• Healing after a lumpectomy

    Asked by Butterfly902 on Sunday, May 5, 2013

    Healing after a lumpectomy

    I had a lumpectomy on 4-17-13 for IDC and 4 lymph nodes were removed (sentinel lymph node biopsy). All lymph nodes were free of cancer. On 4-29-13, I had my post-op exam and complained of intense swelling above the incision. My surgeon did drain the area to provide relief; however, the swelling (senoma) is still providing discomfort. I have tried to elevate the affected arm with a pillow. Should ice be applied since the surgery was over two (2) weeks ago? Also, should I be wearing a special kind of deodorant to the affected underarm?

    8 Answers from the Community

    8 answers
    • Ydnar2xer's Avatar

      Hi Butterfly: I had a lumpectomy the first time I had b/c 10 years ago, and don't remember having any problems w/it beyond the first week. If I were you, I'd call my surgeon tomorrow morning and ask her/him those questions. (I don't believe there is any type of special deodorant, though.) It rather amazes me how many cancer patients on this site hesitate to call their docs even though they have concerns. I never make frivolous calls to them, but when I have something worrisome, I DO call. I figure, that's their job! Congrats on your lymph nodes! And good luck reaching your doctor.

      over 3 years ago
    • abrub's Avatar

      I ended up going back to the surgeon to be drained 4 times in 5 days during the second week post-op. She then took me back in for surgery to place new drains. Some of us have more problems than others, and I had incredible problems with the intense swelling. And I had no lymph nodes done, as my lumpectomies (2 in one breast) were part of an excisional biopsy - no cancer found, tho I had the full lumpectomy surgery.)

      over 3 years ago
    • SandiD's Avatar

      I would definitely call your surgeon again and see what is suggested. Don't wait. As for deodorant I don't think it matters. I just kept using what I always did. You might take a look at this site for info, www.breastcancer.org. Good luck to you!

      over 3 years ago
    • Karmol's Avatar

      I had some issues. Call your doctor when you don't think you are healing. I did make sure my arm was supported and that I did not overdo. Iced when needed. It took about 3-4 weeks for me

      over 3 years ago
    • Clyde's Avatar

      I would avoid the deodorant for the time being. The less interference the better and its not like you are going to be running a marathon and need the protection.

      Call your doctor. Don't be afraid to. The worry is sometimes worse than the cure for the situation.

      I found that elevating my arm while sitting in a recliner worked very well for me. Not a terribly uncomfortable position and I could still see the TV screen or sleep without problems.

      over 3 years ago
    • Gabba's Avatar

      I think all the answers here are very helpful...we all heal at different rates...I had no problems with my lumpectomy site (x2 surgeries) but had a lot of pain at the nodal biopsy site...elevation really helped and some Tylenol but definitely check with your surgeon one his nurse. Good luck and God bless!

      over 3 years ago
    • ryan417's Avatar

      Raising my arm with a pillow or placing above my head while lying in bed was easiest. Sorry but I don't know about the ice.
      The SNB area was the most sensitive and swollen for me and took longer to return to normal (biopsy then lumpectomy w/ SNB on 1/28/13). Actually the area is still tender. I did have to have the area drained about 2 weeks after the surgery. At my 6 week follow-up, surgeon was concerned that swelling was a lymph note so she tried to drain it and eventually (multiple sticks and probing) found some fluid but the area is still uncomfortable.
      Last weekend I attended a cancer retreat and learned about Healthy Steps - it is designed to prevent lymphedema. It was set to music with fun props (bubbles, tambourine, flags, coin skirt!)

      over 3 years ago
    • Power's Avatar

      Hi, Butterfly- Everyone can give you advice about their journey but, everyone’s walk is totally different. But, the advice to call your doctors no matter how small the issue or pain is calling them. This is way you have decided to have them on your team to support you.
      I had the same surgery and I had drainage, which I drain myself. I used the pillow and ice until my swelling down. I went a different direction of not using any type of deodorant and I don’t have any type of order. But, the summer months are approaching. Which I will probably will use Tom’s deodorant. I have also, used sulfur free shampoo . I continue to exercise with a theraphist at the hospital and she did certain exercises.

      over 3 years ago

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