Post mastectomy help

MoosieMoosie Taree Nsw Member Posts: 21
I had left mastectomy two weeks ago and everything seems to be going well except I have seroma (swelling around scar) Hope that’s right and the dr is regularly draining fluid. My chest is really tight is this normal?  Should I try to wear a bra or not?  All help appreciated. Lyn 


  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 923
    Good that the drain is still functioning but a seroma means that your helpful body (it really is trying to help!) is creating more healing fluid than you can drain. Keep an eye on it and tell your medical team. It's not unusual and may be causing the tightness but it's wise to get these things checked. A bra won't necessarily help and may be uncomfortable at this stage, but trying is unlikely to do any harm. 
  • MoosieMoosie Taree Nsw Member Posts: 21
    Thanks. The drain came out Friday and the dr still took 250ml in syringe. I now have a boob under my arm. It’s not painful just uncomfortable. 
  • AllyJayAllyJay Member Posts: 104
    @Moosie, My chest still felt like I was wearing a really tight bra for about a month after my bilateral mastectomy. Also had a repeating seroma on the left side and called my new boob "Frankentitty". It will eventually settle.
  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 923
    I know that one well! Most dissipate by themselves but sometimes they don't - with the best of intentions medicos may be happy to leave it to sort itself out, and there is a caution about aspiration (taking out the fluid once the drain has gone) as it might introduce infection. But you are the one with the lump and the sloshing, and if it stays for too long it can encourage infection anyway as we all have potentially harmful bacteria in our bodies anyway. So see how you go and remind your medicos to keep if in mind. Best wishes.
  • ZoffielZoffiel Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 883
    Seroma can be a trial. Some of us leak for longer than others. It's very important to keep track of what is going on--keep notes of the amount of fluid that was withdrawn and when. All this stuff is on your record, of course, but having those figures at your fingertips is helpful if this blows out into a situation that needs fixing. The underarm boob thing is creepy--i had one that persisted for weeks. Because of the nerve damage from the surgery it wasn't painful and I had it drained about twelve times before it finally buggered off. What a nuisance. Hope yours resolves quickly.

     I don't know a bra will help, I tried a racer back sports bra thinking the compression would help, then I couldn't get the bloody thing off. I felt like I was being eaten by a boa constrictor. I coudnt make my arm bend the right way to pull it over my head and the pressure was unbearable. Being a racer back I couldn't roll it down and step out of it. In the end I made it to the kitchen with one arm stuck over my head and a Lycra tourniquet wrapped around my body and took to it with the chicken scissors. Brings a sweat to my brow even now, just thinking about it.
  • MoosieMoosie Taree Nsw Member Posts: 21
    What an amazing group of women here. Thank you so much. It’s often hard to know what to put up with and what to have investigated. I’ve had a front opening bra on for a couple of hours and that’s enough for today!  Thanks for support and suggestions. Certainly makes it easier knowing what you have already been through. 
  • LynJoanLynJoan Member Posts: 11
    I have just had my second mastectomy and with both had the drains. I still have it in now.
    i was advised not to wear a bra till the drain was out, as it is more comfortable especially with the scar still having steri strips on it.
    i am now completely flat chested, so will have to wait till I try my bras on that open at the front.
    i am going to try knitted knockers in the bras.
    Does anyone have any other suggestions as to what to use in the bras?
  • LMK74LMK74 BrisbaneMember Posts: 508
    Hi @LynJoan, I had a right mastectomy in August and haven't yet been fitted for a prosthetic. I am using old pantyhose cut up with polystyrene micro beads inside. Works well for now and you can easily adjust them. Just don't tie of the ends to tightly.
  • TonyaMTonyaM Member Posts: 2,462
    Hi ladies, I used the soft form with filling that came with the free Berlei post surgery bra that BCNA posted out(my care kit).Moosie,I had a seroma on the scar line of my mastectomy for about 5weeks. It needed draining twice a week,then once a week and it gradually went away.I wore a singlet while that was happening. At 6 weeks I got fitted for a prosthesis and felt much better and confident. To this day(7 yrs later)I still feel tight across my chest and numb under my arm. Trying to find clothes with higher necklines is always a challenge too.
  • MoosieMoosie Taree Nsw Member Posts: 21
    Thanks TonyaM. I have started wearing a post surgery bra hoping it might help with the fluid build up.  I was hoping the tightness was temporary though. I am seeing an OT/physio who specialises in mastectomy tomorrow so I hope she has some suggestions too.  So good to hear from women who have been there done that! Helps so much. Thanks. 
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