Would it be plausible to have BREAST, CHEST AND TRUNCAL LYMPHEDEMA from implant explantation and a breast lift?

Considering continued pressure, pain, pinching and swelling months after surgery, so much that nipple is pressed flat and pouches appear under arm areas and more fluid around abdomen also. Only one breast being affected, other one has masses also but not swelling. Would someone explain what congestion means exactly, does it mean lymph glands are not working possibly? Thanks for any input.

Doctor Answers 2

Anything is plausible

but truncal lymphedema is not something I would expect following an explant/lift procedure.  Wearing some kind of compression can help with the swelling and also help with your body trying to heal itself from whatever may have occurred.  Your surgeon should be able to help you navigate the journey of getting beyond this and make the appropriate referrals.

Redding Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Truncal lymphedema after explantation mastopexy is unusual

Need some other information: 1. Did you have silicone gel implants? 2. In which plane did the implants reside (subglandular, dual plane)? 3. Did you have an extended capsulectomy? Drains? 

Of the 32 explantations I performed last year, only 4 were explantation mastopexies.  My approach is as follows: a. All silicone gel implants are conducted under sedation;
b. All capsulectomies and explantation mastopexies are fitted with drains, which remain until the output is </=24cc/drain/24hours;
c. Patients are requested to restrict upper body activities for a minimum of 4 weeks;
d. Compression garments are worn for a minimum of 2 weeks.  If a seroma (collection of fluid) doesn't result, after 2 weeks, activities can be advanced.
e. Massage is restricted for 4 weeks.

Thoracic and upper extremity lymphedema is observed less frequently since sentinel lymph node biopsy has become more common.  I wonder whether you may have a loculated (partitioned) seroma. Do discuss this with your PS, a simple ultrasound would be diagnostic and possibly therapeutic.  Good luck.

Lavinia K. Chong, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

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