Atrophy of pectoral muscle??

Dear all,

I am wondering if anyone has had, or knows of, wastage of the pectoral muscle(front of chest) following surgery?
I had right Mx 2004, followed by recon with expander implants, which were in for about 2 years before having to come out due to capsular contracture and implant in wrong place, in 2008.
Since then, it seems that the whole area on right(affected) side appears to have shrunk back (area now a bit hollow) and it feels incredibly tight. This tightness appears to extend round to my back. I have trunkal and arm lymphodema on this side too.
I have just gone off sick at work after worsening of lymphodema and discomfort around this area (sit at desk for 6 hrs /day)- that’s another story and thread!
i also have something similar to pins and needles to my hand (but not full blown pins and needles), which feels alot better when I put my sleeve and glove on.
Anyone with anything similar? have got appt with GP 2 weeks time and next breast surgical team appt isn’t until May. Just wondering if this could be the reason for my symptoms?

Suggest you have a word with BCN. Could the tingling maybe due to swelling in the arm pressing on a nerve? i’m thinking about the healing across pec muscle and possible scar tissue, do you have chest wall lymphoedema as well as in your arm? Mastectomy involves peeling the breast tissue off from above (in front of) chest wall muscle and ribs so there’s a whole slab/sheet of damage that repairs and scars down, tends to shrink which can cause all sorts of probs so you really need to keep working to stretch it out. Boo to desk work hunching us up!

Hi Hymil,

Thanks for your reply. Yes, i think you are right, the amount of “disruption and disturbance” to this muscle - original MX, then further cutting and pocket-making for implant, then the inflation of expander implant, stretching, capsular contraction, then more cutting and removal of implant (not forgeting a nice dollop of radiothera[py on the way). yes, I guess it is a bit scarred, so perhaps that is all starting to tighten up etc.
I have an appt at clinic in April, perhaps I should speak to BC nurse first?
Yes, I do have chest/trunkal lymphodema (started as trunk, but seems to be creeping arouynd to fromnt of chest and arm (since doing desk job- may well have developed with or without desk job, but am sure that’s not helping).
I keep exercising, but this area just feels sooo tight now, and almost can’t bare to wear prosthesis - not a great look!!
Thanks, will speak to her and let you know. Maybe time to move away from desk job? xxx

Interesting posts. I’ve been wondering about my chest wall a bit following various aches and pains - not sure whether there’s some chest lymphodema starting - what would that be like? Had double mx 2 years ago & try to keep active. Do a lot of gardening and have recently been barrowing muck to put on potato plot - maybe some strain from that?
Thanks maggy

Hi happyshopper

Maybe some of the damage to the pectoral muscle could be due to the radiotherapy? I have had much less invasive treatment than you have, but a few months after finishing rads found that the pectoral muscle kept stiffening up, particularly after sitting at my desk at work, or driving for long periods is the other things that sets it off tightening up.

I’ve been told that this is due to the white cell repair after rads causing scarring of the tissue. I’ve been having physio treatment on it and that has helped a lot. I’m now 18 months post-rads and at last the stiffening effect is reducing, still with the help of occasional physio treatment.

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