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Topic: How long is it normal to have swelling after excision biopsy?

Forum: Not Diagnosed but Worried —

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Posted on: May 1, 2012 02:12PM

Mebelissa wrote:

Hello!  Brief version of my history - I felt a lump in August last year, had a core needle biopsy, which was benign.  Did a 6 month follow up mammogram and ultrasound that showed the area had gotten larger.  Did an excision biopsy on March 19th, small area about 1.5 cm on the outside of my left breast near my armpit.   Results were benign. Three weeks later (April 5th) found a skin colored "hive" looking area on the inside of my left breast. It was slightly red and the skin all around was yellow like an old bruise. The whole breast had swollen almost overnight.  There was no swelling for the first 3 weeks post op. My bra made horrible line indendtations on the left breast, but not on the right.  So I had a punch biopsy which was also benign.  The breast surgeon who did my biopsy said she thought it was a hematoma that had formed on the inside of my incision (upper left outside) and somehow drifted down and to the right (lower inside) and that was what was causing the swelling, raised area, and yellowing skin.   So now 6 weeks post op, the breast is still swollen, no better at all. The skin also feels much thicker in this area.  So for those of you who have had excision biopies, is it normal to not have swelling at first, then for it to develop and still be around 6 weeks post biopsy? 

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May 1, 2012 11:56PM , edited May 2, 2012 12:04AM by leaf

I had some 'thickening' around the incision site for *months*.  I had hematomas on all my core biopsies and excisional.  Almost all my pathology reports reported blood in the sample.  After each core, I would look down and see that I was dripping blood into a bucket below me. The beautiful autumnal colors (black, purple, green, yellow) went on for months-it takes your body some time to reabsorb the heme iron (in hemoglobin) from the blood. The incision was on the top of my breast, but the hematomas (the black/purple/green/yellow) leaked down to the lower part of my breast - I assume this was gravity.  It took me months for my incision area to turn to normal, but after maybe 6-9 months, there was only a slight pink scar.  .  After a month or so, I gently massaged it.  Eventually it all became soft; you can hardly see it now.

While breasts were not designed to have excisional biopsies, they were designed to be poked, etc (from breast feeding, etc.)

Your mileage may vary, but this is what happened to me.

Classic LCIS.If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them- Isaac Asimov Dx 12/8/2005, LCIS, ER+/PR- Surgery 1/24/2006 Lumpectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 7/15/2006 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone)
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May 2, 2012 12:24AM stephN wrote:

I had my excisional biopsy in July and a re-excision in August.  My breasts were relatively similar in size, even though one had a huge chunk cut out of it, until about a month ago when the swelling finally went down.  Haha!  I also had radiation on that side...it's been quite abused in the last six-nine months, but I'd say there's probably still some residual swelling.  It's still sore in places. 

I do hope you get some relief soon.   

DX 7/12/11 DCIS w/IDC microinvasion, Stage 1, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+
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May 2, 2012 09:50AM Mebelissa wrote:

Thanks for your replies!  What is strange about this is that it is on the complete opposite side of the breast where the excision was.   I have an appointment with the breast surgeon just to look at it to be sure it is okay and no infection.  Thanks again!