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Pian and tightness in arm after lumpectomy and lympth node biopsy

26 REPLIES 26
Meri
Member

Re: Pian and tightness in arm after lumpectomy and lympth node biopsy

Mine is whole breast not in wounds though redness has spread to them.

 

Huge boob due to new swelling.

 

Feel bit unwell today but maybe psychological, or meds for infection.

 

Just so hoping does not delay radiotherapy:) in two weeks time.

 

Am exhausted as started Tamoxifen two weeks ago and that causing tiredness too.

 

But will get through. just hard. 😞

 

AliOG
Member

Re: Pian and tightness in arm after lumpectomy and lympth node biopsy

Hi Meri,

 

Sorry to hear you've got an infection - me too! I went and had the lump checked out yesterday. The nurse said the pain and swelling was to be expected at this stage (3 weeks post op) but I've developed a bit of an infection in the lymph node wound so I'm now on antibiotics. Have they given you a prescription too? I'm hopping this will calm things down for me so hope it works for you too. 

Meri
Member

Re: Pian and tightness in arm after lumpectomy and lympth node biopsy

I found now have infection, four and half weeks after surgery.

 

Breast all pink, sore, swollen, nerve pain worse, pain under arm worse.

 

Whilst lumpectomy seems easy option it definately is not!

 

But we will heal eventually, I so hope lol 🙂

AliOG
Member

Re: Pian and tightness in arm after lumpectomy and lympth node biopsy

Hi ladies,

 

Thanks for the replies. Have tried hot bath and gentle massage. Have an appointment booked for Monday if it's still bad. Think I'm developing a seroma too so might be best to get it all checked. Ho hum! X

 

SandraSussex
Member

Re: Pian and tightness in arm after lumpectomy and lympth node biopsy

Hi Alice
Sorry it's a late reply! I had to go in for 2nd op axillary lymph node dissection.
It was about 3-4 weeks after my SNB when I got my amitrytiline! I hope you are more comfortable now!
I am more comfortable this time round just the painful arm muscle but not that underarm sting!

Take care
Sandra x
Anniej
Community Champion

Re: Pian and tightness in arm after lumpectomy and lympth node biopsy

Hi Alice, have you tried hot water in the shower, how about massaging the arm? It does sound as though you could do with some extra help, no reason to suffer unnecessarily. Big hug. X

AliOG
Member

Re: Pian and tightness in arm after lumpectomy and lympth node biopsy

Hi Sandra,

 

how long did did you leave it after surgery to go to your doctor for help? It's now a week and two days since my surgery and the pain was at its height yesterday. It seems to be getting worse not better. I rang the hospital yesterday as advised if I was worried, and just got the answer that the pain is normal and that I should just keep on with the pain killers. The nurse was probably right but I'm taking maximum paracetamol, ibruprofen and topping up with codeine when necessary. I'm sure I'm rattling with pills! Have to say it feels a little better today (not out of bed yet so not counting chickens) so hopefully I might have experienced the worst of it now.

 

Alice

SandraSussex
Member

Re: Pian and tightness in arm after lumpectomy and lympth node biopsy

Hi!
I was really sore after my SNB and last week got a prescription for Amitriptyline from my GP!

In 2 days there has been 90% improvement!

Sandra x
AliOG
Member

Re: Pian and tightness in arm after lumpectomy and lympth node biopsy

Hi Lin,

Good to know I'm not alone with this weird pain sensation thing! It's definitely bearable and I'm going to start the Week 2 exercises today and see what happens. Can't wait for the dressings to be off in one week. Desperately want a proper shower!!
LinRowan
Member

Re: Pian and tightness in arm after lumpectomy and lympth node biopsy

Hi Ali

 

What you're experiencing sounds very familiar, especially the skin-ripping feeling. It does reduce as time goes by, though I'm noticing that it always seems to come back at the end of the day; maybe I'm more susceptible to nerve pain when I'm tired. The numb/tingly feeling in the inner arm has almost completely gone.

I know just what you mean about sleeping on your side, too. I was so shocked when I woke up one morning last week and discovered I was lying on my side and hadn't woken up in pain! Three and a half weeks on from the op, it was a relief to get one more thing back to normal.

Keeping up with the exercises I found actually relieved the lumpy feeling in the armpit, at least temporarily. On the other hand I discovered today that painting the living room wall was just a step too far... ouch!

 

All the best

 

Lin

AliOG
Member

Re: Pian and tightness in arm after lumpectomy and lympth node biopsy

Hello ladies,

 

So glad to have found this thread. I had wide excision and SNB on Monday and wanted to see if anyone else was experiencing same kind of sensations/pain in armpit area. I didn't have much pain for the first two or three days and now it's really kicked in. Armpit and inner arm feels like the skin is ripping even though there's nothing there. Occasionally I have a sensation like I'm holding a bottle or something else hard under my arm - it's totally weird. Keeping up with the exercises but it often feels as if they are making things worse. Heading into week 2 exercises tomorrrow so I'll see how I get on with that.

 

Best of luck to everyone else going through this stage of the process. I never knew how much I loved sleeping on my side until I couldn't do it anymore!

 

x

Argymargy
Member

Re: Pian and tightness in arm after lumpectomy and lympth node biopsy

Really pleased for you Meri.  I hope the revised plan does the trick.  Best of luck.

Meri
Member

Re: Pian and tightness in arm after lumpectomy and lympth node biopsy

Physiotherapist called me today.

 

She explained different layers of tissue healing as time goes by, causing tightness, pain along nerve and also Lyphactic system in arm.

 

She said most importnat exercises is one with hands behind head.

 

And just to keep trying others but not to push through nerve pain.

 

I saw Pilates instructor today who showed me some other gentle exercises that do same things but less painful.

 

So good day 🙂

 

Results from all tisue removed tomorrow, hopefully no more surgery, just sort radiation and drugs.

 

Thanks everyone

 

 

 

 

Anniej
Community Champion

Re: Pian and tightness in arm after lumpectomy and lympth node biopsy

Hi Raitchr, we're all  so different . Have you got a leaflet outlining exercises? No physiotherapist offered up here in frozen north.  A leaflet outlining a series of 7 exercises to be done three times per day, five times each one. My arm at times felt so tight it was amazingly painful, and I had to fight through the pain to straighten my arm. All ok now. X

Meri
Member

Re: Pian and tightness in arm after lumpectomy and lympth node biopsy

Thanks everyone, I eased up the wall exercises a tad, not stretching so far, but still getting nerve pain when doong them and after.

 

Using some antiinflammatory gel on burning area around armpit and top breast.

 

I cannot take the tablets.

 

I won't stop exercises as know will tighten up more, plus stretches help my back and sciatic pain so learnt that lesson 🙂

 

It does feel like raw area even though skin ok, but underneath  they cut nodes and tissue away so assuming thats why.

 

Not nice.

 

Do any of you find the pain gets worse when you start radiation?

 

Am I being too hopeful all be healed before then?

 

I also feel so tired, even though lessoned pain meds more today, maybe its the emotional journey as such a helter skelter of emotions.

 

🙂

 

 

LinRowan
Member

Re: Pian and tightness in arm after lumpectomy and lympth node biopsy

Hi Meri,

 

The nerve pain was explained to me as being the result of surgeon having to rummage around a bit for the nodes (I had five removed) so everything has been 'stretched'. It's a very weird sensation for me almost three weeks on because it actually feels as though the skin is grazed, even though I can see that's not what happened. The surgeon said basically the pain takes its time to go away, and sometimes it doesn't go completely - how cheering! - but keep doing the exercises and hopefully it will reduce. When it's at its worst I find a pad of cottonwool soaked in witch-hazel cools it down.

Best wishes for Thursday,

 

Lin

Jokely
Member

Re: Pian and tightness in arm after lumpectomy and lympth node biopsy

I had severe cording after my lymphnodes were removed. By the time I went for my MX I couldn't straighten my arm, I looked like C3PO! Cording feels like the veins have shortened in your arm causing tightness, it's realllly painful to stretch but the surgeon said it wouldn't cause any damage to do so, you just need to get past the pain. (Not sure if this is how you feel?)

 

The excersises are really important to keep mobility and reduce the risk of lymphadema (which I also have now), I had to really push myself following the second surgery to straighten my arm and it took weeks.

 

I would contact your physio again asp to ask their advise on how it feels and get their reassurance that it is normal. 

 

Keep going though! Sounds like you're doing great.

Raitchr
Member

Re: Pian and tightness in arm after lumpectomy and lympth node biopsy

I was only given the walking hands up wall forwards and then sideways after week 3 of physio when they signed me off. I just had basic ones 3 times a day, 10 times each exercise.

Anniej
Community Champion

Re: Pian and tightness in arm after lumpectomy and lympth node biopsy

Hi .Meri, I've still got pain six weeks after op! Still doing exercises otherwise it tightens really badly, but it is getting better. In the beginning it was unbearable and I was very near to tears. On those days I did my stretching , walking up wall exercises in the shower with a good spray of warm water to warm up muscles. Worked for me. I also worked some bio oil into the muscles and down the arm, but not the wound. This warmed the muscles up and seemed to help reduce the pain. Honestly, anythings worth a go! You have my sympathy!

Meri
Member

Re: Pian and tightness in arm after lumpectomy and lympth node biopsy

Thanks eveyone for responses 🙂

 

I know during surgery often a nerve block is done which gradually wears off, plus local anesthetic.

 

I am a wheelchiar iser due to spine injury long ago, have lots nerve pain so recognise it when it bites!! LoL

 

And totally agree re physio exercises being so important.

 

I normally do Pilates on a machine which I lay on, gentle stretching exercises for my body.

 

Going to session Wednesday, obviously not doing resistance exercise with arms at moment as physio said not to. But will have sports injury specialist guide my arm excercises, the day after see physio.

 

I just surprised at nerve pain now getting worse, literally burning stinging sensation and sharp stabs above breast into shoulder and under arm.

Hoping it will ease off us I heal. It does take time.

 

At support group women who have had mastectomy say have noted women who have breast sparing surgery do seem to have more pain.

 

Though we all different.

 

I do have strong pain killers but trying to lesson them as add to tiredness.

 

Be gald when Thursday done, as get results and next steps re treatment.

 

Thank you dor your support 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Argymargy
Member

Re: Pian and tightness in arm after lumpectomy and lympth node biopsy

Hi Meri, so sorry to hear you're suffering.

 

I'm interested you say it's only a week and a half since surgery.  I've had two surgeries.  Firstly a sentinel node biopsy and then a mastectomy with full node clearance.  After both operations I had virtually no pain for the first week and then the pain kicked in.  I'm not sure why, perhaps anaesthetics used during the operations lasted longer or something!  Anyway it's very early days for you after one of these major surgeries and it does take time for the body to heal.  However the single most important thing that has helped me get mobility back (I had full mobility 9 weeks post mastectomy in spite of significant cording) has been the exercises and physio.  Agree you shouldn't push into higher pain levels but keep the movements going if you can.  I was advised that little and often is best - up to 5 times a day if you can remember and aren't busy doing other things!

 

It's so soon after surgery that your body is still making scar tissue - you could ask the physio if this might explain the increasing tightening.  I've found my physio amazing in terms of giving me confidence - I know exactly what you mean about worrying you might make things worse.  Best of luck. 

ladybowler
Community Champion

Re: Pian and tightness in arm after lumpectomy and lympth node biopsy

Meri

 

Thats the trouble how do you work out what is normal when this whole thing is new to you.  One thing you are not is defeatist, if you were that you would have given up doing the exercises completely.  Certainly I would ease off until I have had chance to speak to someone about it.  I think the booklet says that if you are experiencing a lot of pain you should contact your bcn so that might be worth doing tomorrow.

 

True whem you think of someone having a mastectomy compared to what we have had (I had a WLE and SNB) it does seem not as bad but at the end of the day, it is still major surgery, involving an anaesthetic and all of that takes time to get over.  Your spirits are only battered for now, they will get stronger as you do.

 

Yes I did, I slept quite a lot for the first 3/4 weeks, more because it was uncomfortable to sleep at night, so I would doze during the day.  Also if you are used to being active and then are having to sit around a lot I think it makes you more tired.  I do tapestry and bought one specifically to do during my enforced stay at home and also an adult colouring book so it kept my mind active and helped stop me thinking too much about what was going on. 

 

I remember the one day, I just sat there and burst into tears, for no reason at all, my partner was worried I just didnt know why, but when I thought back on it, it was probably the after effects of the anaesthetic and all that I had been through as I had been just getting on with it.

 

I know it is a cliche but be kind to yourself and listen to your body, remember sleep is a great healer as well.

 

Helena xxx

Meri
Member

Re: Pian and tightness in arm after lumpectomy and lympth node biopsy

Thanks 🙂

 

Its not knowing whats normal.

 

And a bit of not wanting to be defeated.

 

Yes I will ease up as not worth making pain worse, as long as I give them a go.

 

I been trying to lesson pain killers too.

 

In my mind I am thinking this is small surgery compared to mastectomy, but after being so bruised by biopsy, then bleeding from wire location, then surgery, my boob is very battered 😞

 

As are my spirits.

 

Did you feel really tired after all this? I am exhausted, can barely keep awake come afternoon.

 

Though with all the shock of diagnosis and unrelenting hospital process not surprised body saying 'enough'!

 

thanks for replying 🙂

 

 

 

 

ladybowler
Community Champion

Re: Pian and tightness in arm after lumpectomy and lympth node biopsy

Meri

 

Blimey I was doing them 3 times a day. and some days I forgot and only done them twice  I know what you mean about the ones up the wall, they do take a bit of getting used to are you perhaps stretching a bit too far for now? try not to stretch as far and build up slowly.

 

I know you say your body is used to stretching exercises, but it is getting used to doing them post surgery as well as recovering from the surgery, be kind to yourself mate

 

With regard to the radiotherapy the mobility thing is to help with your being able to get your hands behind your head, but there are supports for you to put your arms on to.

 

I know it is pants and frustrating because you want to get on and can not, but you have done so well and keep hold of that.  Honestly it does get better xxx

Meri
Member

Re: Pian and tightness in arm after lumpectomy and lympth node biopsy

Hi Helena

 

The 3 out of 10 is a pain score, 10 being excruciating 🙂

 

I do four sessions a day, five repeats of each exercise.

 

But strugling with ones up wall.

 

I do them but suffering during and after and know its inflamming joints too.

 

My body is used to stertching exersices so bit bewildered by this response,

 

Yes early days so maybe expecting too much, want to do what I am told though for best outcome.

 

I think I will lesson the stretch a bit for day or so then try more.

 

🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

ladybowler
Community Champion

Re: Pian and tightness in arm after lumpectomy and lympth node biopsy

Meri

 

I would mention it definitely at your apt this week.  When you say 3 out of 10, do you mean you are doing 3 repeats of each exercises, if that is the case remember something is better than nothing and as time goes on it should get better and easier.

 

You only had surgery less than two weeks ago and everything is only starting to heal now, dont be too hard on yourself, small steps are better. You have a little while yet until you start your rads so dont worry about that

 

Helena xxx

Meri
Member

Pian and tightness in arm after lumpectomy and lympth node biopsy

Hi, just seeking some reassuance

 

I had surgery week and half ago.

 

Still very sore.

 

Is it normal to feel arm tightening getting worse during exercises? Pain down arm.

 

I am also getting nerve pain into fingers when doing the stretch against wall, burning pain where muscle stretches which leaves me in more pain after exercise.

 

I recall physio said not to push past pain levels, keep to 3 out of 10 at most. But if I do that I cannot do exercise properly.

 

I am taking pain killers, using some anti inflammatory gel where worst pain is 20 mins before exercise.

 

Bit worried I am making things worse.

 

But want to help mobility in prep for radiotherapy.

 

Did some of you experience this? adapt exercises?

 

I will see physio on Thursday 27th April but bit worried.

 

Thanks