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Pain after surgery


Re: Pain after surgery

Hi Alabama54


Thanks for your post.


Pain following mastectomy and removal of glands (lymph nodes) is not uncommon but can vary in its intensity.


When any nodes are removed, the sensory nerves under the arm are usually damaged and can cause many types of altered sensation and pain. As it’s about a week since your surgery it would be usual to still have pain as this can take a while to settle down. 


For some people, pain may persist for a longer period. It sounds as though the paracetamol is not controlling your pain so you may need some additional or alternative pain relief. Some people find that taking anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen can help. However, it would be best to contact your treatment team or your GP for help with adequate and appropriate pain relief at this time. You can also access your local pharmacist for advice on pain relief.


Although you say you are used to doing a lot of exercise, it’s still important to start slowly with the arm exercises after surgery If you’ve been doing the exercises more than suggested since your surgery, it may help to reduce this a little or to start from the beginning again.


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).


Currently our opening hours are Monday to Friday 10am to 3pm, and we are closed on Saturdays.


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 surgery

I had a mastectomy a week ago and glands under arm removed. I’m allergic to codeine and taking paracetamol every 4 hours. Doing the exercises and walking since I came home on Monday. The pain in my arm is really bad, like knives shooting into my armpit. I’m usually fit, doing yoga, cross training and weight training using heavy weights, squatting and deadlifting more than my body weight, so started from what I thought was a strong position. I can’t get close to relieving this pain though. Dressing coming off on Monday and path results the following week. Any ideas please?