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Topic: Swelling after surgery

Forum: "Middle Age" 40-60(ish) Years Old With Breast Cancer —

Meet others in this age-range who share similar life issues.

Posted on: Dec 27, 2009 07:16AM

horsegal13 wrote:


I am new to this board as of today. I was diagnosed with LCIS in Sept. 2009. Since then I have had a biopsy, 2 breast tissue removal surgeries, and last week I had to have a mastectomy as they could not get all the cancer cells. I had reconstruction surgery the same day, had a implant put in.

I am 46 years old, scared to death with lots of questions. On Monday I saw my surgeon and he removed my drain bag. I swelled up that night, and following my instructions on my discharge papers I called in to let them know. I live 2 hours from the hospital and my surgeon. They told me to go to the ER, so I went in my small hometown ER. They said it's nothing to worry about. Then I was told to come into the clinic the next morning early, they checked me again. I was more swollen, but they still said it's OK.

It's Sunday, and I'm still very swollen under my armpit, and down my side. I talked to a lady who just had a double mastectomy and she said she was very swollen like this also.

Is this normal? I go see my surgeon tomorrow, so I will know, but this has been driving me crazy. I have so many questions, I hope this is the right topic to be in for this. If not, please let me know where I should post questions/comments.


Life is good....... Dx 11/30/2010, DCIS, Stage 0
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Dec 27, 2009 07:31AM aakitkat wrote:

It's great that you followed your doc's instructions and went to the ER to have your swelling checked out! Too many of us take the stoical approach and end up suffering (usually needlessly) in silence. Yes, swelling is common after surgery, even as much as you report. Remember the fluid your drain was collecting? Well, fluids are still accumulating in your tissues only now the drain isn't there to help remove them. You didn't mention whether you had lymph nodes removed. If you did, it's super important to keep an eye on your swelling because lymphedema is a possibility, although it's most likely that your current swelling is post-surgical swelling and NOT lymphedema. If you have any concerns, I suggest you immediately ask your  surgeon for a PT referral.


Dx 9/4/2009, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 1/21 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Dec 27, 2009 07:34AM horsegal13 wrote:

No, I didn't have any lymph nodes removed. I am supposed to start Tamoxifen in January for 5 years. I have been told to have a test done first to see if Tamox will work for me. I have to check this out with my oncologist when I see him. I have tons of questions, is this where I ask? Or is there a different place I should go with questions?

Life is good....... Dx 11/30/2010, DCIS, Stage 0
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Jan 11, 2010 01:17PM francesca10 wrote:

  I am  two weeks post op--BMX--still have swelling--go back wed...I am glad I have this site for info and sharing.....I still have to see the onco and amass more information.....I am in college for my RN degree and the semster starts soon and am worried about how I'll be---can anyone tell me how long it takes to heal from the surgery???? I had lymph nodes out on the left--1 sentinel from the's numb and yet painful--please share your experiences...thanks

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Feb 4, 2010 07:41PM christine66 wrote:

Hi, when I have my second surgery on the 5th of January2010 to remove level 2/3 Lymph nodes I have also been experiencing fluid build up under the armpit near the wound site. I go in a see my surgeon every week for her to drain off. This is becoming less and less.(as she said it would) It was very uncomfortable and feels great after it has been drained. I started Chemo this week so now we will have to drain when my white cell count is good otherwise I will be at risk to infection. My left breast has now become swollen more that likely with Lymphatic fluid and is displaying symptons of "Peau d' Orange" skin. My breast is quiet pink, but not sore and I was still able to continue with my first Chemo treatment.

Dx 12/1/2009, IDC, 1cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 1/24 nodes, mets, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 4, 2010 07:54PM - edited Feb 4, 2010 07:56PM by StillVerticle

Hey Horse gal, it sounds like maybe your ONC did not give you enuf info for you to be comfortable managing all of this on an outpatient basis. I studied the "American Cancer Society" site and this one as it relates to BC. Take time to read the posts on several threads and see where you feel most comfortable. Also, when I go to the DOC, I take a ton of questions and a tape recorder. I don't hear anything after the word CANCER and I have to play the tape later. I too, live in a very isolated areas far from a hospital so I know how hard it is to feel so alone (when isolated) with all that you are going through. But you are in the right place-all of the women here are extremely knowledgeble and will tell you the truth. You have to look for threads where the gals are having the same experiences as you are but for right now, do not worry about 'being in the right place on this Board. You will find enormous support on any thread and direction from the women who will read your experience and if the same, will guide you. Like there is a specific thread on Surgery, Before During and After. ((((HUGS))) SV

Good Girls go to heaven; Bad Girls go everywhere-Mae West! StillVerticle Dx 10/22/2009, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-

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