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Abdominal swelling after surgery - has anyone else had this?

25 REPLIES
Member

Re: Abdominal swelling after surgery - has anyone else had this?

I had left mastectomy and few lymph nodes...left side bloating/swelling...4 months post op
Member

Re: Abdominal swelling after surgery - has anyone else had this?

Please contact your surgeon or breast nurse. This could be fluid and needs to be sorted. We mustn’t just accept.

it took me a year to have my abdominal swell to be identified but when it was I was told it was a common side effect.

You May ask why if it is ‘common’ why it wasn’t immediately diagnosed. 

I have no answer but mine was a seroma and had to be surgically remove as it was left so long.

 

I found the breast nurses the most useful and approachable.

 

good luck and don’t let age be an issue.

 

Member

Re: Abdominal swelling after surgery - has anyone else had this?

I had my op on both breasts on the Thursday and my drains were taken out on the Saturday. I am huge, I have had four children and I didn't get this big in my abdominal area. I am a very small frame and I am 74 all most 75 years of age. I look like a freak. Please tell me it will go away. I am so relieved that I have found this group and that I am not alone with this problem!
Member

Re: Abdominal swelling after surgery - has anyone else had this?

This is what I want to know,too. The CT scan revealed nothing untoward, except that my abdominal wall is minus muscle that was used for boob reconstruction
Member

Re: Abdominal swelling after surgery - has anyone else had this?

I've just had a CT scan. No hernia. They just say that because muscle has been removed from my abdomen, the abdominal wall is very thin, so there is not much support. So is that it? Do I now walk around in constant discomfort, looking 4 months pregnant? There was nothing wrong with my tummy before this op!! Sooo frustrating.
Member

Re: Abdominal swelling after surgery - has anyone else had this?

How long was your tummy swollen for? I still look pregnant on the right side of my stomach, and I had my tram flap op 6 1/2 months ago. Sooooo frustrating. Is there anything we can do to make the swelling go down? And

does it eventually go down? I had a CT scan yesterday. No evidence of any liquid to drain out. Jusdt a very thin abdominal wall because muscle has been removed.

Member

Re: Abdominal swelling after surgery - has anyone else had this?

There's evanmarcus again appearing on the forum with slightly odd remarks..
Member

Re: Abdominal swelling after surgery - has anyone else had this?

I have had that abdominal swelling as well. Hard to feel good about oneself when you look 8 months pregnant. Ugh.
Member

Re: Abdominal swelling after surgery - has anyone else had this?

Following bilateral Mx I had failed implants and was completely flat.My tummy appeared to be really fat,as wasn't balanced out.

however,had a DIEP and ended up with seroma in the abdomen,which capsulated,and removed surgically.Consequently I ended up with scar tissue and a protruding tummy.

if you haven't had surgery,it may be a hernia....maybe ask for an ultrasound?Doesnt sound normal.....hard to move forward after BC....💞

Member

Re: Abdominal swelling after surgery - has anyone else had this?

I think you must consult a doctor on this as they can suggest you something after propec checkups and test reports. Most of the people faces problem after surgeries but then you must be really cautious about all these problems.

Member

Re: Abdominal swelling after surgery - has anyone else had this?

Hi BK,

I woud look at your lymph system as the areas you have highlighted sound like the main lymph drainage areas.

Try to get a lymphadema clinic referral as knowing the correct way to massage the lymph system is very important.

Don't leave it to get better on its own as the longer the fluid is there the harder it seems to get rid of it.

I have found the vibration on a cycle track is very good.

Good luck for the future. N 

Bk
Member

Re: Abdominal swelling after surgery - has anyone else had this?

Any improvement since 2013?
Bk
Member

Re: Abdominal swelling after surgery - has anyone else had this?

I am one of the lucky ones.  At age 65, I am 11 days post op after a simple left breast mastectomy.  Drain was removed on day six, and I have been taking my normal walk each day since day 7 (3-4 miles each day).  I have only taken one pain pill since my surgery, and that was on the first day.  My bowel habits have returned to normal, but I also have torso bloat/swelling that is quite uncomfortable.  Anyone seeing me would assume that I am six months pregnant.  The swelling is in the left breast and side, naturally, but also in the groin area, upper and lower abdomen, and across my back by my shoulder blades.  No swelling in my extremities.  After researching this phenomenon online, I think that it must be due to the antibiotic I will finish today.  I've read that some antibiotics can kill the natural bacteria that the body needs to help process food as it passes through the system.  I am on Cefadroxil, which does make me nauseous if I take it on an empty stomach.  Since I cannot blame this on lack of exercise, constipation, cancer spread, etc., I guess I will be patient and wait for the medication to work itself out of my system to see if things improve! 

Member

Re: Abdominal swelling after surgery - has anyone else had this?

Hi Muellers

My abdominal swelling was caused by reconstruction where they lifted the skin from lower belly to boob. I was told it was a muscle bulge until I had a CT scan that showed it was a seroma by then it was well established and couldn't be drained so I needed a second operation to remove it. 

You have had a post op ct so if it was a seroma they should have been able to see the fluid. You have had a double mx but don't say you have been reconstructed, so no tummy interference. 

I find that trawling the Internet expecially the US sites can throw up some useful information but you do need to read it with care. I have recently found recorded medical lectures on You Tube that I have found helpful. 

Over my 5 years of treatment I have found that you need to be proactive with your treatment and my doctors have been very receptive to answering questions. My breastcare nurse have also been a great source of help and support. 

I don't suppose that this has helped you a lot but I hope it has maybe pointed you in a direction that will help you to find a way out yourself.

The one constant in my treatment has been walking it is free and the very best exercise. It stimulates the main lymph drainage areas, in you tummy, back and groin. 

If I had a bulge now I look at the lymphatic system.

I hope I have give you some ideas. Wishing you the very best.

Nette 

Member

Re: Abdominal swelling after surgery - has anyone else had this?

All, I am 5 weeks post double MX and have the belly swelling you describe.  I have had CT scan, Xrays and blood tests and all are normal.  I am 49 yrs old and have to wear my husbands clothes because I cannot fit my belly into mine.  My care team says they have never seen this but obviously others have had it.  Does it go away?

Member

Re: Abdominal swelling after surgery - has anyone else had this?

Hi Everyone
How are you all doing?
I am home again after my double op. After a horrid meeting with my surgeon's senior registrar who spent ages telling me about everything that could go wrong and the %odds then saying that the odds don't matter if you are the one. I was in tears and decided not to sign the consent form until after my CT scan that was meant to show how compromised my tummy area was. Then my surgeon saw me and said I was not to worry and that it had to be done. So into the theatre I went. Because I have had shoulder problems since my previous mx with recon they took me into the main theatre and put me on the table made sure my arms were comfortable before putting me under. They also gave my anesthetic in my foot to avoid my node cleared arm. All went well and I feel great.
I have come home with two hip and drains but they seem to be reducing output well and the reduced bust looks good and looks like it might be a 'b' cup down from a big 'd'. I will be able to tell better in a few weeks when the swelling has gone down.
So after months of worry and fears I am feeling so light. 6 weeks recovery and I am going to get my life back.
I will need all new breast gear. Swim suit, protheses, bras. I am going to ring a couple of suppliers and see if they will give me a discount.
I think others have been in hospital this week I hope you have all got on as well as me. Those on heceptin I think you are all getting to your last dose.
Go girls we are EPIC.
A very buoyant NETTE
Member

Re: Abdominal swelling after surgery - has anyone else had this?

I am due to have my seroma surgical removed on Tuesday 22 July.
Did everyone get there tummy bulges diagnosed and sorted out.
For everyone a scan, definitely CT, but possibly other types of scan as well, will show up the composition of your bumps.
All the best
Nette
Member

Re: Abdominal swelling after surgery - has anyone else had this?

My mom is experiencing the same thing - visible abdominal distension, that has persisted almost 5 weeks after her surgery.

 

Did this swelling resolve for anyone?  Did any of you get a diagnosis?  (doctors are currently evaluating my mom for other causes,  including ovarian cancer)

 

Hope you all are feeling better!

Member

Re: Abdominal swelling after surgery - has anyone else had this?

Hi Beeny
Have you had any luck solving the reason for your since we last contacted.
I go to see my surgeon tomorrow to find out when he will drain. Hopefully before Christmas.
Nette x
Member

Re: Abdominal swelling after surgery - has anyone else had this?

Hi Anna,
I am currently having Chemotherapy an they will not treat the seroma until it has finished.
My understanding is that they will scan it and then drain the fluid off. It should be simple and straight forward.
Over my journey I have found you have tofind your own answers and take them to the doctors and they will then respond. At least it gets them thinking.
Try not to worry, about other cancers I think it would be very rare. Speak to your breast nurse you are definitly not alone in you fears.
Good luck Nette x
Member

Re: Abdominal swelling after surgery - has anyone else had this?

Nette, thank you so much for that - I'll certainly get it checked out.  Did they do anything to reduce the seroma?  I'm afraid that I've turned a bit psycho since my diagnosis and was fairly sure my bulge was either pancreatic or peritoneal cancer tumours.  Sigh.  I think paranoid hyperchondriac is a pretty good label for me right now!  

 

So, any treatment, or have they just said that it will go on its own eventually?

 

Thanks again,

 

Anna xx

Member

Re: Abdominal swelling after surgery - has anyone else had this?

Hi Beeny,
I had I mx with immediate reconstruction last June. I have what the surgeon called a bulge and I have it in writting as fat and muscle. I have recently had a CT scan and guess what they found. A seroma. A pocket of fluid. This is very common after an operations tgat is why they fit drains, but no one consider this when looking at the bulge. There are a lot of very red faces from my surgeon to breast nurse to gp.
I is worth asking the question.
Hope this helps.
Nette x
Member

Re: Abdominal swelling after surgery - has anyone else had this?

so glad it's not just me!!!!  I had my mx last December and unless I wear my prosthesis I look pregnant - not a good look LOL x

Member

Re: Abdominal swelling after surgery - has anyone else had this?

Hi, thank you for responding. I didn't have recon, and don't bother to wear my prosthesis much either, but my big hard upper tummy still protrudes further than my E/F cup boobs!  It's handy to rest things on, I guess!

Member

Re: Abdominal swelling after surgery - has anyone else had this?

Hi Beeny,

 

May I ask if you had reconstruction after your mx? I had my mastectomy last December - no recon -  and since then, my stomach on mx side looks like I'm pregnant too.  As I'm 62, this would be impossible and I'm very definitely post menopausal.  I'd put it down to the fact that now the boob has gone, I can see this side of my stomach - but not the other, where I still have a boob. I don't tend to wear my prosthesis in my bra, but have noticed that when I do, my tummy disappears just like the non-mx side. I have very skinny legs and arms, but this huge stomach bulging out!!! Of course, I could just be obese in that area. Woman Frustrated

 

best wishes

 

poemsgalore xx

Member

Abdominal swelling after surgery - has anyone else had this?

Hi, I had my mastectomy in April, and ever since the op I've had upper abdominal swelling.  It's like I'm 8 months pregnant!  I'm not tiny but I've never had such a big upper tummy!  I've lost nearly a stone since the op, and have been going to the gym three times a week.  I've lost 2 inches off each thigh and can't keep my trousers up, but my upper tummy just stays distended.

 

Has anyone else had this?  My GP doesn't seem bothered, and my BCN says it will 'probably go away'.  I'm 48 and apparently not peri-menopausal.  Any ideas?

 

Thanks people, and I hope you're all doing ok.