I had a right mastectomy 18 months ago. Not without complications. Which I had the wound drained several times with different methods and have since been referred to lyphoedema clinic and been doing massage treatment for 6 months with not much difference. The las 2 nights I have been kept awake with intentess pain in the left breast and am quite concerned as to why this is happening. I am on Letrozole.

Hello Kelmscott,

Thank you for your post.

I am sorry to see that you haven’t had a response yet. I am hoping my post will help our members to find it and offer their advice or even share their experience.

Please know that if you would like to talk about any worries or concerns, our Nurses are here and always happy to talk.

Sending you our best wishes,


Hi, my op was around the same time as you so we are similar in terms of time regarding recovery. I haven’t had lymphodema but have had shoulder and rib and muscle pains. I’ve been doing physiotherapy for about a year now (have had telephone advice since the pandemic) and it has helped a lot. My physio made me aware how very complex the whole chest and shoulder area is and how interconnected all the muscles are. She also explained how, if some of your muscles are affected, other muscles try to compensate and work too hard, which has a knock-on effect and makes them have problems too. I am also on letrozole like you, which can cause aches and pains, but I wouldn’t have thought that was the main cause of the pain you are having because it seems so severe. When I was in bad pain the last thing I felt like doing was keep moving, but my physio said it was really important to keep on with my exercises, though she did adjust them for me according to the pain so I didn’t over-stretch. I also developed a ‘frozen shoulder’ and had steroid and hydrodilatation injection, as frozen shoulder is more common in people who’ve had surgery. When I was in pain initially I just thought I had to put up with it and this was just what it was like having surgery. However, I did mention it to my nurse and I am so grateful she referred me to physiotherapy. It can be a bit of a long journey getting to see (or talk to on the phone) the right people and then there’s a lot of hard work doing the exercises, plus the exercises for your lymphodema. But from my experience I’d like to encourage you that progress can be made. At the start of seeing my physio I had to take a lot of pain relief to sleep at night and it really got me down, but now I don’t need any. I still sleep with a cushion now and then though. I thought that if I wasn’t ‘back to a new normal’ a few months after surgery then this is how I would be forever, but I now realise that improvements can be made for many years afterwards. I hope your breast care nurse or GP can help you find the right help you need too. All the best to you