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Redness in breast after mastectomy

nipab Member Posts: 46

I had a mastectomy in early March on my left side. Immediate reconstruction with expander. Everything was good and healing well for four weeks, then I started having redness around the nipple on the left breast. It's not hot/warm to the touch. The whole area is numb, so I don't know how it feels from the inside. I don't have any fever. I was supposed to start chemo yesterday, but the oncologist decided to postpone. My Plastic Surgeon put me on antibiotics.

I went for PT today and they massaged so all lymphatic glands start working to push fluid out from the breast if that is the issue. Did anyone have redness on the breast? What was the reason and how long did it take to resolve? My morale is so down after coming back home yesterday after preparing myself mentally for chemo and coming back empty handed!


  • cowgirl13
    cowgirl13 Member Posts: 774
    edited April 2022

    nipab, I didn't have reconstruction but I had redness on my breast and didn't think anything of it until i went in for a pre-chemo check. I was supposed to start chemo the next day or so but I couldn't and was put on a course of antibiotics. I ended up starting chemo a week later.

  • katg
    katg Member Posts: 206
    edited April 2022


    I had my mastectomy just skin saving, no nipple saving as i carry the BRCA2 gene. Mine never turned red. I do believe reaching out to the doctors is best and to triage if after hours. I also wanted to say that everybody is different. I made the decision to not google any treatments. Ask my doctors for every test or treatment. After the test or treatments are done, i google what is in my patient portal under "Notes" form procedures. I hope you have access to your records like that. Please ask if not. I type in google my exact question and see if my side effects are listed. We are our advocates.

    As to chemo, all in good time. I did not see you have done chemo. I had 13 rounds. The very first one i went in with some nervousness. But for that, i had my own room and a great nurse. He explained all that would happen. I found the experience to be nothing like i thought. One day at a time. Side effects come different and seldom as bad as we think. Enjoy the extra time off before you start.

    Sending good will do well.

  • ratherbesailing
    ratherbesailing Member Posts: 118
    edited April 2022

    I had redness after surgery. It was cellulitis infection, which shows as a red patch on the skin. Mine wasn’t hot to the touch either, and I didn’t have a fever. Antibiotics are standard therapy.

    Having insufficient lymph flow increases the risk for cellulitis, which may be why they gave you lymph massage therapy. People often think of lymphedema as being an issue in the arm, but it can be truncal as well.

    Having said all that, I am only guessing at what is going on with you. You should ask your doctors what is going on, and they may recommend lymphedema therapy to help prevent an infection recurrence.

    So sorry you’re going through this. Wishing you a speedy recovery and a quick return to therapy

  • nipab
    nipab Member Posts: 46
    edited April 2022

    Katg, I live on my patient portal and so my doctor has to tell me not to freak out about any report until I talk to them, as sometimes reports will be on the portal before doctors can make a call to us. Last Tuesday was my first-time chemo and that did not happen.

    Cowgirl13, thank you. That helps

    Ratherbesailing, I will talk to my doctor on Friday as they called me again then and ask about lymphedema therapy. I am going to a physical therapist who specializes in Lymphatic therapy. I learned so much about lymphatic glands and their flow in the last couple of days!

    I better do my massage at home now, as they showed me yesterday! Let this be a lesson to everyone who had a mastectomy with lymph nodes removed, should learn about lymph flow and how to push the fluid out.