Seromas...ain't nobody got time for that!

The Importance of Seroma Prevention After Breast Cancer Surgery

This morning I wrote a handout about how to prevent seromas after breast cancer surgery ( free handout for medical practitioners here). Why is this important? Because seromas impede post-op healing and physical function & ain’t nobody got time for that!

Potential consequences of seroma formation include:

  • slowed healing of the incision with reduced cosmesis
  • pain due to stretch of local nerve endings
  • increased risk of post-op infection
  • potential increase in lymphedema risk

Many doctors suggest limiting arm range of motion for a couple of weeks while the surgical drains are in place to protect surgical sites and reduce drainage.Wearing a light compression garmentis another option. The garment should allow for good blood circulation, but also encourage tissue approximation to reduce ‘dead space’ where fluid could accumulate.

Patient education is often lacking after breast cancer surgery. When a rationale and ballpark time frame for post-operative restrictions is provided, patient buy-in and surgical outcomes improve. But, not all surgeons are on the same page when it comes to post-op guidelines some allow for immediate post-op overhead range of motion and do not recommend or, discourage compression.

The patient should follow their surgeon’s recommendations at all times. It takes an enormous amount of time to stay up-to-date on research and implement safe, progressive post-operative guidelines for breast cancer patients.

The Breast Book is a collection of patient education handouts for practitioners who believe in preventing the side effects of breast cancer treatment through comprehensive care. The on-line KickPink certification course ‘Breast Cancer Rehabilitation; Comprehensive Evaluation & Treatment’ is open to any medical practitioner, summarizes the evidence, and will streamline best practice for breast cancer recovery.