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Has anyone had a senoma form after surgery? How long does it continue to swell? (they drained it for me once)

P C Profile
Asked by

anonymous

Stage 0 Patient almost 7 years
 
  • Coco Smith Profile
    anonymous
    Learning About Breast Cancer
    I developed a seroma quickly after surgery. I continued to feel pressure in the surgical scar. A few months after surgery I there was a visible swelling in the scare. I had an ultrasound that found the seroma. I then raised it with my Breast Surgeon who explained around 40% of women ended up with seromas - a pertinent medical fact I thought should have been mentioned prior to surgery but about which I will not make a fuss because he did a great job. The seroma was most uncomfortable around six months after surgery. I am 16 months post surgery now and it is uncomfortable occasionally only. I suspect this is hormonally and fluid dependent. I am normally not brilliant at healing after getting a cut, scratch etc so I have been pleasantly surprised at how little trouble the seroma is these days. I was offered a needle aspiration by my GP around the time the seroma was at its most intense however he warned me that having the fluid drawn out can make some seromas fill faster and bigger, so making it worse and also said any needle into flesh carries a risk of infection into my surgical scar. He felt most seromas spontaneously regress of their own accord especially those like mine that are not toughly encapsulated. Weighing up the pros and cons I elected not to aspirate.It has been shrinking away to almost nothing these past 6 months. I'm therefore glad I left it alone. My seroma was classified as small. If it was a large one and more incapacitating I may have made a different decision.
    over 6 years Flag
    • P C Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 0 Patient

      Thanks! The doctor drained the one that was really bad under my armpit from the sentinal node biopsy site. One also developed within the area where the DCIS was removed at surgery. He recommended not touching that one for the same reason you...

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      Thanks! The doctor drained the one that was really bad under my armpit from the sentinal node biopsy site. One also developed within the area where the DCIS was removed at surgery. He recommended not touching that one for the same reason you cited above. I feel a bit better, but there is still pain and the one under my armpit has returned. It is still painful, but nothing like it was before. I am on meds for the pain. I will be having radiation treatments before too long - currently waiting on the paperwork for the referral to the radiation oncologist to flow through. I know I have a long road ahead of me. I am a fighter, so I will just have to deal with what comes up. Thanks for the information! Several people have responded and I truly appreciate their input as well. It is good to know that this happens to other people and I agree, they should let people know about this seroma thing before hand - It scared me really bad at first!

      over 6 years Flag
    • Coco Smith Profile
      anonymous
      Learning About Breast Cancer

      I suspect that all the sitting around a lot of us do after surgery can increase the fluid build up in the seroma. I noticed mine started shrinking fastest when I was moving around a lot and specifically when I got back into a more normal exercise...

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      I suspect that all the sitting around a lot of us do after surgery can increase the fluid build up in the seroma. I noticed mine started shrinking fastest when I was moving around a lot and specifically when I got back into a more normal exercise routine that I had before cancer. The yoga stretch class and swimming seemed to help the most. I know you don't feel like exercising oftentimes especially when you are still recovering and more treatment is happening, or you still hurt but there is no law that says just because you attend eg., a yoga class you have to do every pose. Just do what you feel you can cope with to get the fluid draining out of your body and the seroma - even if its walking around the block slowly. The yoga stretches also helped me get about 95% of the movement back in to the arm and shoulder affected by the sentinel node biopsy. This may sound hard, but I attended my first post surgical yoga class three days after lumpectomy and SNB because I wanted to get some stretch into the scar tissue as it was forming so it did not set tightly and go on restricting my range of movement. Obviously I could not lay flat on my front and had to modify many poses, but the yoga did keep the scar tissue from balling into a tight knot.

      over 6 years Flag
  • Gail Horton Profile
    anonymous
    Learning About Breast Cancer
    I had a small seroma that would swell and reduce over and over again. I finally had my surgeon aspirate the fluid out once and that seemed to help the pocket heal and close up. Depending on how large yours is, you may be able to have the same done for you.
    over 6 years Flag
  • Adrienne private Profile
    anonymous
    Stage 3C Patient
    Yes, I developed a small one. My surgeon aspirated it. I should have brought a driver because the local anesthetic made me very dizzy. The surgeon hadvme sleep in her office til I was ok. It Wasserstein simple procedure and I had little pain afterwards.
    over 6 years Flag
    • P C Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 0 Patient

      Hi Adrienne - Thanks for the information. That is good you had little pain afterward. Unfortunately, I still have pain with the ones I have, but no where as bad as it was before the surgeon drained it. He told me it will eventually shrink away...

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      Hi Adrienne - Thanks for the information. That is good you had little pain afterward. Unfortunately, I still have pain with the ones I have, but no where as bad as it was before the surgeon drained it. He told me it will eventually shrink away to nothing, so that is where I am right now, just dealing with it. I am thankful it is not as bad as it was at first!

      over 6 years Flag
  • Alison Johnson Profile
    anonymous
    Survivor since 2009
    Great information Coco. I saw a pain specialist who prescribed the lidoderm patch, though both my medical oncologist and my primary care nurse practitioner have said they would prescribe as well. It was the pain specialist who came up with the idea in the first place. I am on a very small dose now, 1/4 of a patch and I wear it for 12 hours per day. I know 2 years is a long time, but I was afraid I would never be pain free and have been pleased that progress and healing are possible even two years later. I kept moving back the vicodan dose, until I got pretty good relief from 1/2 vicodan plus one tylenol. Tylenol is no joke either, very hard on the liver. I was 2 years and 2 months out from the last day of treatment before I was able to give up all vicodan and tylenol and just use the patch. Hang in there! I think only the survivors know the whole story on healing.
    over 6 years Flag
    • P C Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 0 Patient

      Thanks. I am going to ask the doctor about that patch. The next doctor I am supposed to see is the oncologist for radiation, so he/she will be the one I ask. Since Coco told me about the oxicodone, I am going to ask the oncologist if I need to...

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      Thanks. I am going to ask the doctor about that patch. The next doctor I am supposed to see is the oncologist for radiation, so he/she will be the one I ask. Since Coco told me about the oxicodone, I am going to ask the oncologist if I need to take further pain meds to change me back to vicodan. That is what I had initially. I was in a great deal of pain before they drained the seroma and that is when they changed it to the other and added 800 mg ibuprophen. Pray for me next week. I go back to work and I hope I can handle it. I work behind a computer screen (legal transcription for the city), so hopefully it won't be too bad. I just do not want to get stressed out because that makes the pain flare up more sometimes.

      over 6 years Flag
    • Alison Johnson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2009

      You will certainly be in my prayers. I went back to work early, but it made me feel more normal. I understand from many survivors that tiredness and sleeplessness are the most commont complaints in that first year, so I will tell you early -...

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      You will certainly be in my prayers. I went back to work early, but it made me feel more normal. I understand from many survivors that tiredness and sleeplessness are the most commont complaints in that first year, so I will tell you early - Tylenol PM and Advil PM really work!

      over 6 years Flag
    • P C Profile
      anonymous
      Stage 0 Patient

      Hi Alison!
      Thanks! I will purchase the tylenol PM and advil PM on Tuesday. I have to sleep in the daytime (my work hours are 11 PM (AZ time) to 7 AM. I don't have too much trouble sleeping these days ***laughing***, but you never know when it...

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      Hi Alison!
      Thanks! I will purchase the tylenol PM and advil PM on Tuesday. I have to sleep in the daytime (my work hours are 11 PM (AZ time) to 7 AM. I don't have too much trouble sleeping these days ***laughing***, but you never know when it will happen!

      Oh, I received my approval from my insurance to continue my treatment via radiation, so Today (after 8 AM) I will be calling the office they have referred me to and making the initial appointment. I'll update on what is going on with that as it goes.

      The pain from my seroma is slowing becoming less. I am still on the meds though, so when I go back to work and no longer taking them during waking hours - will tell the tale - better or the same. I did try some pain cream - aspercream - yellow tube (can't spell it right I am sure LOL) - and it had helped too!

      Oh, I also started wearing one of those softer bras too. It is called Lamaze bra - meant for new mom's, but it really has helped not having pressure on my chest.

      Well, chat with you later! Thanks so much for your prayers!

      Hugs to You,
      P (Paula)

      over 6 years Flag
    • Alison Johnson Profile
      anonymous
      Survivor since 2009

      Hi Paula,

      It's 100 little things to keep yourself comfortable and keep yourself going, isn't it? I folded up old flannel squares and put them in my bra for awhile. I never thought of trying one of those pain creams, what a good idea. I hope your...

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      Hi Paula,

      It's 100 little things to keep yourself comfortable and keep yourself going, isn't it? I folded up old flannel squares and put them in my bra for awhile. I never thought of trying one of those pain creams, what a good idea. I hope your return to work goes well for you.
      Radiation can leve you with tender skin. I went to Target and talked to the pharmacist. She recommended eucerin cream, I thought it really helped.

      over 6 years Flag
  • Lynn Averett  Profile
    anonymous
    Learning About Breast Cancer
    My seroma blew two weeks post lumpectomy. Now four months post op I still have a non healing wound due to the seroma. I believe my surgeon should have put in a drain to begin with.
    over 1 year Comment Flag

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