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Double Mastectomy
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Double Mastectomy

My mom had a ouble mastectomy, boy was that hard for her and painful not to mention. She had this now over a year ago. Her chest after the surgey felt very very tight and somewhat painful. I still feels tight she says. I am worried. I know the doctors don't really see anything wrong but is this normal to have a tight feeling in her chest after this long? What can she do to help that feeling?
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi.
It is common for post mastectomy patients to experience some kind of tightness in the surgical site like the chest and axilla.  This is brought about by scarring and fibrosis which are part of the normal healing process.  Patients are usually advised to undergo rehab after surgery so as to limit the functional complications.  
It would be best to consult again her surgeon for a possible surgical intervention to relieve the tightness she’s feeling.  She can also take over-the-counter pain reliever to ease the pain.
Good luck.
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Avatar_f_tn
Regarding the chest tightness after double mastectomy, what surgical procedure can alleviate this constricting discomfort? I'm 10 months post op double mastectomy and the metal band feeling is always present, armpit to armpit. It's especially uncomfortable in cold weather or when I undress and cold air hits my chest. I would not say it's exactly sharp pain but a deep and wide ache across otherwise numb tissue rather like tightening a thick wire across my chest. My surgeon doesn't seem to know what to recommend.
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Avatar_f_tn
I will be 5 years out of my bi-laterals in Dec. I was not able to begin exercising for almost 5 months after because of the complications of massive infection and bungled expanders etc. As soon as they were removed and infections cleared, I was able I began exercising on machines at the gym and play racquetball. I was afraid of the "adhesion type scar tissue" that I was warned of.
I have to say that that feeling of the "metal band" (makes me feel like a big ol wine barrel sometimes) comes and goes when it pleases.
It's bothering big time as I am on crutches for a broken ankle. I have to be real careful with the placement of the crutches under my arms, as my armpits are still numb.
It never gets painful enough for drug intervention, but it is a somewhat constant reminder of the disease and surgery...but life is good...seem to have beaten this disease for the time being.
Good Luck!
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Avatar_n_tn
Would it be too late to start rehab? What does it consist of (basic info) if you have it.

Would this help that tightness or pain? Thanks a lot for answering everyone. It is nice to know she is not alone.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi.
Your mother can still undergo rehab therapy even after more than 1 year from surgery.  The therapy usually consists of passive and active exercises to regain function.   I do agree with the previous post that physical activity like sports can help a lot with the recovery.
You can ask your mother’s doctor to refer you a physical therapist or an occupational therapist.
Regards
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi all thanks again for the responses. I talked to her today and she is going to most likely get into physical therapy. She is taking a muscle relaxer I think it is called something like skelatan or something along those lines but is not working well at all for her, just not doing the job. Do any of you know any good names of medicines that would work better that you've taken, maybe she can mention it to her doctor. She also has "gummy bear" implants, she says they're somewhat new and so she doesn;t have much information on them and the recovery, I do feel bad for her, she just says it's very tight around her chest. Thanks again all for responding. Any other info is always appreciated too.
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