Breast Cancer Expert Forum
Pain after excision
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Pain after excision

On April 10, I had an excision of an area on my right breast to remove an area of calcifications where a previous stero core biopsy had found DCIS.  The pathology report after the excision found no residual tumor and that the margins of the resection are free of pathology.  (Great News) The doctor has recommended close follow-up (another mammo in 6 months) and I declined tamoxifen.

During the first week after the excision, I experienced very little pain; I visited the surgeon's office 1 week post-op to have one long stich removed and all seemed well.  Right after that, my breast became very sore and tender; the pain is always present and neither Ibruprofren nor Aleve seems to help much. The pain is not actually at the incision site but encompasses about one/half of my breast including the nipple on the side of the surgery.  The breast looks okay - no apparent swelling or redness - the incision is nicely healing but there is some bruising apparent.  It does seem to get worse if I use my right arm too much (ie. vacuuming, cleaning).  Is this normal?  So far, I have not called the surgeon's office, feeling like this was probably to be expected, but nothing I've read (and I've read a lot) talks about this kind of discomfort.
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Dear kayc:  The pain you are describing could be a part of the healing process.  You may be developing some scar tissue or you may have some internal bruising that is causing the discomfort.  As long as the breast is not red, hot to touch, or swollen, it is unlikely that it is infected.  If the discomfort does not start to resolve, it would be reasonable to see your surgeon just to be sure all is okay.
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