Pain after lymph node clearence

Hi ladies. I had my left mastectomy on Thursday and ended up having a full node clearence.

I thought I was doing ok pain wise but today the sensations in my arm are driving me mad. I can’t decide if is pain or not. If it tickles or not! My upper underside of my arm is super sensitive to. I keep getting intermittent elbow burning pain. Pain killers don’t seem to be touching it and I don’t know what else to do.

Any suggestions greatly received.



I can really empathise. I had 5 nodes removed and they’ve caused me more hassle than the bc itself! Burning pain under the arm and a weird numbness down to about my elbow were the main issues and it’s taken over 3 weeks to get it to a manageable level. I did find that moving it helped, so it motivated me to keep going with the physio - have you been given specific exercises?

I can’t take NSAID-type painkillers and the codeine-based tablets did horrid things to my insides, so I just kept on going with paracetamol every 4 hours, lots of rest, and lots of fluids - it took me a while to realise I was badly dehydrated. My best friend was very insistant - “Take the tablets before you think you need them!” and when eventually I followed her advice I realised she’s absolutely right.

If the pain gets too bad don’t be afraid to call your breast-care nurse and ask for help. That’s what they are there for.


All the best



Hi Marsbars, I’ve had a full LN excision and I sympathise with you. It really is worse than the breast wound. Trouble is your body doesn’t know where to re route the fluid, so you probably have a weird trickling wet sensation. Hold your arm up and do some exercises. Gentle massage should also help. I used codeine that was given in hospital , and used it regularly otherwise you aren’t medicating properly. The shooting pains to elbow are a bit of a sickener, but the surgeon apparently ‘rummages’ about, not delicately removing them! Eight weeks on my back still hurts a bit. If it’s unbearable I would ring your BCN. All the best for a swift recovery. X

  P .S MUST do exercises to shift the lymph fluid and prevent the dreaded Lymphodema!


Painkillers and ibruprofen didn’t touch my pain! I went to the doctors and was prescribed amytriptyline10 mg per night and success!

Sandra x

Thanks for all the replies. Got BCN tomorrow to hopefully have the drains removed so I will mention it. Such horrible sensations.

I’m petrified of it being permanent x

Annie thank you.

I just feel more battered as the days are progressing and I guess I wasn’t expecting that.

Fingers crossed the drains come out later today and that shoul make things a little more comfortable