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post op symptoms of a mastectomy how long for ?

24 REPLIES 24
jillybee
Member

Re: post op symptoms of a mastectomy how long for ?

Hello mansmi.Everyone is different.However,I had a bilateral DIEP.Not the best few days following surgery.The staff keep you very warm,and is difficult to mobilise,but every hour there is improvement.Pain was minimal,and the staff will continually ask you of your pain is under control.Do as they advice,and little by little you will feel better,and milestones are reached.Like your first shower......that is lovely .when home be kind to yourself,don't overdo it.
mansmi
Member

Re: post op symptoms of a mastectomy how long for ?

Hi, I'm new to the forum, I too have had two lumpectomys and am waiting for mastectomy with reconstruction and DIEP flap, how was your experience?
Helenbythesea
Member

Re: post op symptoms of a mastectomy how long for ?

My implant has settled, and one year on, have just been discharged from reconstruction
jillybee
Member

Re: post op symptoms of a mastectomy how long for ?

I had huge problems with implants.In the end had a DIEP.....best of luck.....you will come through it.x
mariacpdb
Member

Re: post op symptoms of a mastectomy how long for ?

Wow, here I am 2.45 am finding so many women with similar experiences. Although medical staff warn about the pitfalls they somehow reassure that is unusual and give the impression most women breeze through. I am beginning to realise that we are probably the norm. Earlier i read there are problems in 25-30% expanders!

I had two mastectomies two years ago with expanders. I still have tight chest muscles despite the physio I did. Luckily no pain. I still feel bras are really uncomfortable- I strip them off as soon as I get home. At work I am always fiddling with them to try to get more comfortable. 

I massge in Vit E cream daily to keep the scars supple. And I still have to stretch my arms a bit to keep muscles less tight. 

Three months ago I decided"hang it I don't have any boobs yet why I am bothering with a bra?" So I started wearing crop tops from M and S. They were so comfortable I forgot I had them on. I didn't even have to sow a pcoket as they keep my softies in place. 

I always used to be large breasted but as I am now going to be much smaller however it ends up, I have to think differently. 

Unfortunately reconstruction is proving a long drawn out process with lots of twists and turns.  One side expanded well, other had to be replaced but now looks like will have to be removed a second time- not sure what will happen next. 

Its a long journey so be kind to yourself. There are women who have got through it can tell us its worth it. But when you are in the middle of it all this can be hard to remember. 

Best of luck to you all. 

anna7
Member

Re: post op symptoms of a mastectomy how long for ?

So many of these posts could have been written by me. It's good to know I'm not alone with these experiences and that it will get better. Thank you
Helenbythesea
Member

Re: post op symptoms of a mastectomy how long for ?

The whole journey is emotional and mentally exhausting. It varies for different folk at different times.
i went into shock after diagnosis, tearful but coasting with family support. But 8 weeks after - when things were not improving, i fell apart in costas. I was 50 and usually a manager at work in education, yet here i was unable to carry a tray with one cup , still unable to drive, not able to cut anything etc etc.
i rang my bc nurse who put me in touch with macmillan
that was a turning point mentally and took some of the pressure off my family - who were all wondering why i wasn't getting better. Over the next few weeks i realised that the shock was wearing off, reality kicking in and also all that stuff about "grief". I hadn't realised how angry i was.
do use this site and any local support networks to talk it out. It does get easier. A year on, i am still doing physio or i get really tight but i don't swell so often
Helen
lolly73
Member

Re: post op symptoms of a mastectomy how long for ?

Hi Toughieone

 

My surgeon wouldnt do a double mx, even though ive had bc twice by the age of 40. My other breast has always been healthy and they will not remove healthy tissue. 

 

I would have loved to have recon, however, would never consider it whilst my kids r young. I know i made the right decision as its already taking too long to recover without recon (due to previous rads/surgeries to same area). I was only in hosp 1 night. No way i could be away from my kids any longer than i have to. I want to recover as quick as poss and enjoy life with them again. Maybe one day i will have recon, but right now it is not my priority. Cancer has taken away enough of my time with them.

 

Everyone has their own opinions/reasons. Good luck with yours xx

Toughieone
Member

Re: post op symptoms of a mastectomy how long for ?

Hi ladies, I've been reading your posts with interest as I'm half way through chemo (previously had 2 surgeries but still DCIS) and am due to have a mastectomy once my treatment is finished. I've been considering a double mastectomy as I don't want to risk going through all this again later in life - I'm 41 with 2 young kids. The recovery does concern me. My surgeon is speaking about reconstruction at the same time. It's so hard to know what to do - I know everyone's experience is different. It's comforting to know that others have been through and are going through the same experiences and coming out the other side stronger and confident. We are fighters. Stay positive. Love and hugs to you all.xxx
will668
Member

Re: post op symptoms of a mastectomy how long for ?

All I can say is stop being so down on yourself, you have been through so much. I have had 2 lumpectomys and 6 weeks ago mastectomy with reconstruction and DIEP flap, some days are harder than others And sometimes the pain was terrible but I am now seeing the light and coming out the other side, hope you are too x
Faith50
Member

Re: post op symptoms of a mastectomy how long for ?

Hi Rosie14

I feel for you as It sounds like you're having a worse time with it being both sides. I'm not surprised you feel fed up. I do too and my suffering is less and for less weeks. I really hope you feel more comfortable soon. I'm wearing belvia crop top bras to bed but my main area of discomfort is along the inside in the cleavage area. Every time I turn in bed I feel the pain there so not sure the bra is giving enough support.

Here's hoping we both feel more comfortable soon. At the moment I wonder if I made the right decision regarding reconstruction although cosmetically I'm pleased with the results. Just fed up with the discomfort and not being fully functional.

Best wishes

Faith50

rosie14
Member

Re: post op symptoms of a mastectomy how long for ?

Hi Faith I am 12 weeks on from op,have had 6 inflations on right and 4 on left . I am refusing any more than 6 as every day I am in a great deal of discomfort from the wretched things! I have resorted to pain killers. I am wearing crop tops for bed and Nicola Jane soft bras with softies in the pockets . The advantage with softies is that you can pull,some stuffing out every time you have an inflation!!!! I totally fed up this soreness and discomfort now!!!
Faith50
Member

Re: post op symptoms of a mastectomy how long for ?

I completely understand how you're feeling and empathise with you and all the other ladies who've posted. I had 3 operations in the space of 2 months the last of which was mx with LD flap reconstruction and tissue expanders. I too suffered badly with rib pain and found the bra they supplied me with to wear 24/7 so uncomfortable I ended up sobbing uncontrollably one morning 2 weeks post op. They allowed me to purchase own bras but I've struggled to find anything truly comfortable. I'm now 7.5 weeks post op and still suffering pain from the tissue expanders and still have a seroma on my back although this is slowly improving. I too wonder if I'll ever feel normal and get back to the activities I really enjoy such as horse riding. I haven't regained full shoulder movement yet. Having 3 ops hasn't helped with this! I guess I'm impatient as well.

I wish all of you a good recovery. Here's hoping we'll all return to a feeling of normality.

Best wishes

Faith50
anx56
Member

Re: post op symptoms of a mastectomy how long for ?

A gentle hug back!  It all seems never ending doesn't it?  I can't wait to feel 'normal' again and be my old self as you say though knowing its not unusual certainly helps.  Hope your feeling better soon take care Xxx

Jacquelineann
Member

Re: post op symptoms of a mastectomy how long for ?

Hi,

I feel for you! The post op symptoms are depressing. I have an enormous build up of fluid that feels like it could burst! i had a mastectomy 2 weeks ago and also had 15 nodes taken out.  Now,  feel sore, sweaty, swollen, fatigued and depressed! I am due to have chemo shortly and herceptin. Having to function day to day feeling like this is almost umbearable.However,  knowing that this is not unusual takes the panic out of the situation.

A gentle hug from me aso to you with a soft squeeze.

kitten_mad
Member

Re: post op symptoms of a mastectomy how long for ?

I have sent you a Private message Anx56
anx56
Member

Re: post op symptoms of a mastectomy how long for ?

Oh wow I feel for you all !  Is it because the medical staff make everything sound so straight forward? Then afterwards it is so matter of fact!  As it has been said it is such a roller coaster! I hope this sounds right but it does make me feel better knowing I am not on my own and although every case is different this is ' normal' what I am experiencing.  Thank you again for your posts it means such a lot this forum is what keeps me going!

 

Love to you all gentle hugs and hoping all our recoveries will be speedy Xx

lolly73
Member

Re: post op symptoms of a mastectomy how long for ?

Its so frustrating isnt it? I was originally told 6 weeks to recover, so once I went past this I felt that I wasnt doing very well. Now Im being told 6-12 months. I have 2 young children and chose not to have recon so I didnt have a long recovery, but its still longer than i had hoped, and I get very impatient to get back to normal! Second time around at age 41, I feel that cancer had disrupted my life enough, and I just want to get on with it now!!

jillybee
Member

Re: post op symptoms of a mastectomy how long for ?

We are all different.However,reading this thread,we are all on this roller oater.I,too,probably a bit impatient.Wanting to get back to normal,whatever that may be.I had a DIEP 2 months ago.Still gave seroma,and fat necrosis,but waxy old it is early days.The Physio said that the scars can take 18 months to completely heal,and also, complete range of movement can take months .
This,all together,was my 13th lot of surgery.Have had mastectomy,implants in,implants out,fistulas,strattice removed.I have learned to go with the flow,allow myself to feel rubbish,and to take regular paracetomol.
Take care,all of you,and be kind to yourselves.
lolly73
Member

Re: post op symptoms of a mastectomy how long for ?

PS, my swelling is still so big i cant hang my arm normally. However, ive had an ultrasound and it showed no fluid. Ive been told it will go down eventually.....

rosie14
Member

Re: post op symptoms of a mastectomy how long for ?

Hi anx56
I had chemo first followed by db mx. Had hematoma on the left side and went back to theatre 4 days after first op. The hematoma had pushed the tissue expander through the muscle wall and misplaced it! I was in hospital a total of 9 days!!!! Have you had tissue expanders put in? Most woman breeze through a mastectomy and only have minor discomfort from tissue expanders. 3 weeks ago the surgeon started to inflate them and the feeling of tightness and sore muscles and ribs is most unpleasant! I still have radiotherapy to go. Whenever I discuss the awful discomfort with the surgeon he says be patient!!!!!! My op was July 14th!!!!'
I fully sympathise with you and know exactly the awful feelings you are experiencing let's hope it wears off quickly for both of us!
I have found I can now lift both arms above my head so your arms will get stronger!
X
anx56
Member

Re: post op symptoms of a mastectomy how long for ?

Thank you lolloy and rattles will try the tips you have advised.  Part of my problem is that I was so independent before and I am very impatient.  Consultant said it was healing well.  There is a swelling but not enough to drain. The advice was to keep doing the excercises.  Feeling quite low at the moment everyone seems to go through so much, I been told today that I will need Chemo and Rads feel like I have not got away with anything!  Still the alternative is unthinkable so will press on !  Seeing onco Monday week will know more have to see an Urologist as well beause of reoccuring water infections, feeling tired of it all but have to find the strength to keep going.  Love and gentle hugs to you both thanks again for advice Xx

lolly73
Member

Re: post op symptoms of a mastectomy how long for ?

Hi, i had mx and auxillary clearance 9 weeks ago. However, 7 weeks prior to this i had wle, and 6 years earlier i had wle and snb followed by radiotherapy, zoladex, tamoxifen, oopherectomy and exemestane.

I am just starting to see improvement with arm movements. Still have bad nerve pain and awful tightness and pulling and swelling. Scar is also still open and leaking in parts. Ive been told due to previous rads and surgeries, i have damaged skin and knotted scar tissue causing healing probs. nurse said 6-12 months to heal!! Couldnt even be fitted for prosthesis yet.

I hoped for a recovery in 6 weeks but its not the case if uve had prior surgeries to that area. Very frustrating but got to b patient i guess. Im finding it very frustrating, but keep doing exercises and hope for a full recovery soon.

What happened at ur results today? X

Rattles
Member

Re: post op symptoms of a mastectomy how long for ?

Hi there, sorry you are having a rough time. Its early days post your last surgery. I had a completion mastectomy after a reconstruction went wrong on a breast which had previously had surgery (long story). It was ever so painful afterwards. I couldn't wear a bra at all for months due to poor healing. I am sure the nerves are all jangling. I found wearing a silk camisole helped. Use a feather to softly stroke the skin if you can. It helps desensitize the area. Bio oil or moo goo do a product when the skin is healed up. Keep going with the exercises. It will improve. I don't post often so pm me if you need any help.

 

You need to remember three ops is a lot to cope with. Try to be kind and patient. You will regain your independence.

 

Rattles, x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

anx56
Member

post op symptoms of a mastectomy how long for ?

Hi everyone.  I have had three surgeries since begining of July. WLE and sentinal node was the first.  Second lumpectomy and Lymph node clearance last was completion masectomy.  I have spoken to the BCN about my post op symptoms and she said I have to realise I will feel like this after three surgeries.  I had the MX at the beginning of Sept but feel worse now than at the start.  I do the excercies but feel so sore the scar is tight and there is some swelling but not enough to drain.  The pulling and weird sensation across my chest is horrible and I cant bear anything touching it making dressing difficult.  The pain around my rib is sometimes unbareable just where you bra sits.  I know we are told about nerve damage pain etc... but is this permanent or will it get better?  I was unable to have reconsruction at same time and am now wondering whether or not to go through it in the future.  Get results today and appointment for onco in 2 weeks.  Generally feeling emotional and like a burden on my family (who have been very supportive).  I was an independant woman before all of this I feel lucky to be alive but feeling apprehensive about the future. I know everyone is different but will these symptoms ease and when will I start to feel confident again?

 

Love and gentle hugs to all you ladies on this journey Xx