Pain 4 weeks post Lumpectomy

It has been 4 weeks since my lumpectomy + lymph node removal surgery and I still have pain in my left breast. There are often sharp shooting pains from below the nipple. My nipple and areola are hypersensitive and cannot be touched even if I need to clean the lint sticking to it from the post-surgery bra that I wear. I still can’t sleep on my left side.
I like to sleep on my side because I get back ache after sleeping straight for too long. The steristrips from the surgery haven’t come off yet. The breast is painful to touch. The initial swelling has come down gradually and it is not yet the same size as my right breast. I have small breasts.
The nurse and doctors looked at it and said it looks fine and on track. But when i mention my pain they are like, “really, u still have pain?”.
I had a pet scan done and it looked fine. There was some fluid in there where the lump was before. The radio onco said that the fluid will reduce with time.
I will be starting radiation in few weeks. Wouldn’t it hurt even more?
I would appreciate any advice

1 Like

Hi @sby

Welcome to the forum.

So sorry to hear you are in pain.

I had a bilateral (both) lumpectomy last July and was in pain for nearly 6 weeks. I had to wear a bra 24/7 but I do have DD/E cup. I couldn’t lie on either side and found back sleeping a bit uncomfortable so added a pillow under my knees, which helped a bit.

I was advised by my Breast Care Nurse that there is a lot of tissue to heal and can take months. Even now 10 months on I have chest wall pain and some swelling. I’m awaiting an appointment at the lymphoedema clinic.

I hope the nurses will answer you question soon, their opening times are 9-4 M-F and 9-1 Sat. So you might want to phone tomorrow if you want an answer before Monday as you may not get an answer tomorrow. 0808 600 8000

Take care :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

1 Like

I will be 5 weeks post op following mastectomy having already had 2 surgeries that failed to get clear margins.
In my experience 4 weeks is still early days. Each time the pain lessened and became uncomfortable rather than pain. I needed pain relief at times especially at night. Most also experience pain as the nerves heal which for me are burning or shooting pains. I found the pain from the lymph surgery was more painful that the breast.
I hope that things improve soon. x
Keep doing the exercises, they do help.


Hello sby

Thanks for your post.

It’s understandable you want to know if it’s normal to still have pain 4 weeks after your breast surgery and what might help. As @holly.52 and @naughty_boobs have said it’s not uncommon to have pain after breast surgery and this can sometimes continue for while after as the breast tissue continues to heal. This includes pains like the sharp shooting pains and hypersensitive sensations you have described. This may be due to temporary damage to nerves during surgery or when scar tissue forms. The pain should start to improve over time.

It’s good to that you have had it looked at, had a PET scan and have been told the area looks fine and is on track. It’s not unusual to have some fluid develop in the surgical area and as your radiotherapy oncologist has said, it will gradually go down and be re-absorbed.

I wonder if you are taking any pain relief medication. If your pain is not controlled, your GP, treatment team or a pharmacist can suggest what might be best. Taking some simple pain relief regularly, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, may help, if you are able to take these. If taking simple pain relief does not control your symptoms, let your GP or treatment team know.

You mention you are wearing a post-surgery bra. A supportive bra can help with the pain. You may find our information about bras after breast surgery of help. It may also help to use a small soft pillow under your breast when you sleep.

You may be interested in other services we offer. Do call our helpline if you would like to talk this through or have any further questions. The helpline team have time to listen, talk things through and signpost you to more support and information if necessary. Your call will be confidential, and the number is free from UK landlines and all mobile networks. The number is 0808 800 6000, (Relay UK - prefix 18001).

If you would prefer one of our nurses to call you. To do this, please complete this form ticking the box agreeing to a call back.

Our usual opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am - 4pm and 9am - 1pm on Saturday.

Out of hours you can leave a message and we will call you back when we next open.

Best wishes


Breast Care Nurse

Please read the Ask Our Nurses disclaimer Full details on how we collect and use your data can be found in our Privacy Policy

As we are unable to monitor for further replies, this thread will now be closed. If you have any additional questions or would like to provide feedback, please start a new thread, call our helpline, email us or request a call back.