Post op pain

Hi all. So I am two weeks post double breast lumpectomy and clean up also lymph removal in both. I have pain in the inside at the top of my arm and my left breast is swollen with fluid and VERY painful.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to reduce the swelling and or the pain.

My surgeon has advised me that the fluid will eventually distribute itself around my body naturally, but that could be in a few months time. In the meantime the breast is getting bigger and it's so painful. Help!

9 Replies

  • I got back onto my breast care nurse and insisted I had a needle aspiration as it was painful. I had one a week for four weeks then it started to settle and became one a fortnight (only two of these) Now no problems. I wish you all the best Lainey xx

  • Thanks Lainey, I'm a baby when it comes to the needles, but this pain is really too much. x

  • You are unlikely to feel too much as the area is a bit numb. However even if you do it is worth it for the relief you get from having it drained.

  • I didn't think of that but yes, I definitely intend on getting it drained. I will speak with the bcn in the morning. I'm normally a D cup, but this left breast is about an E and gets bigger every day. It will be drained. Thanks Lainey. x

  • All the best with it xxx

  • Hi Coco, I had the same problem. It is 5 weeks since my mastectomy and lymph node clearance and the fluid build up made me feel uncomfortable and tight. I have had it drained the weekly for the last 4 weeks. it doesn't hurt , in fact due to numbness in the area I didn't feel the needle. the relief is instant and gets better as the weeks pass and the amount of fluid reduces. I am now hoping Tuesday was the last time as I am waiting to have radiotherapy and need the area to be stable. If it settles down I will be starting radiotherapy in a few weeks.

    Good luck with the draining, hope you feel better soon. Take care. x

  • That's excellent, thanks for the info. Take care. x

  • Just ring your breast care nurse. They should be able to drain some of it off. It will likely fill up again - the nurse told me this, so you may need it draining a couple of times before it gets to a comfortable level. Eventually it does absorb back into the body

  • The pain in your arm will be due to nerve damage from the lymph node removal. I think it can take up to a year to settle completely, but I have been given gabapentin for nerve pain.

    I'm also having to have aspiration which does help, but I just wish they could have left the drain in as it is so uncomfortable when the fluid builds up.

    Has anybody had the fluid build-up resolve in less than four weeks?

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