Bi-lateral mastectomytightness. Reassurance please


Can anyone tell me if it is normal to still have tightness across my chest a month after a Bi- lateral mastectomy please.

It goes from armpit to armpit and it feels as though I am in a vice that is slowly being tightened. By the end of the day it also feels as though i am being cut into by a band running for about 4/5 inches from my armpits up towards my shoulders. My back and neck then end being up painful as well. I’m doing my exercises but if anything it is getting worse and I’m beginning to get a bit depressed about it all.

Hi janail,
It is normal to have the tight feeling, my operation was last July and I remember that tightness. All I can say is you must keep doing excercises, I stopped when I thought I was better at Christmas and now its worse!! Especially tight on my left side where I had rads,so am now going for physio. Ask your BC nurse about swimming, also ask her if you can massage the scars - as my scar tissue sticks, the physio has shown me how to massage it to loosen it all up (without cream). I still put bio oil on at night and Palmers cream in the day. Also - make sure your posture doesnt change (they told me mine has which causes the neck and shoulder pain). Hope that all helps - just give it time and keep excercising!!

Hi Janail
I had a double Mastectomy in February this year I am also suffering tight crushing pain accross the chest like a vice mainly at night I feel really stiff when I wake up, no one seems to have heard of this before, I asked my Breast Cancer nurse if she had heard of anyone else suffering in this way she said just keep taking the pain killers.
I hope you are feeling better. let me know if yoy have had any more advice on this.ottellie

Hi Ottellie

Sorry, I’ve only just noticed your post.I’m sorry to hear that you are suffering as well.

Up to approx. a few weeks ago I was starting to get really desperate. It was all so tight and the area around my scar lines was getting harder and harder. No-one was listening and the only suggestions were to go and see a Councillor. In desperation I went to see my G.P. who referred me to a Macmillan nurse. I was prescribed Amytriptyline, which is used in small doses, for neuropathic pain and I went to see the Physio. She has been massaging the areas and the last few days I’ve had some lymphoedema taping applied. Two weeks on the tightness has eased a little and the area is becoming softer and more mobile. I’ve also seen my Surgeon and he’s not ruling out the possibility that I may need surgery at a future date to get rid of the ‘lumps and bumps’

I hope you get some relief soon.


Hi Janail
Thank you for replying to my post, I hope you are not suffering anymore, I finished My radio Therapy end june, I am still suffering with pain and tightness across my chest area particulary at night I went to see GP this evening and he also prescribed Amytriptyline and said to take an Ibroprufin. I thought I would look it up on breast cancer site and saw that you had replied to my post and was relieved to see you had been prescibed the same. I hope it has worked for you, can you please update me, and I will let you know how I get on.
Thank you


Hi Ottellie,

My situation is a bit different, but I had bilateral mastectomies at different times. My surgeon was good at explaining the importance of massaging the areas to free up adhesions and this did help but even now many years on - 12 & 10 years I still get a certain amount of tightness across my chest come the evenings. If you draw a line from mid boob(that was) to mid boob - that is where I feel the tightness. It is just something I have got used to now.


Hi Dawn
Thank you for your reply, it is reassuring to know that you are fit and well after 12 and 10 years, I will try the massaging, the tightness does get worse towards the end of the day, It is very helpful to know that other people have experienced this tightness as some people I have asked did not get any pain at all. Thank you