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All TopicsForum: DCIS (Ductal Carcinoma In Situ) → Topic: Seroma after Mastectomy

Topic: Seroma after Mastectomy

Forum: DCIS (Ductal Carcinoma In Situ) — Just diagnosed, in treatment, or finished treatment for DCIS.

Posted on: Jun 25, 2009 04:06AM, edited Jun 25, 2009 04:08AM by Mom2Kate

Mom2Kate wrote:

Hi. Has anyone out there developed a seroma after their mastectomy? My drains stayed in for over 2 weeks post op which I think is longer than most ? I now have a seroma under my left arm and have to keep having it drained. How long can this thing last??

I was newly diagnosed with high grade DCIS left breast in May 2009. It was found on a routine screening mammogram! I am 4 week post left mastectomy. I have an appt. with my plastic surgeon tomorrow. I am having a prophylactic mastectomy on the right at the time of reconstruction. My tumor was ER/PR+ but I cannot take tamoxifen (as per my oncologist) because I have had a blood clot before. Therefore, I made the decision to have the mastectomy, to give myself the best chance possible. Some might think this is too aggressive as I had DCIS only in the left breast and MRI confirmed the right was clear. However, I had to choose what is best for me, what I could live with. Has anyone out there had a similar experience? I am so happy I found this site! I feel like I am no longer alone! Lisa

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Jun 25, 2009 04:46AM rubybuttons wrote:

I had hip drains in for 6 weeks (mx with immediate tram flap) and still developed a seroma in my abdomen. I had it drained by needle for about 6 weeks, hopefully yours will stop quicker than that since its under your arm.. I also had double MX for DCIS. I don't think it is too aggressive. I wanted the best chance possible too! Hope you have a smooth recovery after this next surgery.

Dx 10/15/2008, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/10 nodes, ER+
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Jun 25, 2009 10:09AM CAROLMARIE427 wrote:

Yes to both of your questions. I had a right mastectomy in September 2008 for DCIS.  I developed a seroma as well even though I had two drains in for close to four weeks.  I also had a nipple infection that opened up as a wound and the seroma drained through there.  I am also going to have a prophylactic mastectomy in three weeks (yikes!) for my "healthy" breast even though mammo and MRI show nothing.  I am BRCA negative but there are a few women in my family that had breast cancer.  Mentally, I cannot take the constant monitoring and testing.  I figured if I have to have surgery to reduce and lift, I may as well just take it off and have peace of mind.  I am deathly afraid of going through this again, but hopefully it will bring some comfort in the future.  Good luck to you.  

Dx 7/31/2008, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
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Jun 25, 2009 01:32PM Mom2Kate wrote:

rubybuttons-Thanks for your input! I feel better knowing that the seroma is not just something that happened to me ! AND that it will go away. Thanks for supporting my choice for double mx. It seems that some surgeons are in this breast conservation mode. I was discouraged by the medical community for choosing the double mx. I was told that all I needed was a lumpectomy and radiation. I researched the treatment options, and made the decisions that I felt was right for me. My BS agreed to do this, but he made me feel like it was overkill. Anyway, I say make a decision and don't look back. I am seeing the PS tomorrow. Is all of your reconstruction done? How are you doing now? Thanks for all of your support! Lisa

CAROLMARIE427-Wow, drains for 4 weeks would have killed me! I am having my prophylactic mastectomy in the next couple of weeks and my tissue expanders placed at the same time. So you and I will be going through this about the same time. I,too,felt that if I had to have the right breast lifted and tucked anyway to achieve symmetry,why not get rid of the breast and reduce the chance of getting cancer in the breast and have the best chance for symmetry. Some of the medical professionals made me feel like it was overkill, but it is not their body. I mentally need to have the maximum treatment available to give me the best chance. I stood my ground, and feel comfortable with my decisions. Hope you do well with your surgery. I will post my date after my PS visit tomorrow. Maybe we can keep each other going through this next treatment phase! I, too, never want to go through this again. Thanks for sharing! Lisa

Dx 5/11/2009, DCIS, 2cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+
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Jun 25, 2009 02:47PM rubybuttons wrote:

Mom2Kate, It makes me sad that the medical community made you feel like it was overkill. Wouldn't we all love to overkill cancer??? Happily my surgeon never questioned my decision. She knew I had family history and a sister in law in stage 4 and that was enough for her to understand where I was coming from. I also wanted to avoid radiation in case the cancer came back. Reconstruction would have been more difficult with radiated skin. You're right, no need to look back. If you are like me, your decision sat well with you and nothing else felt right. I hope your PS gives you a much more positive vibe, you will be seeing much more of the PS than the BS. My reconstruction is not done yet. I still need nips and tats but want to wait until my kids go back to college in the fall. Let us know how your appt goes tomorrowSmile

Dx 10/15/2008, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/10 nodes, ER+
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Jun 27, 2009 07:16AM libby wrote:

I too had a double mastectomy for what turned out to be DCIS.  At the time of biopsy it looked like microscopic IDC but it has been re-assessed to be DCIS but still with a question mark because the biopsy crushed the cells (it was pretty small).  I was told that was a good thing for me, for it to be so borderline - although I wouldn't have changed a thing I did.  I developed a seroma on both sides after 2 weeks of drains and continued to have them drained every week for several weeks.  I tried to take it easy to keep the fluid from developing more but it kept returning, finally to disappear after several weeks.  My surgeon said it is pretty common with skin sparing mastectomies since there is so much open space in there.  No one made me feel like it was overkill although the surgeon noted that more women have been going this route this year then he has seen previously in his practice.  By the way, the prophylactic breast had 1 mm of DCIS also, too small too show up on diagnostic testing yet.  I still wouldn't have changed what I did if the path was clear, but it made me feel extra good about my choice.

Dx 2/1/2009, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/5 nodes, ER-/PR-
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Jul 7, 2009 12:53AM Mom2Kate wrote:

Libby,

 Thanks for sharing your experience! My PS was much more supportive of my decision to have the DM for the DCIS. He said he has seen too much in his line of practice to ever discourage any woman from having the DM. I also had a skin sparing mastectomy, so that is why I had the seroma too. You are so blessed that you had the mastectomy on the "healthy breast" as it too had DCIS. This just confirms to me that this is the right course for me. Thanks again, I feel very confident that I made the right decision! 

Dx 5/11/2009, DCIS, 2cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+
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Jul 7, 2009 01:04AM Mom2Kate wrote:

Ruby buttons,

My PS gave me a much more positive vibe about choosing the DM. He said he has seen too much in his line of work to discourage any woman from having whatever they wish to have to give her the best chance. I was very pleased with him. I am having surgery on July 8, 09 for prophylactic mastectomy on the right, and immediate tissue expanders bilaterally at the same time. I wish my BS had been more supportive, as I could have had all of this done when I had my left mastectomy done and would be on my way to healing right now. It all happened so fast, from diagnosis to surgery, I didn't really have time to think through everything completely. I was in a state of shock with the diagnosis. I went in for a screening mammogram and the next day, I was in for a biopsy. The following day, I had the diagnosis of DCIS. Thanks for your support, it has helped me more than you can know! I never wanted to belong to the breast cancer club, but I have met some truly remarkable women through all of this, making this more bareable!

Dx 5/11/2009, DCIS, 2cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+
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Jul 7, 2009 11:54AM rubybuttons wrote:

Wow, surgery is coming up fast!

Lots of good vibes being sent your way for a complication free surgery and speedy recovery!! So glad you got the support from your PS Smile

Dx 10/15/2008, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/10 nodes, ER+