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Hi I’m wondering if anyone can help me out with 2 issues actually The most important is that I had a total L mastectomy July 20th The Dr removed the drains 1 week later,which both myself &my home care nurse thought was way too soon bc of the amount of fluid still coming out Of course 1 wk later I had this massive Seroma All articles say it’s a clear fluid The Dr took out I believe 300cc’s of bright orange fluid This has been done 4X now The last appt the Dr did some debriding Now I’m having even more problems The area is still bleeding a week later, is very painful&looks horrible Is there ANYTHING that can be done about this I have to get radiation but can’t until this problem is cleared up I have photos but I didn’t include them as they’re pretty shocking&kind of stomach turning I have them if they’d help

The 2nd ? I have is that when I was diagnosed I was told it was stage 3 The Dr who did my surgery said it was more like a stage 2.5 I got the Onco testing results &although I’m super grateful I don’t understand how it’s stage 1 when the tumour was 2.3 cm’s when found 3.1 after removal As well as 17 lymph nodes were removed 2 were positive As I stated while I am grateful this is not worse I’m just very worried that I may not get enough treatment&have a cancer recurrence at some time The Oncologist said to trust in the actual pathology testing from the Onco tests apparently done in California I just don’t understand this Thank you for your replies


  • maggie15
    maggie15 Member Posts: 855

    Hi @karabelle17 , I'm sorry that you are having postsurgical problems. While my breast surgery went fine I did end out with a seroma after thyroid surgery when the drain was removed too early. I had to have it aspirated weekly for a long time and it didn't disappear for a year. The fluid started out red but eventually became clear after more subcutaneous healing took place. Debridement is used to remove any dead cells to help healing. Again, not connected to bc surgery, I had a large area of second degree thermal burns debrided which took quite a while to heal. When I lived in Canada I never had to deal with complicated medical problems so I don't know if you could ask for a referral to a wound surgeon. That would be something to investigate if things aren't getting better in a couple of months.

    Ideally radiation should start 8 to 12 weeks after surgery. Undergoing radiation before you are healed enough could cause even more problems so you'll just have to do the best you can under the circumstances. It's probably OK to have radiation with a seroma as long as the RO thinks your skin is ready for it.

    Have you received a copy of your pathology report done after the surgery? It is not unusual to have a surgical path report different from your biopsy path report. This is something different from the oncotype dx which determines whether chemo is recommended. The path report does not have your stage on it but has the information that you need to determine it. There has been a recent change in the way staging is done taking into account the tumor grade and hormone expression which is why you really could be stage 1A or IB. I gather that you are T2N1 but not knowing the cancer grade and ER/PR/HER2 profile (on the path report) means the stage can't be determined. Here is a link to a chart which can be used to figure out the stage. Ask your doctor or his nurse to help you if necessary.

    Before treatment we sign release forms that mention the unusual things that can go wrong but never figure we'll be one of the few it happens to. I sympathize since I ended up with a rare side effect from radiation. If you need further medical consultation ask here about how to do it in your province and maybe a fellow Canadian can point you in the right direction. I know that Ontario was different from Quebec.

    Sending healing vibes your way! It's no fun when things don't go as planned.