I had a mastectomy 3.5 months ago without any plastic surgery, tissue expanders etc and only 3 lymph nodes were removed. However, I have had considerable swelling at the site since that time to the extent that I now appear to have a very large, if oddly shaped breast. The surgeon has aspirated the breast twice since, most recenlty about 3 weeks ago. The swelling has been worse since the last aspiration. The surgeon and the oncologist both discourage frequent aspiration as they say that the pressure causes the vessels carrying fluid to the area to seal themselves up. However, I am concerned that the swelling has been going on far longer than usual and wonder whether, (a) this is normal, and (b) whether I should be seeking a second opinion.
Hi MandMs, Yes, I have developed swelling at the place of the removed breast that looks like a large, oddly shaped breast. The swelling has also spread to above the breast and to the underarm and is quite uncomfortable with chafing. The surgeon has removed fluid from it recently a week ago and four weeks ago that is bloody (in the month after surgery the fluid was clear). The swelling quickly returned after these two aspirations.
Your body will absorb any blood and fluid that remained that caused the swelling, just as it does with a bruise. The time it takes varies with individuals. It may be several weeks for all the swelling to disappear.
If any sign of infection occurs, such as, redness, pain or fever, call your doctor right away.