I had a lumpectomy for breast cancer. I had 4 lymph nodes removed. I now have a very painful seroma. Will it ever go away?

It has been drained twice. 200 ccs and then a week later 150cc. It is starting to refill. The pain is unbearable. I am now on antibiotics. I keep a compression bandage on it all the time. What can I do so it won't come back, or to eliminate the pain.

Doctor Answers 2

Lumpectomy with a painful seroma

The lumpectomy sit can be drained.  It may be more difficult if the fluid is building up where the lymph nodes were removed.


It is not uncommon to have seroma (fluid collection) after lumpectomy.  Typically, repeated aspiration with compression would be sufficient to treat seroma.  Sometimes, an injection of antibiotics within the space may facilitate reducing the collection.  In severe cases, a drain tube may need to be inserted to keep the space drained continuously.  Pain is from the pressure built within the space.  Once seroma starts to diminish, the pain will get better.  


Alex Kim, MD

Alex Kim, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

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