abdominal swelling/bloating after a double mastectomy

Posted by shahzadee6 @shahzadee6, Apr 17, 2019

I have not had reconstruction yet and it has been a year. I am not fat just looks like a have a basketball under my shirt.

@amandajro

Hello @almostoutofthewoods and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I can tell this is very bothersome to you, as I can understand.

@kk57 has shared something she is doing that seems to be helping.

I did find this information which may be helpful to see if there are things in your day-to-day that you can add or modify to support reducing bloating.

– Eighteen ways to reduce bloating:
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322525
Are these options things you've already tried or are doing?

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Hello @amandajro

That was a great article about relieving abdominal bloating. Thanks for providing that information.

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@amandajro

Hello @almostoutofthewoods and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. I can tell this is very bothersome to you, as I can understand.

@kk57 has shared something she is doing that seems to be helping.

I did find this information which may be helpful to see if there are things in your day-to-day that you can add or modify to support reducing bloating.

– Eighteen ways to reduce bloating:
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322525
Are these options things you've already tried or are doing?

Jump to this post

Thanks, @amandajro, but agree with @almostoutofthewoods… this isn’t gastrointestinal bloating which this article addresses. This feels different… like an unusual fluid retention in the belly region. I have read some cases where bilateral mastectomy gets the lymphatic system out of balance. So, for now, I’m sticking with my detox tea, exercise and yoga to try to get my body back in balance.

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@carr

I had surgery Feb. 27, 2019 and had abdominal swelling. The hospital and my surgeon said the swelling was not swelling, they said my stomach appeared to me to be swollen because I did not have breasts. I started physical therapy 2 weeks ago and the physical therapist could tell right away that it was fluid. She did Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD). So, yes, I have lymphedema and the massage moved a lot of fluid out. She had me purchase an abdominal binder which I wear only during the day. Also, some elastic type shorts that come up to belly button and that have a wide elastic band for waist. I bought them from Dick's Sporting Goods Store. I bought the 9" abdominal binder from the medical store called Aids for Recovery. I wear the abdominal binder during the day at work and the shorts if I'm relaxing around the house etc..
Be sure if you go to a physical therapist that you confirm that they have been trained in lymphatic massage. Also, try walking to help.

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Thank you, @carr. This is great info. It’s lymphatic, not gastrointestinal. It’s hard to get people to understand that. FYI @almostoutofthewoods.

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@kk57

Thanks, @amandajro, but agree with @almostoutofthewoods… this isn’t gastrointestinal bloating which this article addresses. This feels different… like an unusual fluid retention in the belly region. I have read some cases where bilateral mastectomy gets the lymphatic system out of balance. So, for now, I’m sticking with my detox tea, exercise and yoga to try to get my body back in balance.

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@kk57 See if you can get a referral to a physical therapist who addresses lymphatic massage.

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@trixie1313

@kk57 See if you can get a referral to a physical therapist who addresses lymphatic massage.

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@trixie1313 yes, am pursuing that. If anyone has a rave review of someone who does MLD (manual lymphatic drainage) in Minneapolis, please share. Thanks!

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I just googled abdominal lymphedema and yes, it is a thing, and yes, that is what I have and I'm sure many others with "Buddha belly" have. They suggest using an abdominal binder and more importantly going to a physical therapist trained in lymphatic massage. It's called MLD, or manual lymphatic drainage. You should go to a certified lymphedema therapist, or CLT. Regular massage, especially deep tissue, can be harmful.

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@kk57

Thank you, @carr. This is great info. It’s lymphatic, not gastrointestinal. It’s hard to get people to understand that. FYI @almostoutofthewoods.

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Thank you! I just googled abdominal lymphedema after breast cancer and yes, I'm sure that is what I have, and many others also have. I found a certified lymphedema therapist and I will make an appointment. Also wearing an abdominal binder is recommended. I feel so relieved knowing what this is and how to take care of it. Hopefully others will see this and be helped as well.

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@kk57

@trixie1313 yes, am pursuing that. If anyone has a rave review of someone who does MLD (manual lymphatic drainage) in Minneapolis, please share. Thanks!

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I'm in crazy California (northern) and have Kaiser Permanente. My doctor okayed me to have PT to work on the lymphedema. If you belong to a medical group, they may be able to recommend a physical therapist, but you do want someone knowledgeable in lymph massage. Good luck to you!

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@almostoutofthewoods

Thank you! I just googled abdominal lymphedema after breast cancer and yes, I'm sure that is what I have, and many others also have. I found a certified lymphedema therapist and I will make an appointment. Also wearing an abdominal binder is recommended. I feel so relieved knowing what this is and how to take care of it. Hopefully others will see this and be helped as well.

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@almostoutofthewoods There are different lymphedema pads called "swell spots" that are quite helpful. A belly binder may just bind the area and not let the lymphs move along. The swell spots are sewn in a way for the lymph veins go move the lymphatics along. You can do research about them on Google to understand how they work.

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I'm here because of the bloated stomach I noticed just today. I had bilateral mastectomy last week, November 3, 2021.
I noticed I have a bloated stomach when I washed myself up.
I already messaged my surgeon. I don't know what she's gonna say about it.
But I am glad I found this forum and got information about what I am possibly having. Thank you all so much.

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@delight

I'm here because of the bloated stomach I noticed just today. I had bilateral mastectomy last week, November 3, 2021.
I noticed I have a bloated stomach when I washed myself up.
I already messaged my surgeon. I don't know what she's gonna say about it.
But I am glad I found this forum and got information about what I am possibly having. Thank you all so much.

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I am really glad you contacted your doctor right away. Did you get a response? How are you feeling after your mastectomy?

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@delight

I'm here because of the bloated stomach I noticed just today. I had bilateral mastectomy last week, November 3, 2021.
I noticed I have a bloated stomach when I washed myself up.
I already messaged my surgeon. I don't know what she's gonna say about it.
But I am glad I found this forum and got information about what I am possibly having. Thank you all so much.

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Hi Delight, welcome. I noticed that you wanted to add a URL to a video. You will be able to add URLs to your posts in a few days. There is a brief period where new members can't post links. We do this to deter spammers and keep the community safe. Clearly the link you wanted to post is not spam. Please allow me to post it for you.

Swelling After Surgery – Is it Normal?
Dr. William explains how it happens and the difference between swelling and seroma with an actual patient case.

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