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Arm Pain after Mastectomy
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Arm Pain after Mastectomy

I had a preventative bilateral mastectomy with immediate reconstruction with implants a little over four weeks ago.  I do not have the breast cancer gene, but do have a strong history of breast cancer (mother and grandmother-both diagnosed at age 52).  I have been progressing fine since the surgery and I have returned to work.  My left arm has been slower to recover than my right.  I have really good range of motion on the right side, but the left side is lacking.  My left armpit is very sore to touch.  It is almost a bruise like sensation if I try to massage the area, but it can also be an acute pain if I touch a certain area in the armpit.  I'm also having a tingling sensation that goes down the back of my left arm into my elbow and then can progess into my last two fingers if I keep my elbow bent for any length of time.  If I gently run my finger down the back of my left arm I can feel a twitching in the left pectoral muscle.  It is very strange.

I see the plastic surgeon in four days and of course I will bring this to his attention, but has anybody experienced this?  I'm guessing this must be some nerve damage?  Because the procedure was preventative I did not have any type of lymph node biopsy.  My left arm is not swollen.  Just curious as I would like to do some research and have some ideas about what this might be when I see the surgeon.  Thanks.    
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25201_tn?1255584436
What you describe sounds like the result of nerve damage done during surgery. It is something that is not avoidable and may improve over time. Some numbness is usually life long. We are not identical (left & right) so the surgery may certainly differ from side to side; hence the difference in symptoms from L to R. I can't really say how much would be due to the reconstruction however but this certainly occurs with mastectomy. Regards ....
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Willis, MI