68100members
358408posts
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy - Afterwards?

11 REPLIES 11
Highlighted
Member

Re: Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy - Afterwards?

Hi Cheryl, thanks for your reply. The range of movement is improving, but as I just said to Liz above, I have now had my MX and recon and now I've got other things to concentrate on!! I have had a strattice recon, I think I'll be posting a thread sometime as that has opened up a whole new stack of concerns! I hope your recovery is going well Cheryl. Much love Sue xx
Highlighted
Member

Re: Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy - Afterwards?

Hi Liz, thanks for taking the time to reply. I'm glad to hear your op went well. My range if movement etc following my SNB has improved greatly, but I will definitely take on board your massage advice. I think because I have had my MX since, that has somewhat taken a back seat. But I know long term I shouldn't leave it. Thanks again. Sue xx
Highlighted
Member

Re: Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy - Afterwards?

Hi Sue62. I had my slnb Nov followed by a a MX and immediate LD back flap reconstruction on jan 11th. I have just started physio two weeks ago and now have full movement in my arm. It is still a little un comfortable to stretch up and my physio says that the taut area is coming from my SLN not my MX, so yes try and get as much movement and flexibility before the op. Good luck with your op. What sort of reconstruction are you having?
Highlighted
Member

Re: Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy - Afterwards?

I would also recommend that after the wound has healed sufficiently (about 6 weeks after the op) you massage the wound with cream or oil to reduce the scarring and encourage healing - quite deep massage - it does not matter what cream or oil you use whatever you are comfortable with - it is the massaging that helps rather than the cream - I do not recommend trying it too early as the skin repair is not strong enough before that.

I also had numbness, pain and tingling in my upper arm and could not raise my arm above shoulder height - this all improves with patience, time and exercise! Take it slowly - it may be called a biopsy but it is surgery! As Oyster says one of the best exercises is "walking up the wall" but do not try to do too much too soon!

I now have full movement and strength, barely noticeable numbness and no pain 🙂

(My history: SNB 23rd May 2012 followed by MX and DIEP reconstruction on 29th May 2012)

All the best

Liz
Highlighted
Member

Re: Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy - Afterwards?

Thanks ladies for taking the time to reply, it's so helpful to get this information. I think I've been somewhat 'shortchanged' upon my discharge from hospital, I didn't receive any information re exercises or aftercare. I have looked on the Internet and sourced some pretty good info so I'll make a start three times a day tomorrow. I want to try and make as much of a recovery as possible before my MX and reconstruction in a couple of weeks. Thanks agsin, Sue x
Highlighted
Member

Re: Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy - Afterwards?

Hello Sue
I had my SLNB done at the same time as my mastectomy and was given exercises to do by the physio the next day. I did them three times a day for four weeks, but I still got some cording, pain and numbness under my arm. I mentioned this at my two week check-up and was given another two exercises to do which helped greatly. The best exercise I found was the one often referred to as "walking up the wall" with your fingertips.
It took my a few weeks before I could get my arm above my head or to stretch it out fully, but the exercises do help.
Even now 22 weeks later I still get a bit of pain under my arm, but this is mainly when I have done too much. A bit of rest and it is fine.
Highlighted
Member

Re: Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy - Afterwards?

My pain was similar to being punched hard on sunburnt skin.... Was also advised not to lift my arms above my head for at least 4-6 weeks, as this could result in cording....only attempted the early exercises and did them when I felt like it..... a got a squeezy ball to pump when sitting watching tv, or when first in bed.... This helped to stretch the upper and lower arm....
Maggie
Highlighted
Member

Re: Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy - Afterwards?

Hi Sue, I struggled with rather severe pain after my SNB and also developed cording (a tight band under the armpit) but the wound itself healed with no oozing problems.
My SNB pain was so bad and i had limited arm movements for several weeks but i got through it eventually by lots and lots of stretching exercises.
I honestly thought i was the biggest wuss because other ladies had breezed trhough the op.
Hence my apprehension of full ANC op 6 months later, but this was a breeze! I had no pain really and stretched through my exercises quite easily.
When I questioned the BCN about why id suffered so much after SNB and not after the 2nd op, she admitted they'd probably damaged nerves after snb.
Truddles xx

Highlighted
Member

Re: Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy - Afterwards?

Thanks so much both of you for your replies, it has been very helpful. I haven't actually seen a physio so not entirely sure what I should/shouldn't be doing. I've been told not to drive for a fortnight but that is about it. Yes, I have the stiffness in my upper arm and will try the massage approach. I have had some 'oozing' from the wound and have have it redressed, my BCN said there was no infection so I guess my pain is just standard. Again, thanks for taking the time to reply and I hope your respective recoveries go well. Best wishes. Sue x
Highlighted
Member

Re: Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy - Afterwards?

Hi Sue,
I had the SNB extended to ANC during my MX, so fully expected to have the post operative pain, but I believe that the procedures for both (SNB & ANC) are similar, and therefore the same nerves can be affected.
I had no pain in the underarm area at all. All pain and discomfort has been in the upper arm, which has also been numb. Can't quite work out why I get both together......
The exercises suggested by the physio have helped enormously, although it was two weeks before I could raise my arm above shoulder height. Once I got there, stretching came much easier. Massaging the arm also helped the stiffness, although this was painful. I have also had a lump under my arm due to the seroma, but this has gradually dissipated.
Nearly four weeks on, I still don't have full extension, but it improves with use during the day. I have been told that it might be up to 6 weeks before I get full mobility back.
Everyone is different, may be it is dependent on how easy/difficult the SN is to locate. If mobility continues to bother you, I would speak to your BCN. She may be able to refer you to a physio.
Best wishes,
MM
Highlighted
Member

Re: Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy - Afterwards?

Hi Sue,

I had a SNB at the same time as my lumpectomy in January. I breezed through it to be honest.
I did have a smallish fluid lump under my arm for a while, and in fact that is still there, but it isn't painful or infected.
The scar remains slightly tender to touch and at first I didn't wear a bra because the sides rubbed the scar area.
My arm movement have been full right from the day after surgery, although I did do the exercises given to me by the Physio, but not 3 times a day as recommended, and not every day by any means.

The only real discomfort I had was my underarm area skin felt red raw - like it can get if your deoderant disagrees with you. It felt really raw but there was nothing to see - no redness or dry skin. It went after a while - and I put moisturiser on it.
Highlighted
Member

Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy - Afterwards?

Hi everyone. I had a SLNB 11 days ago, and am due to have a mastectomy plus reconstruction in a couple of weeks, I get the results of biopsy on Monday, although obviously worried, my surgeon is fairly sure the results will be ok and the DCIS is contained within my ducts. Anyway, onto my question... what is people's experience of the pain after SLNB? I am experiencing pain in my upper arm and quite a lump around my wound, which obviously is uncomfortable. Reaching up high is a problem too and I don't seem to be able to fully straighten my arm without pain. Anyone had similar or have others breezed through it? Thanks in advance for any help. Sue x