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Hi, new here. Just had bilateral mastectomy and want to know about swelling?

Posts: 7
Joined: Nov 2012

I found out in 1999 that I had LCIS from a stereotactic biopsy. In 2000, I had a lumpectomy to remove calcifications which were DCIS. At that time I had a partial mastectomy to get a clear margin.
I had a lumpectomy in 2008 to remove calcifications which were benign.
In October 2012 I had another lumpectomy which showed Micro-invasive DCIS And in November 12, 2012 I had a bilateral mastectomy.

I am very very swollen to the point on my left side to the point that it doesn't even look like I had a mastectomy! Is this common?

Posts: 42
Joined: Oct 2012

Do you still have your drains in, if so are they draining well, i had my bilaterl 9/21/12 i had to have a drain in my left side, the affected side, for over a month, still have drainage from a ruptured suture line which i pack 2x day, lord know for how long, but if it looks like a boob, you need to see surgeon again. so sorry you have to go through this but its the price we pay to live. be sure to check back in with surgeon, hope all goes well, let us know, big hugs

Posts: 7
Joined: Nov 2012

Yes I still have four drain tubes in. I find them very uncomfortable. The breast that is swollen is where they also took out lymph nodes. I thought maybe that was why it was swollen so much. I'll call Dr. in the morning thanks.

Posts: 1129
Joined: Dec 2010

I would call your surgeon right away in the morning. Make sure you tell him/her,, any unusual color or odor to the fluid that may seep out. And make sure you tell your surgeon how bad your swelling is and demand an appointment to check you out! I think you need to be seen.

Posts: 7
Joined: Nov 2012

Thanks cinnamon I'll call my doctor in the morning! Did you have a lot of swelling with yours? What helped with pain?

salls41's picture
Posts: 340
Joined: Apr 2012

I did not have any swelling with my bi lateral.. sounds like you need to get some extra fluid drained out.
Good luck to you!

Posts: 1129
Joined: Dec 2010

I have pain from Lymphedema and from nerve damage from the SNB, and from scar tissue adhesions that keep forming.

It would help if you describe exactly what your pain feels like (nerve zaps, skin hypersensitivity, burning, feeling like you've been hit by a baseball bat are what I have) and where you feel it.

Different kinds of medicines work on certain kinds of pain. Let us know what you feel and where. Maybe we can help.

VickiSam's picture
Posts: 8821
Joined: Aug 2009

bilateral -- I remember my bilateral as if it was performed, yesterday.

Swelling is normal, however, it seems that you may be swollen to the point of concern.
Lymph nodes removal, drains, etc. all play into that uncomfortable feeling. May I ask, do you have tissue expander? Let me re-phase that ...

did you Plastic Surgeon insert Tissue Expanders at the time of surgery?

I was instructed to sleep on my back -- no side sleeping, or stomach, not saying
that this is what you have been doing.

Are you draining much fluid?

Are you running a fever?

I would recommend that you contact your Surgeon -- now, it doesn't matter what
time of day, or night it is. ... request to speak with him/her .. express your

We are all different .. and our individual bodies react differently to chemo, radiation,
surgery -- Please take nothing for granted.

Take care,

Please update us when possible.

Vicki Sam

Posts: 7
Joined: Nov 2012

Hi, yes, they inserted tissue expanders. Spoke with The PA this morning. She said people often have swelling with the mastectomy with the tissue expanders especially if lymph nodes were removed. I also noticed it's swollen around the drain tubes in my breast area. I am seeing the plastic surgeon Wednesday morning so hopefully he'll take the drains out. Thanks for all your help and advice. I'll keep you posted

Posts: 1129
Joined: Dec 2010

Very good idea to bring up whether or not there was reconstruction! I understand that can bring on it's own set of pain symptoms. I totally forgot! Glad you are on the ball!!

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