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Topic: Seroma

Forum: Managing Side Effects of Breast Cancer and Its Treatment —

This is a place to discuss concerns, tips and strategies for all types of side effects from all types of medications and treatments, (chemo/rads/hormonal/targeted/pain meds/etc.

Posted on: Nov 1, 2019 01:17PM

DorothyB wrote:

After asking 3 times in the last couple of months, my surgeon has said that I do NOT have lymphedema, but that I only have the seroma. He drained 260 cc from that breast 10 days ago and it is filling up again. That was the second time it has been drained.

I'm crying - partly from other stress also - so looking for information.

For those who have had seromas several months after surgery, have they cleared up? How long did it take? What type of treatment?

Diag. 4/19/2019 ER+ PR+ HER2 neg Lumpectomy 5/29/2019 IDC w/ DICS 2.0 cm Grade 3
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Nov 25, 2019 10:05PM Eyecandy112496 wrote:

I have two large seromas several months after surgery. My doctor advised me to bind my chest for a couple of days to see if my body removes some of the fluid naturally. If that doesn’t work, I’ll be going in their office in the middle of the week to drain it. Hoping that it goes and stays away! Will update you.

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Nov 25, 2019 11:16PM DorothyB wrote:

I guess I never updated. The next visit, they drained 100 cc and he thought my breast was infected, so put me on antibiotics. The antibiotics helped a lot. The following week, they drained another 120 cc.

A week after the last draining, my breast looked like it just had a seroma where the tumor was removed. In the last week, it has started swelling a little on the bottom inside also, but is still not painful or nearly as big as it was when I wrote this post.

Eyecandy - I hope yours clears up quickly & easily!

Diag. 4/19/2019 ER+ PR+ HER2 neg Lumpectomy 5/29/2019 IDC w/ DICS 2.0 cm Grade 3
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Nov 26, 2019 12:51AM margo53 wrote:

Dorothy,

I had a seroma 10 days after surgery. It drained clearish fluid out at first thru the node incision, then once that closed up, the fluid started backing up, it had no where to drain out. My BS drained it twice. She cultured the drainage and it had no growth. Meanwhile on day 10, I also developed cellulitis from the node site going toward my upper breast area. No fever, but was on 3 different antibiotics in a month. Other than meds, she told me to use a heating pad on it for an hour and a half each day and limit repetitive movements and no lifting anything heavier than 5 gallons of milk. She told me it couldn’t be radiated until it was well.....since then, I have found out I will be having chemo. The cellulitis had faded almost to nothing. The fluid from seroma means to have moved from node area down the inside of my upper arm. It’s not painful. So, that’s the story of my seroma after lumpectomy and I have an appt with BS next a Monday. Interested to see if this is lymphedema or cording.

My MO wasn’t happy about me waiting so long to see him, but the BS wouldn’t released me to him.

I hope yours and Eyecandys is resolved.



Margo Dx 8/13/2019, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 9/23/2019 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 12/2/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy Breast
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Nov 26, 2019 12:53AM - edited Nov 26, 2019 12:54AM by margo53

This Post was deleted by margo53.
Margo Dx 8/13/2019, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 9/23/2019 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 12/2/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy Breast
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Nov 26, 2019 05:23AM - edited Nov 26, 2019 05:25AM by vampeyes

Hi Dorothy, I couldn't stand the pain and smell from my seroma. I had it drained 3 times and by the next day it filled right back up again. A friend that makes peri spray with Do Terra essential oils brought me out a bottle and no word of a lie my seroma was gone the next day.

I am so sorry you are going through this, like having cancer wasn't enough to deal with, right!? Sending you hugs.

xxx

Diagnosed at 41. Oncotype 21 Dx 9/20/2017, IDC, Left, 1cm, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 10/18/2017 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 11/15/2017 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 1/29/2018 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 3/1/2018 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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Nov 26, 2019 06:59AM helenlouise wrote:

I too had a seroma post BMX and was drained three times, in order to proceed with radiation. Very unpleasant. I believe manual drainage is the solution. From what I understand the body is reacting to the surgery the best way it knows how. Sometimes they resolve and sometimes they persist. If you feel pressure ask to get it drained.

When the cancer recurred on my scar line as skin Mets the radiologist detected the underlying seroma. During a surgical biopsy of the Mets the seroma became involved and I ended up with a wound that took a very long time to heal.

Good luck.

2013 DCIS treatment lumpectomy x2 plus radiation. 2018 new IDC treatment Neo adjuvant chemotherapy. Surgery July 18. Radiation August through to October 2018. Xeloda till April 2019. Skin mets April 2019. Dx 1/2013, DCIS, Left, <1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER+/PR+ Surgery 2/3/2013 Lumpectomy: Left Surgery 2/10/2013 Lumpectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 2/28/2013 Whole-breast: Breast Dx 2/2018, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 3, 1/8 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 2/24/2018 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Ellence (epirubicin), Fluorouracil (5-fluorouracil, 5-FU, Adrucil), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 7/23/2018 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 8/27/2018 Chemotherapy 8/28/2018 Xeloda (capecitabine) Dx 4/2/2019, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIIC, Grade 3, 1/8 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Dx 4/16/2019, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IV, metastasized to other, Grade 3, 1/8 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (DUAL)
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Nov 26, 2019 11:24AM ctmbsikia wrote:

Hi. Hope everyone's seromas resolve soon. Those buggers sometimes don't want to. I was feeling good in Jan. 2018 after surgery but around the 3 week mark I was doing chores and not wearing enough support. In fact, I recall shaking out and folding laundry wearing nothing at all. Worse thing I could have done!! My breast swelled and hurt. BS decided not to drain it, it did not delay my radiation treatment, and I wore high impact sports bras for a long time and it did resolve. I actually think radiation helped the fluid go down, but there's definitely hard scar tissue there now. This year, 2019 I was exercising and felt a pain in my left breast. Later I saw my breast was red. On my next imaging a couple of months later it showed up. I got a birads3. Here I am 6 months later and it's still there. I guess I never realized how much tissue was removed and the remaining messed with the get the best looking results with a 4cm tumor. The enhancement was 1cm so here's hoping not much has changed on imaging upcoming next month. Ugh. Thanks for the suggestion of essential oil. I'll look into that.

Dx 12/14/2017, DCIS/IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/16/2018, LCIS, Right Surgery 1/31/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 4/11/2018 Whole-breast: Breast Hormonal Therapy 6/25/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Nov 26, 2019 05:00PM margo53 wrote:

Vampeyes.....which essential oil did you use? I am familiar with the brand you mentioned.

Margo Dx 8/13/2019, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 9/23/2019 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 12/2/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy Breast
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Dec 4, 2019 08:57AM bunny62 wrote:

Hi,

I had surgery on November 18th. 7 days later started to develop a seroma under armpit where they had removed the lymph nodes. Like a growing duck egg. I was a teapot for days. My assigned BC nurse was hopeless. By day 13 I thought it would burst my stitches so had an urgent referral where they drained off over 200cc. Done by an amazing mature, very experienced nurse whom I could have married. VERY painful to drain. But clear fluid.

Three hours later it started filling up again. Underarm and shoulder etc very sore and painful. Exhausting. Get Path results on 5th so will probably need to be re-drained. Armpit is now black and blue from the needle and leaking some fluid. I am scared this repeat draining will need to go on and on....and cause infection possibly. Also hinder radiotherapy start.

Just how long does it take for the seroma to stop refilling...??





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Dec 4, 2019 12:36PM Moderators wrote:

hi bunny62, Take a look at this page about seromas: https://www.breastcancer.org/treatment/side_effect...

A seroma is a build-up of clear bodily fluids in a place on your body where tissue has been removed by surgery.

Seromas can happen after the following surgeries to treat breast cancer:

  • lumpectomy
  • mastectomy
  • lymph node removal

Seromas can appear about 7 to 10 days after surgery, after the drainage tubes have been removed. The breast area involved in the surgery may have a spot that's swollen and feels like there is liquid under the skin.

Managing a seroma

Most seromas are reabsorbed back into your body in about a month, but in some cases it can take up to a year. If the area becomes painful or the seroma doesn't improve, your doctor can drain the seroma. In some cases, the seroma may have to be drained more than once.

Tell your doctor if:

  • the amount of fluid seems to be increasing or the seroma is putting pressure on the healing area
  • you notice signs of infection, such as redness, warmth, or tenderness
  • the swelling increases -- this could be a sign of arm lymphedema
To send a Private Message to the Mods: community.breastcancer.org/mem...
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Dec 4, 2019 02:12PM margo53 wrote:

Bunny62: I had a seroma also after my surgery. developed at 10 days and had to be drained twice. It’s still there now but not changing or filling up any more. The doctor cultured fluid from mine which came back negative, but I still took antibiotics for a month, go figure. They always tell me to use a heating pad on it for an hour and a half each day on low, which I never felt like it helped, but it might help yours. I thought it would delay my radiation but as it turns out , I am having chemo too, so that’s first. My doctor also says not to lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk. I hope yours gets better very soon, mine was very distressing as well.

Did you have a drain after surgery? I did not and wish I had but from what I can gather some people get them and some don’t....Lucky us

Margo Dx 8/13/2019, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 9/23/2019 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 12/2/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy Breast
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Dec 6, 2019 11:35AM bunny62 wrote:

Hi Margo53.

Thank you for replying and hello from the UK.

So, I had a further drain on Thursday, another 50ml and armpit site is infected so am on antibiotics. Will probably need another drain but it is much less full than before. I was told that my moving and lifting makes no difference and did not contribute to the seroma.

My path results are clear and I have my radiotherapy assessment on Monday. Op site on breast is all good.

I think the med profession underplay the impact of seromas. They are extremely debilitating.

I do hope your chemo goes OK.

Kind regards,



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Dec 7, 2019 01:32PM margo53 wrote:

Thanks Bunny62....seromas are definitely a pain in the butt....and I agree, they are downplayed too much. So sorry to hear you have an infection, I hope it clears up soon.

I’ll be very interested to hear if your radiation oncologist has any concern about your seroma and how that will effect your treatments.

Day 6 after first chemo and doing ok.Just very tired and nothing tastes right, bone pain is better

Margo Dx 8/13/2019, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 9/23/2019 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 12/2/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy Breast
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Jan 12, 2020 09:15PM Ashawk wrote:

11 Sept mammoplasty & sentinel node biopsy. 18 Dec Axillary Node Clearance. 24 Dec (Xmas Eve) surgical recovery fine - available medic declares swelling ‘normal’ best left to absorb naturally, no wish to invite infection. 27 Dec (day after Boxing Day) - swelling more extreme but again available medic advice same. 31 Dec (New Year’s Eve) 740ml drained from seroma. 3 days later, 440ml drained. 4 days later, a further 510ml and on Friday, a further 350ml. That’s in excess of 2,000ml/2 litres of fluid drained within well less than two weeks. Drained fluid looks ‘clear’ but red coloured - no signs of infection - seroma site continues to fill and there is now more sign of skin discolouration. No real pain on draining - but significant discomfor between draining when seroma refills. Any thoughts? Situation is pretty dire!

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Jan 12, 2020 10:11PM margo53 wrote:

I also had a seroma that was awful for me but not as much fluid drained as you. Bless your heart! ❤️It’s so painful. Mine started 10 days after surgery and I had to have it drained two times. My surgeon told me to put a heating pad on it for one and a half hours every day. All at one time, not split up at small intervals. I really don’t know if it helped but it finally resolved itself. Surgeon also told me not to be using it a lot, no lifting. Sometimes it still feels swollen but it’s not building up with fluid. Mine was the same color as what you described. Mine was not infected but dr prescribed strong antibiotics anyway.

My skin was also discolored....red, not hot, never had fever.

Where do you live?

Feel free to ask anything else... it will resolve

Margo Dx 8/13/2019, IDC, Left, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Surgery 9/23/2019 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 12/2/2019 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy Breast
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Jan 14, 2020 09:04PM Ashawk wrote:

Hi, thanks for your response - seroma still continues - another 420ml today - it’s good to hear that there might be light at the end of the tunnel! Greetings from the UK. Nobody seems to be so ‘productive’ as me though - what’s wrong with me? How do I stop the flow

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Jan 15, 2020 02:52AM DorothyB wrote:

Ashawk, That is a HUGE amount to be drained. I remember how big my breast was and they didn't remove that much for it to get down to "semi-normal" size. I hope yours resolves quickly.


I was drained a total of 5 times. At this point, I have a definite seroma, but it is pretty much confined to the lumpectomy area and my breast doesn't look abnormal when I am wearing bra and clothing. Still hoping it resolves the rest of the way. I go back to surgeon in May. I guess they will drain it again

Diag. 4/19/2019 ER+ PR+ HER2 neg Lumpectomy 5/29/2019 IDC w/ DICS 2.0 cm Grade 3

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