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How long will the pain last?
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How long will the pain last?

It has been six weeks since my bilateral mastectomy and I still have considerable pain.  I've read that recovery time is six weeks.  When does the pain subside?
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7 Comments
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25201_tn?1255584436
You don't say exactly what type of pain you are having at this point. There is often intermittant pain due to the nerves being cut but actual pain from the incision should be long gone by now. Did you follow an exercise program of stretching, etc. as soon as recommended after surgery? The American Cancer Soc. has an excellent video of exercises to do after surgery to restore normal range of motion.
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Avatar_f_tn
Wendy,

I had a bilateral mastectomy in the middle of November, and I have the same concern.  Most of my discomfort is in the area where lymph nodes were removed under my arm.  Both my surgeon and my oncologist almost ignore this concern when I mention it as if I were just whining. The most advice that I have received is to do more stretching.  I began arm excises the first day after surgery and do my own housework, etc., so I have not ignored the exercising, but this area still retains lymph fluid and is uncomfortable.  (The breast incision is not so much of a problem.)  I have also noticed an increase in discomfort at the incision sites in the days immediately following chemo treatments.  So far, I have had 5, and this has been true after each one.  We need help with this problem which seems to be largely ignored by the doctors.
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you so much for responding.  It helps.  

Both areas where the breasts were removed feel like there is a red hot iron sitting on them.  The incision feels tight like someone is tighhtening a tourniquet across my nonexistent nipples. The pain level on both is about a "3" but it is tiring because there is no relief.

I am faithfully exercising and have been massaging the incision with Vitamin E oil on a reguar basis.
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25201_tn?1255584436
First to Wendy .. you might benefit from a visit with a Physical Therapist. What you describe really sounds like a skin tightening issue; scar tissue often isn't very flexible. I would certainly give P.T. a try.
Now to Katlee; if you have swelling due to lymphatic fluid that isn't moving then I would suggest that you also might benefit from some instruction in Lymphedema massage, etc. from a Physical Therapist trained in LymphedemaTreatment. No, I am not in that line of work but I did benefit from such treatment after my surgery. Here's wishing you both some improvement soon.
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Avatar_f_tn
Just an update.  I called the surgeon today and found out that my surgery takes a 12 week recovery time.  It's amazing how much easier that make it to tolerate the pain.  I think it is because I now have a target day for relief.  Thanks for caring.
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Avatar_n_tn
It has been three weeks since my bilateral mastectomy. My drains were removed too early the next day. I am gathering fluid, like growing new breasts very painful. My surgeon is not concerned at all. I am wondering if anyone else has had this problem. One dr feels they should be aspirated. Wondering if anyone has had a similiar problem. Thanks
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Avatar_f_tn
I agree with your doctor. They should be aspirated.  I had the same problem and mine were not.  I am now four months past surgery and there is still a lot of inflammation in the drains area as my body tries to deal with it.  I think it may also have been a contributing factor to the ongoing pain I first wrote in about as it slowed down the healing process.
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