I had SNB on 5th March. I had pain, tightness in that arm and it felt sort of sore. I also had a little piece of cording in my armpit. I did my exercises and massaged it, and the cording, and it went and felt fine by the time I had my DMX and DIEP reconstruction on 29th April.
As more nodes were removed during the op, I have exactly the same sensations in that arm. I'm going to do the sane things as before and trust that things will return to normal like before. Because I had the double mastectomy, I have strange "sore" sensations on the other side as well, but not those relating to the lymphatic system as nothing was removed on that side.
Having done a lot of research before this (and my experience with the SNB), I know things will get better as long as we keep up the exercises etc., it's just going to take time and we've got to be patient. xxx
Hi Veggienut, I had the DIEP and ten lymph nodes removed just over a year ago.
Aside from cording which I didn't experience and no lymphoedema so far, my right arm was very weak post op, I did my exercises but after three months the shoulder was still painful and had to see the osteopath to get it fixed. I propped my arm on a pillow at night.
The numbness has improved with time but is still there to an extent.
As you are only a few weeks post op, there is still a lot of repairing going on under the surface and this leads to all sorts of aches and twinges, some of which have not gone completely for me but I can live with the twinges!
I am still on the watch for lymphoedema so try to swim twice a week. I hope you will start to feel a bit better soon but defintely contact the BCN if you think it is cording or lymphoedema. girly x
Hello Veggienut - sorry to tell you that numbness in your arm (underneath the upper arm and in the armpit area?) will probably take at least 6 months to resolve and you will likely always have some numbness in the armpit. Sorry! However, I think the pain you are experiencing is more likely to be axillary web syndrome or “cording” - is the pain worse when you stretch out your arm and feels like there is a tight string running down it? You may even be able to see some “cords”. If so, you might find gentle self-massage helpful. Ideally ask for a referral to a physiotherapist at your hospital who knows how to treat cording. If your arm feels dull and heavy, that might be the start of lymphoedema, in which case consult your BCN or specialist for manual lymphatic drainage and/or a compression sleeve to wear until your arm improves. Do remember to follow your hospital’s guidance on exercises to strengthen your arm and promote lymph flow. Deep breathing (yoga-style) also promotes lymph flow. Hopefully you will start to feel better soon. It is a tough journey, but you are here and you will make it.