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Topic: Underarm seroma ?

Forum: Lymphedema — Risks, tips for prevention, and info about products that can address the symptoms of lymphedema.

Posted on: Feb 3, 2018 02:53PM

Veeder14 wrote:

This is day 8 after my lumpectomy. Although this might just be swelling, I have a round lump that is pretty big as in diameter starting at the steri strips and going further up into my underarm, no swelling in my arm or hand. I had a horrible problem after my melanoma surgery with seromas in my upper leg but no swelling in my ankle or feet. I don't want to go through that again. Is there any way to prevent this from getting larger in my underarm?

How do I obtain a sleeve for flying or if I need it to wear during the day? Would I need a doctor's order?

Dx 1/2/2018, ILC, Left, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/25/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 3/7/2018 Hormonal Therapy 6/30/2018
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Feb 3, 2018 03:12PM ceanna wrote:

veeder, sorry to hear about the seroma. With your history of seromas, you may want to contact your surgeon's office asap and see what they have to say. I experienced an underarm seroma after lumpectomy but it went away during rads when it broke open and drained (not recommended!). I had also had it drained by surgeon before rads. Because it was under my arm, my surgeon had me wear a mass, like several pads or wadded dressings by taping or under clothes in the arm pit area--just to gently compress area. Unless yours is in a different spot, I don't think a sleeve would have helped me.

Dx 2014, IDC, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Radiation Therapy Multi-catheter Surgery Lumpectomy: Right
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Feb 3, 2018 03:17PM Micmel wrote:

I had and still have one. For a while the nerves will bother you. I went immediately to physical therapy to get ahead of it and get it wrapped and prevent it from getting into your arm and hand. I was lucky that mine was managed at first thought of it. Talk to your Breast surgeon ASAP and ask to start physical therapy so they can manually help you drain the fluid that is collecting. Sometimes, which I learned it was also tissue. The tissue never changed and the fluid went down. I got the sleeve fromThe physical therapist and they gave me a tube stocking to wear, that worked better than the $60 sleeve. You may need a little wrapping to prevent it from moving into your arm. An evaluation might be a good preventative measure. I wish you the best darling. Take one day at a time, i know the discomfort it brings. Hugs ~M~

Dx 1/22/2016, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 2, 13/35 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 2/10/2016 AC Surgery 6/21/2016 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 7/20/2016 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Targeted Therapy 11/7/2016 Ibrance (palbociclib) Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery Chemotherapy Chemotherapy
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Feb 3, 2018 03:40PM Kft73 wrote:

I have had seroma difficulties for the last 8 months. I've had them drained several times and finally found a wonderful physical therapist who, with massage, sleeves, gloves finally got the seroma under control. Twice a day, I use a compression machine for 1 hour. I wear a heavy duty sleeve and glove during the day. At night I wear a puffy compression sleeve, wrapped in several layers of Ace bandages and I wrap my hand and fingers in an elastic gauze. Everything I do, I learned from my wonderful physical therapist. I suggest you you speak to your dr. And get into physical therapy. All the best to you. -

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Feb 3, 2018 05:53PM Veeder14 wrote:

Kft73 & Micmel,

Thanks for the tips. What is a compression machine? Do you buy it or rent it? I have an app't with the surgeon on Thursday and definitely speak to him about this. I guess I was sort of lucky with the leg that my lower leg and ankle didn't swell up.

Dx 1/2/2018, ILC, Left, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/25/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 3/7/2018 Hormonal Therapy 6/30/2018
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Feb 3, 2018 06:18PM VLH wrote:

Veeder, my oncologist referred me to a therapist who specializes in lymphedema care. The therapist referred me to a fitter at a shop that carries compression sleeves, gloves, wigs, etc. A Lymphedema pump costs about $5,000 so I doubt insurance would pay for one related to a small seroma appearing within days of surgery. I hope all goes well for you.

Lyn


Dx 5/20/2016, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 7/14/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Dx 7/18/2016, DCIS, Left, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes Surgery 7/25/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Chemotherapy 10/10/2016 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 9/5/2017 Whole-breast: Breast
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Feb 3, 2018 06:22PM Veeder14 wrote:

Thanks VLH, wow, those units a lot. I can ask for a referral for a sleeve which I think I need when flying. This lymph fluid stuff is no joke. The seromas I had before got infected and I was in the ER and really sick so looking for answers before that happens again.

Dx 1/2/2018, ILC, Left, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/25/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 3/7/2018 Hormonal Therapy 6/30/2018
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Feb 3, 2018 06:57PM VLH wrote:

I'm glad that you're being proactive. My seroma got infected when the surgeon drained it. I ultimately had to have a PICC line and IV antibiotics and chemo was delayed a month so, yes, nip it in the bud!

I was told to wear my sleeve and glove for two hours before and five hours after flying. I don't know if that's a universal recommendation.

Best of luck, Lyn

Dx 5/20/2016, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 7/14/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Dx 7/18/2016, DCIS, Left, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes Surgery 7/25/2016 Lumpectomy: Left Chemotherapy 10/10/2016 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 9/5/2017 Whole-breast: Breast
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Feb 3, 2018 08:48PM Veeder14 wrote:

Hi VLF,

I had 3 seromas in my upper leg, they were drained 3 different times, but eventually got infected. I developed cellulitis on the skin over the seromas. Was given IV antibiotics but should have never been discharged from the ER, should have been admitted to the hospital. Was on vacation and flew home and just made it in time to the surgeon as the cellulitis was spreading and all the seromas were horribly infected. Had surgery right away to get the infection out and then had to pack the wound daily at home for 3 weeks. Not a fun time but got rid of the seromas for good.

I still don't understand why the doctors don't know how to treat this type of problem. I now know why they don't want to drain the seromas, but mine would have never ever drained on it's own. I'll let you know what happens.


Dx 1/2/2018, ILC, Left, <1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 1/25/2018 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Radiation Therapy 3/7/2018 Hormonal Therapy 6/30/2018
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Feb 4, 2018 01:52AM - edited Feb 4, 2018 01:59AM by hugz4u

Hi all, so many good questions here. I'm a newbie on seromas so sorry I can't help.

Your therapist will recommend garments if you need one. For a lymphedema sleeve and hand garment or other compression equipment etc you get a doc note saying you need one for management of lymphedema. Then you get a fitter to measure you to get a custom fit. Sometimes a PT or lymphedema therapist is experienced in this tricky job otherwise they will recommend you to someone who has taken a fitters course. Start off by wearing a hour or two a day till you get use to it and increase time till your comfy.

You can get a off the shelf garment cheaper but the key is it must fit like a second skin to work proper. Brightlifedirect.com is a site us girls use here for off the shelf productsbecause they have excellent returns.

For those trying to prevent LE while flying. Put on arm and hand garment a hour or two before flight and wear a couple hours after. No lugging heavy luggage please. Get strong cute man to lift so you don't set off a le flare! For those with LE already, wear as usual, first thing in morn till just before bed daily. I have trunk and breast le so I wear a super tight compression tee to contain swell and bit of discomfort. All This varies a bit. I wear my gloves and sleeves 12 hours dailybecause that works for me.

For those not knowing about wrapping. This is for trying to get a swell down and your arm to a smaller size to get fitted to a garment or a flare control. Your fingers are usually wrapped in gause and your arm in bandage liner, foam padding and short stretch banadages specially made to drain fluid. NEVER ACE bandages, those are incorrect and dont let anyone near you with those. You will wear fo 24/7 for a three weeks or so to get arm small as you can and a few days or so to control a flare.

Drainage machines are usually reserved for those who can't manage their le with just standard garments, MLD and self drainage exercise and wrapping. It's a great tool but expensive and not always necessary. Your therapist will tell you if you need it. Usually it's if you've tried all the tricks above with no success and is an additional tool in your kit.

If you ever have symptoms such as achy flu like or redness around a wound and it grows quickly it could be dangerous cellulitis. Go to ER asap and say you have lymphedema and are prone to cellulitis an extremely dangerous thing. They will put you on strong antibiotics. This is no joke make ER understand.

To get further educated our lovely girls here made website site called stepup-speaking.org. Do visit.

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Feb 5, 2018 04:32PM mudd wrote:

I am almost three months out from bmx and have a tiny underarm seroma that all my drs said is too small to drain and to either gently massage when showering or put a little heat compression but told me tobasically ignore it. Does this sound like a lymphedema risk? They all say no. I had a snl biopsy with one node removed which was clean. Confused

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