My question is - would normal light exercise help my body absorb this excess fluid or should I avoid any form of exercise while my body is still healing?
I Had a Mastectomy Recently with Drain Tubes That Were Removed After Several Weeks. I Still Have Fluid Retention?
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Doctor Answers 6
Continued Fluid Collection after Mastectomy
Fluid collection after mastectomy should be drained and followed closely to ensure that no infection develops. Sometimes, these can be frustrating problems that may take weeks and weeks to resolve. There are other things that can be done so talk to your surgeon. In general, exercise only serves to increase fluid extravasation.
Mastectomy and fluid retention
I think the best thing for you to do is discuss this with your surgeon because each surgeon may have a different post-op care plan. Swelling will increase with exercise in general.
Fluid Retention after Mastectomy?
Unfortunately, exercise will not help decrease “excess fluid”. I would suggest close follow-up with your plastic surgeon who is in the best position to evaluate the location of the fluid, and whether further drainage procedures are necessary.
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Fluid Collection After Surgery
When fluid build-up may occur after surgery, plastic surgeons will often use drains. Fluid may still develop after the drain removal, but hopefully it will be absorbed by one's body. If the collection is more than the body can absorb a seroma may form and will require drainage. As always consult with your surgeon to be sure.
You should see your surgeon as soon as possible to rule out any collections such as a seroma. If you have a seroma, it will need to be aspirated before it becomes a chronic issue. If that happens, you may need another surgical procedure. That's why you should see your surgeon ASAP!
If it's just edema, then it will take time to improve. Your surgeon is the best person to decide whether you just have edema or a seroma.
Asif Pirani, MD, FRCS(C)
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.