Hi there. I've developed this on my chest wall as well and to some extend under my arm and back (where the bra line finishes). I have been advised not to wear a sleeve as my arm is ok at the moment and the pressure might actually make the chest swelling worse. I carry out regularly home massage, i.e. upwards gentle strokes on the affected arm and then acroos the chest wall and stimulate the lymph nodes on other arm. It does seem to help and when it got bad after a recent long flight, my husband massaged the whole area twice a day and managed to bring some of the swelling down. I also swim regularly , incl. backstroke, and that does keep my whole shoulder and arm flexible. I have been told not to wear a pressure garment on the chest at present, but just to wear a supportive mastectomy bra, which is fine if it is not cut too high, as the pressure from a tight bra actually makes my underarm swelling worse. So it seems that it is very mcuh a question of 'trial and error' , but a visit to the local lymphoedema nurse might be the answer.
I too had this and struggled for info....Prof Neil Pillar, Australia has a booklet on breast lymphoedema which is very useful and sure you will get his detaisl from a serach engine....or BCC. A special pressure garment helped me but a firm bra top with a piece of foam against the swollen area to increase pressure there, not to cut off circulation though, helped night and day. Also, kinesiotape from my underarm or breast, to my groin helped drain it to lymph nodes in my groin. You can be shown the technique at the clinic then do this yourself.
I found it got worse as the day went on and my range of movement in my shoulder r educed as it felt tethered by the swollen tissue.
I unfortunately developed lynphoedema in my arm and hand too and really struggle with this as can't get the 25% difference in size down even now I have decent pressure garments (which took a year and many,many wasted garments to find as they all made my hand worse). I have been to two different clinics which seem ok for treating straightforward cases but when in trunk, breast or hand this is not so straightforward and i found a regional clinic which was the only one to manage to sort me out with decent pressure garments.
I didn't have a mastectomy - I had a lumpectomy - and I have lymphoedema of the breast. My arm is fine. To help with the breast lymphoedema I shall be having a course of MLD - manual lymphatic drainage - in a few weeks. I understand that they stimulate lymph glands which will persuade the lymph to drain away.
One exercise I have been told about which may help a little in the meantime and which may also help you is to rotate the shoulders backwards and forwards.
Good luck and I hope you get some relief soon.
I have followed the recent discussion on lymphoedema but everyone seems to have it in their arm and I mine is on what I suppose you would the chest wall. It is mainly where my shoulder meets the area where my breast used to be before my mastectomy, also under my arm and a bit around the scar area. The irony is I have been doing exercises to prevent it, but these seem to concentrate on the arm - how can you exercise the chest wall?? I have an appointment at a clinic in 10 days time and I have read the leaflet provided on this site but can anyone give tips on how to reduce the swelling in the meantime?