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Suzanne asked...

Serious bruising from a fall.

About 6 weeks ago, my mum fainted and fell, seriously bruising the right-hand side of her body including her breast, which went hard, after a month this hadn't got any better and was referred to hospital for a mammogram and subsequently a biopsy.
The Dr treating her said it looked like the worst case of a breast haematoma she'd seen. The bruising had gone up to her lymph glands and they have taken 10 samples for biopsy. I'd like to be able to help my mum with whatever the result may be and i'd like some information on what may happen next. She's due the results next wednesday.

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The answer

It is a very difficult time for you and your mum as you wait patiently for the results. A haematoma is a collection of old blood which forms as a result of bleeding. This could have occurred just because she fell badly. The doctors have probably taken the biopsies to make certain there is not an underlying cause for the haematoma (such as infection or cancer).  

I really hope that is not the case and only blood is found. If only blood is found, they may simply wait for the body to absorb the blood/haematoma on its own, as you would a normal bruise. Sometimes a very large haematoma may need to be drained with an operation to remove some of the blood. If it has become infected she may need antibiotics.

If anything suspicious is found she will obviously need to have further tests or maybe an operation, but hopefully that will not be the case. Being with your mum when she gets the results will be a great comfort for her. You can help ask questions and make notes of the consultation in case she forgets what is said.

Answered by Dr EmmaJane Down.


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