numbness after auxillary clearance

Hi,Had my auxilliary clearance 6 days ago and came home with a drain .I realised there would be some numbness and possible cording which i have but can anyone advise if the numbness improves over time or has some peoples been permenant ,thanks in advance xx

Hi Tracey fizz, 

I had auxiliary  clearance in September  and I still can’t feel anything  in my armpit. I don’t think  the cut nerves repair themselves. No idea if I’m putting  deodorant  in the right place! But you do get used to it, all the nerve pain goes and it’s just different. 

Hi there


It’s been 6 weeks since my surgery and I can’t feel anything in my armpit, but it looks as though I never will judging from your other replies! It is weird putting deodorant on. I hate the numbness in my arm but think that is getting better actually.



My physio said I should try keep my arm in contact with my body as much as possible even if it hurts as it would get used to the feeling so although its still numb if I poke/touch it and I have to guess re deodrant etc its easing off and my brain/nerves etc are getting used to the feeling so im not noticing it as much, it also gets less noticable when there is less swelling/fluid

Itll feel better even if it doesnt fix itself x

Thanks for the replies i have had my drain out today yippee so can do more exercises the feelings are weird but i will get used to it and like you say when the swelling goes it should get better still , gonna start swimming soon before my chemo and try to get in better shape x thanks ladies

Hi. I had my axillary clearance in February and now the numbness in my arm has gone except in my armpit. It is certainly better than it was as I can feel my self touching there now but just not distinguish between pressure or a light touch. You do get used to positioning the deodorant lol

Hi, I had my anc a month ago and the feelings in my arm have really improved over the last 1-2 weeks. Before then it was horrible! Lots of numbness and lots of hypersensitivity but no “normal” areas. I read on one of the boards here about emu oil for helping nerve damage and since I’ve started using that the nerve pain has got so much better!! My bcn told me the only way to deal with the hypersensitivity was to keep touching my arm. So I started rubbing epaderm creams in vigorously for 5 minute spells a few times a day. I spent an awful lot of time with a really greasy arm but I think it’s paid off!!! Lol. I still have numbness at the very top of my arm, and my armpit is fairly numb but not completely as I can feel a little bit when putting on deodorant now. I really started to stress that my arm was going to feel horrid forever, but it really has gotten so much better the last couple of weeks. And you will feel so much better when the drain comes out. That’s a huge relief!!xx

I am in the weird numbness club too. 2 1/2 weeks post MX and ANC and hypersensitive all down the back of my arm to my elbow. Really horrid burning pain when touched. The top of my arm is back to normal though so am hoping the rest will follow. Armpit is fine thank goodness. I will try the recommendation to rub it as I have been avoiding it due to how painful it feels. 


Also bothering me is the tightness when at full stretch - I feel a pain from my arm right down my rib cage. It eases off when I keep at it but I can see how easy it would be to stiffen up. Guess it is cording though I can really feel a ‘cord’. Bit obsessive about stretching in all directions! Appt with breastcare physio isn’t till 11/7 as she is on leave and I would love to know now if there is anything else I should be doing. 


Off to massage my arm now. 


Oncewild, I don’t have any specific exercises for cording, just the normal ones for after surgery. Did they give you the booklet of exercises following breast surgery?

Traceyfizz, my bcn told me to ask my gp for the epaderm on repeat, so I’ve done that. The emu oil you can get on Amazon. Hope it all helps! I also started laying on that side in bed. I’ve been avoiding it because it felt so horrid but decided it was another way to make sure my arm was being touched more where it was in contact with the bed. Now there’s no hypersensitivity when I lay on it x

Hi girls. I had my ANC on Friday. Your posts have been very helpful, as I know know the pain/sensations/numbness etc is normal. So good to read about others experiences. Taran, with regards to the emu oil, when can you start using it post surgery? And is it just under your armpit or whole arm? I started massaging Epaderm into upper arm yesterday. Have been doing ok, but back of my arm pretty sore this morning with electric shock type pain. Only way I can describe it lol. Hopefully I’m getting drain out tomorrow. Some of you seem to have drain in a lot longer. Exercises are hard work, I nearly felt I was going to pass out when attempting them earlier ?

Hi Alex, I started using the emu oil about 2 and a half weeks post op. But only because I didn’t know about it before then. If I had any more surgery I would use it sooner. You don’t use it on the wound/scar so I can’t see any reason not to start straight away with it. I use it down the length of my upper arm, and across the area where my armpit meets my chest (sorry don’t know how to describe it well!!) as I had a lot of tightness there which was restricting my movement. Fingers crossed the drain comes out soon for you. Feels so much better once it’s out doesn’t it!! I remember doing the exercises before surgery thinking how easy they were and that they couldn’t possibly do any good. Then felt like I’d spent an hour down the gym the first time I did them post op!!!xx

Thanks Taran. I’ll pop on to Amazon site to order some emu oil. I see you’ve joined the July Chemo Thread. So have I. Can’t believe it to be honest. Been a roller coaster the last 7 weeks.

I know Alex, same here. I saw gp April 28th, biopsy 5th may, diagnosed 10th and surgery 19th. Whirlwind is the only way to describe it! At the time I was a mess because it was all so fast. But in retrospect I’m so grateful for the speed it all happened.xx

Yes Taran, I feel exactly the same. A lot to thank our NHS for!

At the moment everything hurts lol fluid building up very quickly since my drain came out then woke up early hours sunday teeth chattering and freezing cold thought i was on my way out yesterday …am such a drama queen it seems got an infection so on  anti-biotics , so all in all the crushed glass feeling in my arm has been over-ridden , thanks for the cream advise taran and roll on thurday consultant appointment so i can be once again be  drained lol then my next post will be more uplifting :smileyvery-happy:xx

Aw sorry to hear you’re having a hard time Traceyfizz. Hopefully the Antibiotics are already doing their work. I was thinking once drain would be out, things could only get better and exercises would become easier. Unfortunately not the case ! Hope you are on the mend soon X

Been to hospital today for resuts of aux clearance and all good no traces…yippee  , tried to drain my very swollen site and only got 100mls doc said it was probably tissue swelling following surgery which was 2 weeks ago am i being too hopeful that this will go down anytime soon ? sooooo painful . anyhoo oncologist meeting in about 3 weeks for my next plan x

100ml sounds a lot to me traceyfizz so hopefully it will help having that drained. I’m sure I had a big improvement between weeks 2 and 3 so fingers crossed you’ll be feeling a lot better very soon xx

Traceyfizz, that’s good that no trace in lymph nodes. Means itwas contained in breast and hadn’t spread via nodes. And while recovery from op isn’t easy, you now know there is no cancer there. I think if we hadn’t of went for ANC we would always have that worry in our minds that it might spread if the chemo/radiotherapy didn’t blast it. I’m only 6 days post op, so long way to go by the sounds of it. I’m following Taran’s advice with the creams and going to drive tomorrow to see how I get on with that. X

Girls, feel I need advice. I am 7 days post op. My arm has stiffened up the last few days. I can hardly move it. Phoned Physio yesterday who has agreed to see me on Monday. Severe pain the last few days. Back on the cocodamol, but not getting much relief from them. I feel a tightness in my ribs/lungs, and pain in upper back from lungs to top of back, as if someone is squeezing me really hard. I have pain in chest area, as if I have lifted something heavy and strained myself. I actually feel it is a wee bit hard to breathe. Is this pain normal? Don’t know if I should wait until Monday to see Physio, or maybe phone the ward for advice? Only I don’t want them saying to come up to see them, to no doubt hang about for hours to see Dr and to be told all ok. If I thought this was normal I could settle myself. Thanks.