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Mastectomy 8 days ago- seroma?

SkbrSkbr Member Posts: 31
Hi ladies, I’ve just had a mastectomy (8days ago) with a tissue expander (that has already been filled a lot - much more than I wanted - so my breast has been hard/round/tight for days). 

Yesterday my drain was removed even though it was still at 30-40. I feel like it may have been removed prematurely because my surgeon was going on holiday.. I’ve been in a bit of pain today, and finally looked down to see that my breast has ballooned a bit and is full of liquid. The skin and nipple is soft moving/hanging slightly because of all the fluid. The nurse called my surgeon and said “I had been told that this would happen” - that it would be “hot and tight”. 

1) I wasn’t told anything,  2) it’s not tight, it’s squishy and full like a balloon. 3) I’m in pain and don’t feel like I am being properly listened to. Is this a seroma? It feels and looks horrible, should I be concerned or is this normal?

I would really appreciate any advice x


  • HallaHalla Travancore, MelbourneMember Posts: 176
    Sorry to hear about that @skbr...I have not had a mastectomy so I can’t help there, but I can totally relate to your concerns about the timing and the surgeons holiday! And I have also found that my surgeon writes letters to my GP saying I’ve told Anne this and that and she understands whatever risk, when nothing has been explained to me at all. It’s clearly legal arse covering not about helping the patient understand anything.
  • SkbrSkbr Member Posts: 31
    It’s very frustrating isn’t it. If you have a chance to change surgeons before surgery- I’d recommend it. It’s not fun playing phone tag with a surgeon who shows minimal interest in understanding their patients concerns. 
  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 3,909
    I got a very persistent seroma after a mastectomy but as I hadn’t had any reconstruction it was easier to identify. I assume the nurse is a breast care nurse? My seroma was never painful although sometimes uncomfortable but the liquid was very mobile - I sloshed audibly when I bent over!  If you can’t get your nurse to do anything more and your surgeon is away, if may be worth seeing your GP. Best wishes.
  • MicheleRMicheleR South AustraliaMember Posts: 342
    Hi @Skbr,

    Its hardly an empathetic response and Im not surprised you feel upset. Sorry youve had this experience. 

    I had a seroma for a good while and the surgeon drained it when i saw him which was frequently for the first month or so. 30-40mls at each draining session is considered not large but can make you feel uncomfortable or give you pain if things start rubbing. i had my drain removed when it was below 100ml and before i left hospital after surgery so the drain removal isnt the issue probably.  I didnt have a reconstruction so cant guess at the impact on that. My surgeon described a seroma like "growing a new boob".  Did surgeon not leave someone else who can see you? Maybe the nurse can find soneone to ease your discomfit and your mind. 

    Hope you feel better soon. 
  • FLCloverFLClover Sydney Member Posts: 1,431
    I felt exactly the same with my first surgeon @Skbr, which is why I changed to my current surgeon. First one didn’t explain anything, rushed appointments and didn’t return my phone calls even when I was in major distress. Completely different treatment now from my new surgeon and I’m very happy. You can’t even compare the two.  
    Please call your nurse and tell her you really need to see someone, and if there is someone covering your surgeon while they on holiday. You can’t wait til they’re back, you need to see someone now. 
  • Julez1958Julez1958 SydneyMember Posts: 465
    Hi there
    i was in hospital for 6 nights after a mastectomy on my left  breast with insertion of tissue expanders and a reduction in the other breast in October last year at St Vincent’s Private in Sydney .
    The drain in my left breast was removed after 3 days and the other drain after 4.
    I had almost no liquid before removal.
    My breast cancer surgeon and plastic surgeon looked in on me every day in hospital and were very good at explaining stuff.I was told I may get a seroma in the left breast and this was identified in my follow up appointment a week later.I got it drained under ultrasound by a radiologist and then again a couple of weeks after that.It didn’t hurt but was a bit weird.
    I didn’t get another drain but the breast was tight and hot for a few weeks and then it was “stirred up “ with radiotherapy . It’s just uncomfortable now .You definitely need to see a surgeon , presumably there is someone covering for the one on holidays.
    All the best.
  • PV123PV123 Member Posts: 202
    Hi @Skbr

    I had bilateral mastectomies and had persistent seroma for several weeks in one breast that had to be drained weekly.  My surgeon asked me to call or send her photos of any issues I might have.  I could also email any questions to the receptionist who would check with the surgeon and call me back.  When the surgeon went on holiday she provided me with the information about another colleague who would see me if needed.  

    Your surgeon does not seem to be empathetic, this is so stressful for you as the patient.  Many doctors seem to assume we know everything.  Just because they see several patients and know the issues, for us as patients this is the first and hopefully the last time we will have this procedure.  I feel they should be giving us more information in writing.  

    Can you ask to see another surgeon while your surgeon is away or see a GP as others have suggested.
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