Mastectomy Surgical Dehiscence

Posted by bcwarrior @bcwarrior, Sep 6 1:00pm

Hello fellow warriors. My name is Lynne. This is my 2nd time with breast cancer. I was 1st diagnosed in December 2006 and opted for a lumpectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation. In hindsight, I should have had the double mastectomy then when I was younger (50) and stronger. However, I most likely would have opted for reconstruction back then.
My 2nd diagnosis of breast cancer was an easy decision to have a double mastectomy at the end of May 2022. The surgeon kept me overnight in the hospital thank goodness because the next morning I lost a liter of blood in 4 minutes and had to go back into surgery. After being discharged from the hospital I’ve been to the emergency room once and had to go weekly to the surgeon’s office to monitor the fluid buildup and have it drained with a needle if necessary. Just when I thought all was healing from fluid buildup my surgical incision burst open 2 inches on the left side spilling out at least 8 ounces. The surgeon thought that was a good sign and bandaged it and sent me home. He said he did not want to stitch it closed in case of an infection. Here I am 7 weeks later with what looks like a bullet hole in the incision still draining daily!

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Breast Cancer group.

I am so sorry. That fluid build-up is so painful. Hoping it all drains and you feel better soon.

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@bcwarrior I love your screen name. Breast Cancer Warrior. Because that's you and as they say "you've been through the wars".

When do you next see your surgeon? I have a suggestion for a service that I wonder is available for you. Do you have a Wound Care Center in your community? One of my very good friends is a wound care RN and from what you describe this is something that they would be most helpful with. Could you ask your surgeon for a referral? Here is a description of what Wound Care Centers:
https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000739.htm

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@naturegirl5

@bcwarrior I love your screen name. Breast Cancer Warrior. Because that's you and as they say "you've been through the wars".

When do you next see your surgeon? I have a suggestion for a service that I wonder is available for you. Do you have a Wound Care Center in your community? One of my very good friends is a wound care RN and from what you describe this is something that they would be most helpful with. Could you ask your surgeon for a referral? Here is a description of what Wound Care Centers:
https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000739.htm

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Thank you Helen,

I was surprised to find the screen name available. We are All Warriors. I used to refer to myself as a survivor until the nurses on the surgical oncology floor started calling me a BC warrior. It definitely made me smile. I like to think it was because they knew I was fighting for my life as I was bleeding out and my big tough husband was standing in the doorway crying. He truly thought I would not live since I was so grey. He said they stuck me 16 times in an attempt at a 2nd IV line. If I were inclined to get a tattoo it would not be nipples it would be somewhere visible that said "Nurses Rule."

I tried your link but could not find any locations sadly. I have a bit of medical training and knew I needed wound care. I searched the web for any facility or Dr. even remotely close to no avail. I'm seeing my family Dr. in a few weeks until then I do wound care twice daily. Thanks again, Lynne

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So, it's been 7 weeks of daily wound care. As I was taking off the morning bandage thick greenish yellow gunk leaked out. The surgeon ordered some sort of vacuum-assisted closure device. Does anyone know anything or have any experience with this device? Thanks, Lynne

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@bcwarrior

So, it's been 7 weeks of daily wound care. As I was taking off the morning bandage thick greenish yellow gunk leaked out. The surgeon ordered some sort of vacuum-assisted closure device. Does anyone know anything or have any experience with this device? Thanks, Lynne

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If you mean the Prevena device, my surgeon used it on my double mastectomy incisions 6 weeks ago. I had radiation in 2010. It did work for me, I hope that you will get help from it.

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Thank you latebloomer for your reply. I have no clue what type of vacuum I will receive. The surgeon said he had to order it. That it's not stocked in the office (4 breast surgeons' office & 0 vacuums). Next week it will be 4 months since my bilateral mastectomy. For the first 1.75 months, I had to go weekly to have needle drainage with the highest amount at a single time being over a liter of fluid build-up. I had my surgically placed drains on each side for 4 weeks. In between Dr. visits while hand washing with a small washcloth two inches of the surgically glued incision opened up and at least 8 oz of fluid went in every direction. Let's just say I did not get much sleep that night, So, here I am 7 weeks later still changing bandages and clothes twice daily. P.S. I finally figured out I can use Kotex etc. The tape allergy sores are gone Almost there : ) : ) : ) Too Blessed to be stressed : ) : )

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I am recovering from a mastectomy on my left breast that was performed on Sept 1, 2022. I had 2 drains with 2 collection bottles. After 1 week, 1 drain was removed. A week after that the 2nd drain was removed. I have swelling under my arm pit still 2.5 wks post surgery. Surgeon told me it takes about 1 month for the swelling to go down. I hope she is right. Didn't you have drains post surgery? Also, I am to start chemo..meet w oncologist this week, and not sure if I should wait til swelling goes down for me to start chemo.

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Hi ladytnac,

Every person has a different story to share. I had a double mastectomy 05/2022—my surgically placed drains on each side for 4 weeks. This is what the left side looked like after 2-3 weeks. It is 4 months and I still have swelling but not so much in my armpits. I have a good range of motion because I stretch. PLEASE consult with a Hematologist/Oncologist asap they are both specialties combined. Did you have the tumor tested by Oncotype DX??? This tumor test helps determine what chemo the Hematologist/Oncologist determines for the best results for your cancer. If I can help in any way please contact me. Sending Healing Prayers, Lynne

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@ladytnac

I am recovering from a mastectomy on my left breast that was performed on Sept 1, 2022. I had 2 drains with 2 collection bottles. After 1 week, 1 drain was removed. A week after that the 2nd drain was removed. I have swelling under my arm pit still 2.5 wks post surgery. Surgeon told me it takes about 1 month for the swelling to go down. I hope she is right. Didn't you have drains post surgery? Also, I am to start chemo..meet w oncologist this week, and not sure if I should wait til swelling goes down for me to start chemo.

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@ladytnac, how did the meeting go with the oncologist? Do you have a chemo treatment and start date in place now?

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Its been 3.5 weeks since my surgery ..simple mastectomy left breast only. Some swelling under arm pit. Doc says could take a few months now to completely go away. Sentinel lymph nodes clean. Tumor approx. 1 .7 cm. Triple negative aprocrine breast cancer. First of 4 cycles of Taxotere Cytoxan (TC) to begin beginning October. No onc score cause triple negative. Chose not to do 16 cycle AC Taxol because my nodes are clean and I'm stage 1. I hope I don't regret decision.

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@ladytnac

Its been 3.5 weeks since my surgery ..simple mastectomy left breast only. Some swelling under arm pit. Doc says could take a few months now to completely go away. Sentinel lymph nodes clean. Tumor approx. 1 .7 cm. Triple negative aprocrine breast cancer. First of 4 cycles of Taxotere Cytoxan (TC) to begin beginning October. No onc score cause triple negative. Chose not to do 16 cycle AC Taxol because my nodes are clean and I'm stage 1. I hope I don't regret decision.

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Thanks for sharing your treatment plan. It sounds like you got good guidance to make the decisions with your team. It's hard not to worry about and to anticipate regrets. But you made the best decision for you given the medical advice available and according to your personal life preferences.

Be sure to know what the followup plan will be after treatment. Your team will monitor you closely.

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@ladytnac

Its been 3.5 weeks since my surgery ..simple mastectomy left breast only. Some swelling under arm pit. Doc says could take a few months now to completely go away. Sentinel lymph nodes clean. Tumor approx. 1 .7 cm. Triple negative aprocrine breast cancer. First of 4 cycles of Taxotere Cytoxan (TC) to begin beginning October. No onc score cause triple negative. Chose not to do 16 cycle AC Taxol because my nodes are clean and I'm stage 1. I hope I don't regret decision.

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And I forgot to add. You may wish to connect with other members diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in this discussion:
– Triple Negative Breast Cancer: What treatments are you having? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/triple-negative-breast-cancer/

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