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Pain after Mastectomy


Re: Pain after Mastectomy

Hi Lin

Thanks for your post.

Everyone is different in the rate at which they recover from surgery. Many do experience some pain, discomfort or tightness around the scar area for sometime afterwards. It can take several months for scars to settle down following any surgery. Scar tissue forms around the wound as part of the body’s natural healing process and can make the area feel tight and often painful and sore across the chest wall after mastectomy. 

Some of these symptoms are often related to the scar tissue formation, so regular stretching exercises in addition to post-surgery arm exercises, can help restore flexibility and function to the area and may also help reduce discomfort. 

Regular gentle massage can also be of help if a scar feels tight and uncomfortable.  Many people use simple moisturizing creams or oils to help with this, but as massage needs to gently push and pull the skin, using creams or oils in large amounts may prevent this happening, so it may be best to apply these following massage.

If the symptoms persist it would be a good idea to contact your breast care nurse to discuss this further.  If necessary she can refer you to a physiotherapist so that they can give you further advice and information to help with managing the pain you are experiencing.

Talking to someone who has had a similar experience can often be helpful and our Someone Like Me service can arrange for one of our volunteers to talk to you by email or telephone. Our volunteers have had a personal experience of breast cancer and are trained to provide support, and the topic of recovery after surgery is often discussed within this service.

You can ring the Someone Like Me team on 0345 077 1893, or email them someone.likeme@breastcancernow.org so they can then match you to your volunteer.

Do call our Helpline if you would like to talk this through or have any further questions. Your call will be confidential, and the number is free from UK landlines and all mobile networks.


The number is 0808 800 6000 (Text relay prefix 18001).


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.


Best wishes


Breast Cancer Now Nurse

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Pain after Mastectomy

6 months since surgery have been experiencing a sort of pressure pain around scar site just wonder if it is normal healing process?