Excruciating burning pain following WLE and SLNB, any advice gratefully received

Hi there


I wonder if any of you peeps on here might have some words of wisdom for me please?  I had WLE and SNLB on Weds.  Came home on paracetamol and ibuprofen and oral morphine for breakthrough pain.  All was well until 3am, when things got quite painful.  I tried the morphine, but ended up with severe stomach cramps that had me pacing the room and panting for about 2 hours, although it worked a treat for the pain under my arm (i was also given anti sickness tablets to take with it).  All throughout yesterday the wound pain was uncomfortable but nothing horrendous, but had the most excruciating burning pain in my armpit that had me again pacing and panting and having to rock backwards and forwards with the pain.  Spoke to GP who gave me codeine to take with paras and ibu.  But it did nothing for the burning it was agony.  In the end it was another call to out of hours, saw GP who gave me Tramadol, which is helping although the burning is breaking through.  I just wonder if anyone else has experienced this and has any tips on anything that might help (apart from drugs).  The wounds have been checked and all ok, no seroma or haematoma and infact they feel really ok, its just the agony of the burning sensation and i can’t bear anything anywhere near it.  I would be really grateful for any top tips from any of you lovely peeps.  Many thanks dollybeads:robothappy:

Hello Dollybeads

Welcome to the forums.

I’m sure other users will be along to support you soon. 

In the meantime, maybe you would like to talk things through with a member of our helpline staff who are there to offer emotional support as well as practical information. The free phone number is 0808 800 6000 and the lines are open again at 9.00 and normal hours are Monday to Friday 9.00 to 5.00 and Saturday 10.00 to 2.00.

Best wishes

June, moderator

Hello Dollybeads

First of all, welcome to the community, and big hugs for all you are going through right now.

The reason you are getting the horrible burning pain is because the nerve that supplies your arm is very close to the surgery area in your axilla and it will be bruised and swollen. I had very similar symptoms to you, and my breast care nurse recommended that I tried to desensitise the area by massage, using an unperfumed body lotion or cream, in the upper arm area (but away from your scar until it has healed). It was very painful to begin with, but I persevered and it really helped. It also helped to do more stretches - upwards ‘wall walking’, and ‘winging it’ several times a day (see your exercise leaflet for more details).

Try to keep positive, this won’t last for long and in a few weeks time you will be feeling almost back to normal, and ready for your next stage of treatment.

Good luck with your journey, and lots of love xxx

Try wheat bags… I had horrible, sickly type pain, especially after attempting to put a bra on, however, anti inflamatories, lparacetomol, wheatbag and rest, did the trick you may have moved your arm in your sleep.it does get better!

Thanks everyone for your replies.  The burning as you all said has now settled.  In the end my GP gave me amitrpytyline which really helped overnight.  It did make me feel a bit odd the next day but at least I could get some sleep.  Now all settled thankfully.  Unfortunately i then developed a very nasty infection, which I am still having daily dressings for, this has also been most unpleasant (not particularly painful) but my boob grew to the size of a melon.  Sadly I am already pretty well endowed so could not take any comfort from a huge increase in size!  Have been on high dose abx for the last two weeks, which seem to be working, but do leave you feeling a bit mweh all round.


Back to the hospital today for my results, I am so hoping that it will be good news, fingers and toes crossed for all out there who are on the big C rollercoaster.  Big hugs alll round x x x