Seroma fluid build up

Aslett57Aslett57 Member Posts: 5
Afternoon everyone, I’m having problems with build up of fluid and am wondering how long it takes to,go away. My op was 8 weeks ago but five weeks in my seroma burst thru my incision and I ended up having day surgery to clean out and restitch it together again. I massage my breast every day seems to make no difference. Any suggestions . draining it .Fran


  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 2,597
    It can be drained but there is a chance of infection each time (as it may simply fill up again). Unfortunately there is also a chance of infection if it stays (natural bacteria in the body). If usually clears up in weeks but mine didn't. I tried massage rather late, but it did help. You need a qualified therapist though.  A lymphoedema therapist would be good. I ended up having surgery to clean it all out, which did work. Pity yours didn't stop the fluid too. 
  • kezmusckezmusc Member Posts: 1,300
    Hi Aslett57.  It can take months.  I was advised, that as long as it wasn't terribly painful, not to have it drained as it inevitably will recollect and poking needles in there can lead to infection.  My surgeon and breast care nurse said its very normal and if you can possibly let it reabsorb over time, it wil be a better cosmetic outcome. I have just had all my 12 month scans done and still signs of "an organising Seroma"  of about 40mm.  Keep on massaging as it softens things up a bit over time.
  • Aslett57Aslett57 Member Posts: 5
    Thank you for your insight. Currently breast very red and hot also very firm ...not sure if body is rejecting implant see
     doctor tomorrow.
  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 5,186
    Glsd you are seeing a Doctor. Sounds like an infection. 
  • alexinbrisbanealexinbrisbane Member Posts: 222
    Hi @Aslett57 - I hope your visit to the doc today was okay. Red and hot are not good signs but hopefully it's not implant rejection. Fingers crossed for you
    All the best. Alex xx
  • Aslett57Aslett57 Member Posts: 5
    Thanks Alex, Now on different antibiotics monitoring it see doctor  again on Friday. Thank Fran x
  • viking1viking1 Perth, Western Australia, NORMember Posts: 288
    My lumpectomy was in June and I still have a seroma but it is getting smaller. I plan on taking it up with the breast physio asap as the one standing in for her called it a haematoma.  Need an officialish diagnosis.  I do get a bit of pain but it is nowhere near as bad as my underarm axillary clearance scar pain.  That is constant and am going to ask if I need referral to masseuse. Codeine just gives me constipation which gives me rectal bleeding TMI and makes me think this just goes round in circles.  Coloxyl by itself is good for softening stools but was warned that with continued use of senna and coloxyl, some people are losing use of natural sphincter propulsion.  Plus I find laxatives just give me diarrhoea!
  • Kat09Kat09 Melbourne Member Posts: 203
    I had a left mastectomy and aux clearance almost 8 weeks ago and have a seroma near my pec muscle. I have being seeing a lymphatic physio for several weeks and have found her to be an amazing help. Not only does she do lymphatic massage and help with any cording that has flared up along the way ( none now at all ) she has also started massaging my scar to help that heal and desensitise.  All my specialists want the seroma to disappear on it's own, surgeon, breast care nurse, oncologist and GP. Other than being slightly annoying and uncomfortable at times, especially at the end of the day it causes me no issues. In saying that I can't wait for it to disappear completely, it is slowly getting smaller each week now though.
  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 2,597
    Excellent to hear. My lymphoedema therapist is keen to develop better understanding among oncologists and surgeons that specialized massage can help with a seroma. I had mine for 12 months ending in surgery - exteme of course, but having finally got to massage treatment, it was clearing well before the last infection struck. A bit of cross disciplinary learning can be very useful.
  • jewel-eejewel-ee Member Posts: 58
    Hi @Afraser
    was your lymphoedema therapist an OT or Physio? My seroma that has developed around my mastectomy scar increased in size during chemo and is not showing any signs of decreasing. It is now 5mths post surgery and I am looking at massage to help.
    so glad to hear it helped you - I have no lymphodema at the moment.
    Thanks Jules
  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 2,597
    She's a physiotherapist specialising in lymphoedema and oncology related therapy. I can PM you with details if you are in Melbourne or she may be able to recommend someone elsewhere else. Disappearing on its own is great, but I found out the hard way that it's not just inconvenient if a seroma hangs around (mine just refilled when aspirated) but it's a potent incubator for infection. With hindsight my first infection started long before any aspiration, although that too is a bit of a risk. Anything that encourages natural dispersal is worth a shot. As my therapist says, there is no proven link between a seroma and lymphoedema, but it's hard to let the water out when the plug's still in the sink! Good luck.
  • RenathaRenatha Member Posts: 27
    edited July 2018
    I had my op (aux dissection) 8 weeks ago after having aux clearance & lumpectomy 4 years ago. Surgeon went through same scar and the area became red and hot. GP put me on antibiotics but got hospitalised for infection where they used ultrasound, local anesthetic and drained some fluid (which was tested and found to be free of any bugs) then was put on IV antibiotics followed by oral which were different to the ones the GP prescribed. I have been left with a seroma which at times is hard. The site is still uncomfortable and sensitive as well as being a bit pink. I've seen a BC experienced physio who has massaged the area and told me it is taking longer due to the radiation tx I had 4 years ago, have had oncology massages. I still wear bras most of the time. Hopefully it will settle in time.  :|
  • jewel-eejewel-ee Member Posts: 58
    unfortunately I am on the gold coast @Afraser - but I would appreciate any names of OTs or physios here. 

    I was speaking to my son, who is a recently qualified OT, who is going to talk to the OTs at his Brisbane clinic who have a lot of patients with post mastectomy swelling/lymphodema. It seems to be recent OT training that endorses massage as an effective treatment for both lymphodema and seroma. He echoes your therapist - the fluid, whether water or lymph, still needs to find  a way to drain past compromised/fewer lymph nodes and/or scar tissue. Those OTs might also be able to recommend therapists down my way.

    It's very reassuring to hear that lymph drainage was working for you (before the last infection).

    @Renatha - did your seroma develop 8 weeks post surgery and are you still having massages?

    thank you @Afraser and @Renatha

  • RenathaRenatha Member Posts: 27
    edited July 2018
    @jewel-ee I'm not sure as I had a drain in for 2 weeks, I don't think it was there then. It was when the surgeon removed the drain (though still losing fluid) that the BC nurse talked to me about the fluid filling the place where lymph nodes removed as being the body's natural reaction (seroma). Since then I've been told the long lump above the incision is scar tissue. The physio has given me some exercises which certainly help with some of the discomfort and keep my arms moving. All the best xo
  • jewel-eejewel-ee Member Posts: 58
    Well it took 13mths but the seroma finally disappeared and I'm finally wearing a bra and a prosthesis - very strange sensation indeed :-) Lymphatic drainage massage and using criss crossed tape was helpful for me. 
    And my breast surgeon referred me to a plastic surgeon for reconstruction options and I will have my first visit in a couple of weeks. It will be interesting to find out what my options may be and if there is a long waiting list for the public system at Tweed Heads. 
    SO glad to finally see the end of the seroma and I just have a small cording issue left.  i am a little hypermobile so it is difficult to stretch my arm enough to release the cord. However massage at full stretch is helping.
    Thank you all for your info and support.
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