In January of 2008 I had a lumpectomy done and then received chemo from Feb 1st to April1 (total 4 treatments three weeks apart). My radiation followed and was completed by July1st (36 treatments). Two weeks after my lumpectomy on my right breast I developed severe swelling of the right breast with redness of the skin and my surgeon called it a seroma. The surgeon attempted to aspirate it, but decided to send me to the Breast Cancer Center to have it drained under ultrasound. Consequently, they drained almost 600cc the first time! Unfortunatley, the fluid recurred and they recommended drainage again. The surgeon would put me on antibiotics, then send me to the Breast Center for drainage of the seroma. After three episodes of draining the right breast, the surgeon sent me to an Infectious Disease Dr who had no further suggestions or comments. I still continue to have swelling, considerable amount and resulting pain constantly. When I saw the surgeon in August she said I have lymphedema and basically will have to live with it. So, my question is, are seromas common after a simple lumpectomy and why do they occur? And now they are saying it is lymphedema. What is the difference between lymphedema and seroma, the causes, and the treatment? I do not have any swelling in my right arm at all and never have had, so I did not think it was ever lymphedema, from what I had read about lymphedema affecting the upper arm. Just my right breast is larger, swollen, harder and firmer to touch and painful. It is quite noticeable with some sweaters and definitely with an evening gown. Is there anything that can be done for the swelling and the pain? Should the surgeon be able to help me with this problem?