3 weeks after bilateral mastectomy and have a seroma on right side. That arm is having pins/needles, soreness, feels heavy.

I had no lymph nodes removed. Surgery was prophylactic (I'm 28, BRCA positive). Drains taken out after two weeks (one week ago). The arm sensations have come and gone over the last few days, but now are persistent. Is this lymphadema or just symptoms of the seroma?

Doctor Answers 2

Funny sensations after mastectomy

This sounds like some of the sensory nerves were stressed, injured or even severed which is an inevitable part of mastectomy surgery. Less is better, but there is always some change in sensation that all patients should be made aware of. It sounds like you are having healing changes and that some of your nerves are "waking up" which I consider a good sign! This should improve significantly over the next few weeks. As healing continues, prickly sensations, creepy-crawly sensations and even tingling/burning are all normal in this time period.

Breast reconstruction

Did you have any form of reconstruction that led to a seroma or just a mastectomy?

Three basic forms of breast reconstruction exist. You can use your own tissue, implants or a combination of the previous two techniques. Your own tissue can be used in the form of the DIEP flap, PAP flap, SGAP flap or fat grafting. Implants can be done in one stage or two stage. Two stage reconstructions are started by placing expanders at the time of mastectomy. Once they expanders are placed they are able to be inflated as determined by wound healing. The final type consists of combining any of the above techniques.

If you are interested in being seen in Austin please give us a call. I know this is a difficult time for you. The majority of my practice is devoted to reconstruction for women with breast cancer or who are BRCA+

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.