Breast Cancer Expert Forum
Drainage tube
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Drainage tube

My wife had a mastectomy of her right breast 5 days ago, and two sintenal lymph nodes were removed. The drainage tube was removed 2 days after coming home, as it was not draining properly.

Now they are telling her to come in after 3 days to have the fluid removed with a needle through the surrounding tissue.

However the nurse told her to wait one more day. The fluid is collecting and pressing on all the surrounding tissue -- becoming very uncomfortable and increasing over all pain.

What are the risks in waiting to remove the fluid?

Thank you,

Phillip Folkler
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242529_tn?1292452814
Dear folkler, As the fluid accumulates it could continue to cause discomfort.  The decision to drain the fluid and timing would need to be judged in context of your individual situation.  If you have not - you may want to be in contact with your wife's surgeon's office to update them on the status of her discomfort today so they can better advise.
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1119363_tn?1330359040
I had a modified radical mastectectomy and 19 nodes removed Oct. 2009.  I had a large and persistent accumulation of fluid (a Seroma) that required drainage with a needle by my surgeon.  I had it drained 4 times because of pressure and soreness.  He used lidocaine to numb the area and placed the needle below my incision.  His partner did one of the drainages and placed the needle directly through the incision with no lidocaine.  My surgeon's method was much better with relief from pressure and pain almost immediately and no residual soreness from the draining.  I was sore for 2 days when his partner did it.  (But still had relief from the pressure of the seroma.)  I also have a small pucker in my otherwise utterly smooth scar.  Best of luck to your wife and you.  I also had chemo and am still taking Herceptin and Zometa.  Hair is growing back and my arm use and movement is almost back to normal.  
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