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Fluid build up, swollen, about to see Oncologist for 1st time

Sun Whitey
Posts: 36
Joined: Jan 2013

I had a modified radical mastectomy on the 26th of Feb.  Since the drainage tubes (2) were removed, a lot of fluid has built up under my arm and sutures.  It's almost like my breast is trying to regenerate myself!   I have contacted the surgeon, who says if it is not red, warm, painful or showing signs of infection then not to worry as it will take about a month for the fluids to reabsorb back into my body.  I'm fine with that, as I don't want to risk infection with drainage from an incisional needle.  I see my oncologist for the first time on Wednesday, who I am assuming will set up my chemo.  Will the excess fluid build up delay my chemo treatments?  Is anyone else dealing with this situation?

McMarty's picture
Posts: 212
Joined: Nov 2012

I'm glad your oncologist will SEE it on Wed.  Sometimes what you're actually experiencing doesn't translate well over the phone or emails.  I don't know if it will interfere with chemo, but you will on Wed.  I really hope it resolves without intervention for you and REAL SOON!   No one needs a random breast under their armpit!

Keep us posted!

Alexis F's picture
Alexis F
Posts: 3602
Joined: May 2009

Good luck on Wednesday!  I hope your onco has a resolution for this and an easy one.


Posts: 3659
Joined: Aug 2009

Not at all unusual when drains are taken out too soon.  One of my drains was taken out at 2 weeks post surgery with no problems, the other was still drainiing more than ideal at 4 weeks but surgeon wanted to take it out anyway as he thought that the  drain was irritating the area.  Well - I developed a large seroma.  He drainied it several times and it was still visiable about a year later on a CAT.  I was in 12 weekly Taxol when it developed and did not effect my infusions at all.  

Winyan - The Power Within


Noel's picture
Posts: 3100
Joined: Apr 2009

It does sound like it could be seroma.  Good luck with your appointment and post an update.

DogmaWI's picture
Posts: 10
Joined: Jan 2013

Hi Sun, 

I too, had fluid buildup after the tubes were removed after a modified radical mastectomy.  It was very tight and uncomfortable, and I had out drained twice.  They warned me about the risk of infection, but I wanted relief, and it was a risk I was willing to take.  The relief was instantaneous!  I want to tell you that exercising, stretching and massaging the armpit and scar area is very important.  Start slowly and stretch and hold for five to ten seconds.  Physical therapy for the prevention of Lymphadema is highly beneficial, so ask your Dr. For a referral.  We are at increased risk for developing this condition, and moving that fluid through daily self-massage and stretching to prevent tightness and restriction of movement is critical!  PT has been very helpful to me,and I highly recommend it, if your insurance covers it.  The therapist will show you what to do, give you homework, and monitor your progress.  


DianeBC's picture
Posts: 3886
Joined: Jun 2009

Good luck today too! 

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