I'm writing this for my Mom. She had a lumpectomy and chemo and radiation and herceptin about one year ago. Just three weeks ago she had a double mastectomy. . She had two drains put in. Within about one week, they removed both drains. The side that had the radiation (right side) will not stop draining. Her surgeon drained that side with a needle last week and she goes back tomorrow for probably another drainage as the fluid has built up again and is very painful. Makes sense as to what you are saying that the draining won't stop until the area is kept dry. The surgeon told my Mom that only once in 6 years has she had to put a drain back in. I think my Mom is trying to avoid having the drain put back in as it was very painful for her and she's worried about risk of infection. I guess my question for you is-do you see this as a common problem (draining problems post mastecomy and radiation) and how long do you think before it goes away? My Mom has already gone through so much, lumpectomy, chemo, radiation, Herceptin, followed by double mastecomy and is so ready to move on with her life, now this drainage thing is really bringing her down. Thanks for your help!!
It would help if you could keep all your posts under the same thread ... just add as a comment and that way we have all the information in the same place when we answer.
I wouldn't say this is common but it's not uncommon either. Many women have to have seromas drained by one method or another. My Surgeon preferred to re-insert the drain because he felt that constant draining with a needle had a higher risk of infection than inserting the drain and leaving in place which afforded a constant drainage rather than letting the fluid build up. It's just his opinion and I know every Physician has their own routine. I don't see why the drain would have been painful .. I've not heard many complain about any discomfort regarding the drains. It's impossible to say how long this may continue but for you Mother's sake I hope it is resolved soon. My first drains were left in: 1 for 1 week and the other for 10 days. Then at about 2 or 2 1/2 weeks one was replaced. I think you might be rushing this a bit if she is only 3 weeks post-op. Everything in it's own time and 3 weeks isn't enough for everything to be resolved. Kindest regards ....
Thank you very much jadip. I will keep my comments under one thread going forward. This is my first time on the site....I thought there were different forums for "patient advice" and "physician advice" anyway...thanks for letting me know, no problem. Well, my Mom may be headed for a drain to be re-inserted but you are probably right, maybe this is a little to early and we still need to let things heal. Apparently her "skin" has healed, but the tissue that was radiated has not healed. So, hopefully with some more time, things will improve. Thank you so much for sharing your wisdom and experience. God Bless you.
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