• Does a lumpectomy *fill in?*

    Asked by MarcieB on Sunday, September 5, 2021

    Does a lumpectomy *fill in?*

    I had my lumpectomy in January of 2019. As a result my left breast was smaller and had a kind of whithered appearance, especially on the side close to my arm because I had some lymph nodes removed too. I have three scars in that area, one under my arm pit. Lately I have noticed my breast seems to have *filled in.* It is even a bit larger than my right (which I had reduced so I would be more even). I don't feel any lumps, but the tissue seems pretty dense. I am having my annual mammogram Wednesday, so I guess I will find out what's going on. It's crazy, I have been aware that my breast was changing as I gained back my weight from treatment, but I just REALLY noticed this a few days ago. So today is my birthday and I am just sick with worry. Darn it all! And even if there is someone out there who could help ease my mind, no one will probably even SEE this because of the way this site is (isn't) working.

    20 Answers from the Community

    20 answers
    • legaljen1969's Avatar
      legaljen1969

      Marcie. I don't have an answer for your question, but I hope you do get some positive (encouraging, happy) answers when you go for your mammo on Wednesday. Keep us posted. We love you.

      Oh, happy birthday.

      about 1 month ago
    • Bug's Avatar
      Bug

      Happy Birthday, MarcieB!

      The area of my lumpectomy has not filled in. But that’s just me. Maybe it has on other people. You said you gained weight back from treatment. Maybe that’s all it is. I hate that sick with worry feeling. I know it all too well. Hang in there. Your WN friends will be with you in spirit on Wednesday. Please let us know how it goes.

      And I do hope this doesn’t keep you from having a nice birthday. Easier said than done, I know.

      BTW, I received a Digest tonight and your question was listed there.

      about 1 month ago
    • ChicagoSandy's Avatar
      ChicagoSandy

      Marcie, at 2 years out, your lumpectomy was still recent enough that what you are experiencing is a tumor-cavity seroma: when enough tissue gets removed, the body wants to fill the cavity with "serous" fluid (pale orange/straw-colored plasma with blood mixed in). It's a process that is often exacerbated by radiation to the area. The reason for the delayed enlargement is that radiation damage--and eventually healing--occurs from the inside out, and that serous fluid is also released to soothe the tissue as it heals.

      My R breast--the cancer breast--was always at least a cup size smaller than the L. But starting a few months after completing radiation, a seroma developed in the cavity and the amount of fluid gradually increased to about 20cm, making my R breast slightly bigger than the L (mainly from a side "bulge" beneath the lumpectomy scar). After about 2-1/2 years, the seroma gradually shrank, and my R breast is now a cup-and-a-half smaller than the L. (You can't tell when I'm wearing a bra, probably because both are still pretty big). But due to my surgeon's oncoplastic skills, the R sits a bit higher, rounder & perkier than the L, which is shallow on top, looks like a beagle's ear and droops nearly to my waist (which it did before cancer anyway). At 70, I can live with that.

      about 1 month ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      Marcie, first, happy mirthday, one day late!

      I’m so glad we DID see your question.

      I can’t add to the excellent comments already given. I’m writing just to wish you a very good report on Wednesday. Please let us know (I’m thinking you’re fine, but I sure get the anxiety, especially when it comes close to mammotime).

      about 1 month ago
    • MarcieB's Avatar
      MarcieB

      Thank you all so much for responding. I am SO grateful for the input. Sandy, I appreciate you sharing the info about fluid, especially since I did have radiation and the increased size IS mainly from a side bulge above my scar. When I had cancer, the nipple area was white (no color) and there was a blush of red on one side, indicating swelling. Neither of these things are present now, so I am trying to hold on to that. Somehow I am going to get through these next few days and try to keep my worry to a minimum. (I am a worrier by nature, so this isn't so easy for me!)

      I did have a lovely birthday. My husband and I have a birthday tradition - The birthday person choses a restaurant and friends to invite (usually a couple) and the the other one treats for the evening (friends included). The thought being - the company of the friends are part of the gift. We have done this for years. sometimes we go to a big deal place, sometimes fancy hamburgers. It's the company part that is most fun.

      I am also glad to know my question was listed on your Digest page - I wonder why it is never listed on mine?

      about 1 month ago
    • beachbum5817's Avatar
      beachbum5817

      Happy Belated Birthday, Marcie. I love the tradition that you and your husband have for celebration. I hope you were able to enjoy yourself. I will be thinking of you and Wednesday. Your question was in my Digest today. Take care.

      about 1 month ago
    • TerriL's Avatar
      TerriL

      Mine has not filled in (I'm 2 years out from treatment). Wishing you a great report on Wednesday. I know I still get nervous at my six month exams.

      about 1 month ago
    • MLT's Avatar
      MLT

      Right after lumpectomy, my breast filled with fluid and sloshed! Then it shrunk with scar tissue.
      Praying your mammogram is normal. If you don't have a Dr appt soon, I would call. Always report any changes.

      HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! Glad you had a special time with hubby and friends.

      about 1 month ago
    • Geannie's Avatar
      Geannie

      Marcie

      I hope you had a wonderful birthday. For us "worry" seems attached to us like a darn leech and always comes back to haunt us like a boomerang!

      My lumpectomy was about three years ago. After various complications and having to go through an infection, further drainage and a minor surgery to remove a hardened hematoma, my breast was never the same. For me, it didn't fill inl, plus I ended up with a bruise that doesn't go away. We are all different so please don't worry.

      I do have a question for everyone:

      Has anyone had small black spots in their unoperated breast and a bruise that doesn't go away?

      Happy Labor Day to everyone and thank you for what you do/did and your continous contribution in making this a better world for all of us!

      Blessings to everyone!!!!

      about 1 month ago
    • cak61's Avatar
      cak61

      I had lumpectomy, with internal radiation, so that might be different than you. A balloon was placed and when radiation was done the radiologist ripped it out and pressed hard on the area saying he didn't want it to fill with fluid (ouch). Well, it did anyway. At first I didn't know it was there. My breast was filled out pretty smoothly. But, after my six month mammogram the area became red, hot and swollen. A few days later it opened up and clear fluid ran out. So, back to the surgeon for antibiotics and a medicated packing material. She opened the pin hole sized hole, and I had to pack it for a couple of weeks.
      It healed with a bit of a dent, more obvious when I raise my arm up. But not noticable at all in clothing. I have hard scar tissue there still (twelve years now).
      I had no idea how common seromas are, was never informed about them.
      Sounds like that could be what you have.
      Keep us posted. And happy birthday to you

      about 1 month ago
    • Dltmoll's Avatar
      Dltmoll

      Happy belated birthday!
      I had a lumpectomy, left breast, which is now significantly smaller and far more dense than my right one. I also had a seroma which was drained more than once, one time being nearly 11 ounces of fluid. I have fairly constant pain on that side due to a hamartoma that formed and must be pressing on a nerve. Wish I could have it removed!
      Geannie - I haven't has anything like what you describe. What does your doctor say? I do have a permanent red rash on my left breast which the doctors say is due to radiation.

      about 1 month ago
    • legaljen1969's Avatar
      legaljen1969

      Sandy. What great information you shared. You have a great thorough way of explaining things. Welcome back. We haven't seen you in ages.

      about 1 month ago
    • Geannie's Avatar
      Geannie

      Dltmoll:

      I have to schedule an appointment this week to check that out.

      about 1 month ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      Geannie, that sounds good. Please update us when you’ve seen your doctor:

      about 1 month ago
    • MarcieB's Avatar
      MarcieB

      THANK YOU, everyone, for your information, experience sharing, and words of support! I had my mammogram and ultrasound this morning and I am fine! Chicago Sandy was right with her info about radiation, my doctors told me the same thing. One wonders why they never told me to be on the look-out for it...? But, now I know and I can relax. I don't need another mammogram for a year. Feels good!

      about 1 month ago
    • Bug's Avatar
      Bug

      That’s wonderful news, MarcieB! I’m so glad to hear this. What a relief. Good for you.

      about 1 month ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      Yay! Great news!

      about 1 month ago
    • beachbum5817's Avatar
      beachbum5817

      Marcie, I would say that you just received the best birthday present!!! Now you can relax and enjoy.

      about 1 month ago
    • Geannie's Avatar
      Geannie

      Marcie

      I'm so glad all went will during your appointment!!!!

      May everyone continue to receive good news!!!!!

      about 1 month ago
    • Carool's Avatar
      Carool

      Geannie, YES!

      about 1 month ago

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