Pain after mastectomy

Hi folks

I had mastectomy about 3 weeks ago and know it is early days. However was wondering if others are having the same experience as myself. I have TNBC,lymph nodes clear,due to start chemo,FEC on Fri followed by radio.I am having pain around my scar and around the site where my nodes were taken for biopsy. My back is also sore, mostly along my shoulder blades. Is anyone else experiencing this? I can understand the pain around my chest, but along the top of my back? Feeling worried.

Thanks Jo

Hi Jo,

Can’t say for definate, but it could be the position that you were put in for the surgeon to do his/her work. If pain killers do not help, then I really suggest you speak to your bcn to put your mind at rest. Have you been doing your exercises as they are a very important of the post operative recovery to prevent arm stiffness etc.
Do hope that it doesn’t go on for too much longer, best wishes,

Marjay xxx

Hi Jo, my mx was 2 weeks ago, I think it’s nerve regeneration pains hunny. Nerve pains refer along other nerves to strange places, for this kind of surgery often the back of your arm and your back. I would def speak to your BCN as Marjay says, but don’t worry. I’m using bio oil to massage the area twice a day, and doing that while stretching with the arm up the wall exercise, it’s helping a lot. There’s another thread on here somewhere with other advice, think it’s under ‘burning pain’. Hugs, Lynne xx

Sorry forgot to add, I think you should only use the bio oil on areas that have completely healed ie no scabby bits! x

I had terrible pain after my mx, particularly right round the arm from the elbow up to the chest and on the chest area. Normal painkillers wouldn’t touch it, and the GP prescribed codeine based painkillers which did the trick BUT gave me huge problems with constipation. No one told me that it was because a major nerve had probably been severed during the operation (I looked up my anatomy textbook and think it would be the intercostobrachial nerve) and just looked at me askance when I said I was in terrible pain. It took about six weeks to settle down, from the elbow upwards in that order.

However, on the plus side the pain did settle over the weeks, and although I still have some degree of numbness in the arm and the chest, it lessens by the month - and I am fine 15 months on. So do be careful of the painkillers you have, but I think if you understand what is going on it does help. There is light.

Hi jreid,
I had my mx 6 weeks ago. I too had really bad pain in my back, I could’nt sit back against a chair and found it very uncomfortable lying in bed as I could only lie in one position on the unaffected side. This has eased considerably, though I still feel very tender in one particular area, it,s alot better than it was. I did find that it helped to gently rub the affected area, i used e45 lotion. It was nowhere near scars.Really hope this helps a bit.

Best wishes Wendy xxx

Hi, I had a right breast mastectomy on May 9th. I felt ok in fact very well until i got a wound infection one week later after my drains were removed. I feel this has really slowed my recovery down as i felt so ill. im due to finish my anti biotics flucloxicillin today. the actual wound is now so much better, just limited movement and numbness under my arm and in arm pit. I can only get comfy at night if i sleep on my back and wake still feeling very washed out, which i think is most likely the two week course of anti biotics leaving me a bit low. All said and done i have a peace about the future and start my 7 months chemo treatment this Tuesday.

Hi EB, I’m sure the antibiotics didn’t help how you feel,but I think overall it’s fairly normal to feel very tired and drained (literally and metaphorically) so soon after a mx. I could only sleep on my back for 7 weeks, then just as I was in despair about ever lying on my side again I was suddenly able to.
The nerve pains are now gone and have been for a good month or so.
Lots of luck with the chemo, big hugs

I am now in the 10th week post surgery also had sentinel nodes removed. I was told all was clear and I am now on Tamoxifen.
I do my exercises daily. I am still getting pain round the scar and a tightness in my chest as the day wears on and after eating food.
Has anybody experienced this.

hi jo ive just picked up your thread , i had my mastectomy 4 weeks ago and 11 nodes taken , the pain and the tightnessand pain around where they took the nodes and and under my arm is terrible , but when i ask about it at the hospital they dont seem worried about it ,i was beguining to panic until i picked up your thread , also i can hardly bare to look at my scar its so ugly , would you update me jo on your progress please thankyou jackie xx

Hi I had a mastectomy and node clearance 11 days ago and did not have the drain removed until my follow up appointment as the amount of fluid draining did not decrease. They told me that I might need to go back to have fluid syringed off by the bcn but I am not sure that I know how I will know if fluid has built up as everything looks so weird and swollen anyway. Any suggestions what to look out for?