept. 5, 2016. With this said drain #1 is draining so much. When drain #2 was in Drain #1 hardly had and drainage, but once #2 was taking out drain #1 took over everything. It has so much fluid in it, it runs between 50 ml to a 100 ml a day. I've tried to bind myself with ace bandages, a tight bra, etc. but that doesn't seem to work. This Friday will be 8 weeks and I know this drain isn't coming out this week either, it has to be down to 30 ml for two straight days. And that isn't going to happen. After all this said and after reading other's post, do you know of anything else that I can try so I can get this fluid dried up and get this last drain out. I've decided to name this drain my best friend because it wants to hang around so long.  Thank you for all comments, they will be greatly appreciated.

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,287
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    wcts17, welcome to Breastcancer.org! We're sorry for what brings you here, but we wanted to let you know that we're so very glad you've found and joined our community.

    Did you tell your surgeon about it? When do you have your next appointment? We're sorry we can't really give you advice for this. Hopefully someone else can! Until other members answer with their own experiences and support here, this is what we have in out main site about Mastectomy: What to Expect.

    Best wishes, and please let us know how you're doing!

    The Mods

  • wcts17
    wcts17 Member Posts: 2
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    Thank you for your reply, I do appreciate it. I will look over the Mastectomy and what to except. I see my surgeron once a week, tomorrow is my next appointment. They are aware of the drainage and said it's normal, I'm just wondering if others had tried something different than I had.

  • Chemist
    Chemist Member Posts: 9
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    Just as a point of interest: It seems that post-surgical treatments can vary quite a bit. I had BMX + AND 19 days ago, and 1 drain is still in (ugh ugh ugh). But I'm not on antibiotics, and the surgeon encourages me to do gentle stretches (even raising my arm above my shoulder--which I don't, because it hurts alot), and to do normal types of activities within moderation. He also says that chest compression is optional--only valuable if it makes me more comfortable. He says compression won't reduce my drainage. My surgery was done at a major cancer center. I bring this all up because other folks on this thread have said they're on antibiotics to prevent drain-related infections, they're encouraged to keep their arm motionless at waist-level, and they're using compression to reduce drainage. Not saying which is right or wrong, just saying that there seems to be a wide range of medical opinion.

  • Georgetteoden
    Georgetteoden Member Posts: 1
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    just a data point: I had a right mastectomy with one lymph node removed on September 30, 2016. There's a tissue expander in there and I've had one, 100cc fill up with air so far. I've had the one drain in since day one and still it's hovering around 60-75ml a day and I'm going crazy. No compression, no antibiotics. I put myself on bed rest yesterday thinking it would help but no, not a bit.

    Effing hate this. ;)

  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,287
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    Hi Georgette-

    We wanted to welcome you to our community here at BCO! We're sorry for the drain issues, and we don't blame you for hating this one bit. Hopefully things start to turn around, and you can have the drain removed and get on with your healing soon!

    The Mods

  • cb1d
    cb1d Member Posts: 1
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    Hi wcts17! I am especially interested in your story, because of the lengthy drain time. I had a unilateral mx to remove Dcis and a onestage implant on May 16, 2017. One drain was installed, and I still have it - 7weeks and 2 days later 😕. My drainage volumn has decreased with an up and down pattern, doesn't seem to be related to activity. I have not been overactive. Two days ago I thought the end was in sight, 29ml for 12 hrs, followed by 11ml (total 40), then total for next day was 69ml, followed by 39 this morning..... I am anxious to get back to work, but want no problems with lymphadema.

    I am empathetic to your situation, and know that your experience was much worse than mine is. I would like to know the end of your drainage story and if you have any words of encouragement for me. Thank yo