Post mastectomy help

Moosie Member Posts: 30
edited February 2018 in General discussion
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 


  • Afraser
    Afraser Member Posts: 4,268
    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. 
  • Moosie
    Moosie Member Posts: 30
    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. 
  • AllyJay
    AllyJay Member Posts: 931
    @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.
  • Afraser
    Afraser Member Posts: 4,268
    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.
  • Zoffiel
    Zoffiel Member Posts: 3,372
    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 It's very important to keep track of what is going on--keep notes of the amount of fluid that was withdrawn and when.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.
  • Moosie
    Moosie Member Posts: 30
    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. 
  • LynJoan
    LynJoan Member Posts: 13
    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?
  • LMK74
    LMK74 Member Posts: 795
    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.
  • TonyaM
    TonyaM Member Posts: 2,826
    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.
  • Moosie
    Moosie Member Posts: 30
    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. 
  • dbelle
    dbelle Member Posts: 19
    Hello ladies, I had right mastectomy almost 3 weeks ago and have been draining ever since! I had the last tube removed 2 weeks ago and then had a dish full of seroma drained at post op check up last week. My right chest area from the clavicle down to the bottom rib and my underarm has been swelling and getting tighter and shinier ever since. Last night, I developed asthma-like wheezing. I've woken up wheezing again this morning. My hubby is very worried but I'm guessing it just needs to be drained again. My question is do I wait till the specialists surgery opens or just turn up at the local ER? 
  • socoda
    socoda Member Posts: 1,767
    Hi @dbelle, I think it depends on how bad your wheezing is and if you're in a lot of pain? I'm assuming your specialist's surgery would open anywhere from 8:00 to 9:00am. How long would you wait in the ed?? If your starting to fret about the wheezing you could always ring the ed give them your symptoms and see what they recommend?? At least that can give you a bit more of an answer. Let's us know how you get on. Big hug. Xx Cath
  • Giovanna_BCNA
    Giovanna_BCNA Member Posts: 1,839
    Hi @dbelle,
    I will send you a private message.
  • dbelle
    dbelle Member Posts: 19
    Called my wonderful breast care nurse & she set me straight. The swelling was most likely to be stopping me from taking deep breaths & lying down all night would’ve made things worse. I got into see my breast surgeon late that afternoon & she drained loads of fluid from my chest & underarm. The relief was immediate & I’ve felt  so much better all day today. She’s going to see me twice a week from now on to keep on top of the swelling. Thanks for your responses xx
  • onemargie
    onemargie Member Posts: 1,264
    edited February 2018
    Hi there @Moosie and @dbelle. I had my left boob off (may 2016) that had the tumor in it along with 8 lymph nodes then 6 months later took the right one off no lymph nodes  as a prophylaxis and that’s the side I got the seroma in which surprised me. I had the drain in for two weeks for the left side but funnily enough it fell out on the kitchen floor one morning all by it’s self and scared the shit out of me!  Went to see the surgeon that day and thankfully all was ok. The right side I had the drain in for 10 days when I was reviewed and the surgeons registrar said to take it out as it increases infection staying in even though it was stil draining significant fluid I argued with him to leave it in until the two week mark but he insisted to take it out. So a few days later I got a seroma and it was painful as fuck! Anyway long story short ended up having 250mls drained and overnight stay in hospital on IV antibiotics. And no bra for sure its just too uncomfortable for me anyway. I have the crocheted titties now and much prefer them to to prosthetics. I also just bought a new bra from Belei it’s called the Chrissy bra (after Chrissy amphlett from the divynls) it’s the most comfortable bra I still have some issues with nerve discomfort and pain sometimes too. And @AllyJay love the frankentitty name.... bloody hilarious!!!   Margie. Xxx