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Cording after my Mastectomy


Re: Cording after my Mastectomy

Hi missfrosty


Thanks for posting.


After breast surgery some people develop a tight “cord” of tissue under the skin, which can cause pain and restrict arm movement. The cord is not always visible but can usually be felt.


No one is sure what causes cording, but it may happen when lymph vessels (which carry lymph fluid from the arm) becoming hardened.


Stretching the cord can improve your symptoms and you may need physiotherapy to help with this. You will sometimes be advised to take pain relief before performing the stretches as they may feel uncomfortable. Cording usually gets better with physiotherapy and exercises. If you haven’t seen a physiotherapist you could ask for a referral.


It is recommended you keep doing these exercises until you have got back the range of movement you had before your operation. After radiotherapy it’s a good idea to do the exercises for as long as you’re still experiencing tightness and stiffness, and you may want to continue doing them after this.


Here at Breast Cancer Care we offer a range of free supportive services that you might be interested in. This includes face to face support at a number of locations throughout the country. For more details about all of these services, or if you would like to talk this through, please see the information on the link, or call our free Helpline. The number is 0808 800 6000.


Our opening hours are Monday to Friday 9am - 4pm and 9am -1pm on Saturday. Out of hours you can leave a message and we will call you back when we next open.  


We are currently reviewing our Forum service and wonder if you would have five to 10 minutes to complete a short survey. The survey will help us gather information about this service and understand more about any improvements we can make.


Best wishes




Breast Cancer Care Nurse


Please read the Ask Our Nurses disclaimer. This thread will now be closed from further replies. If you have any additional questions or would like to provide feedback, please start a new thread


Cording after my Mastectomy

I was diagnosed with Triple Negative BC in June 2018, underwent FEC-T chemo x 6 in the hope that it would shrink the tumour but it didn't and acutally the chemo seemed to allow it to grow again after the second lot of chemo started so I had a mastectomy on the 4th Jan 2019.  I have just had a check up with the Surgeon who said I have * cording * under my arm which explains why I am struggling to lift it and looking for ideas of how to sort it with exercise as I have radiotherapy to do and need to be able to move my arm ok.