Chronic Burning Raw Pain on Both Sides - Arizona

In January 2011, very small but cancerous tumors...

In January 2011, very small but cancerous tumors were found in both breasts. I had a bilateral mastectomy in March 2011. Because the tumors were so small, I did not require chemo or radiation therapy. At the end of April, a plastic surgeon began breast reconstruction by inserting expanders that I found extremely painful (non-stop burning raw pain). At the time, I just thought that that was to be expected and I just needed to get through it. I never found anything to relieve the pain, including pain relievers like percocet and Vallium. The expanders were removed and replaced by 400cc Natrelle silicone-filled breast implants on August 20, 2011. I felt that the final results were too large (my natural breasts were smaller), but I was just glad to be done with it.

The burning raw pain has never gone away.

I've worked with a pain specialist who prescribed gabopentin, lyrica, and most recently Cymbalta. I also tried 6 weeks of bi-weekly accupuncture. The accupuncture gave me intermittent, mild relief, but the pain continues to be overpowering and life-changing no matter how positive I try to be. The amount of activity I do or don't do seems to have no effect. Finding things to take my mind off the pain has been the most effective, but it's a constant struggle and depression is making me find less and less things that I care about anymore.

I've found evidence on the Internet and in Dr. Susan Love's Breast Book that as many as 49% of women have life-altering pain after mastectomy and/or reconstruction, but none of the doctors I've seen have any experience with such patients. Where are these women? I would like to ask them if they have tried relieving the pain by having the implants removed. I'm leaving implant removal as a last resort because I fear that whatever healing that has occurred (although not evident) will have to begin all over again.

I would be interested in hearing from anyone who has experienced the non-stop burning pain I've described whether they've had a mastectomy or not. Did removing the implants resolve the pain?

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Comments (2)

I'm really sorry about first the cancer and then the terrible pain. There are ladies on the reconstruction board who've had cancer, you could perhaps ask on there too? http://www.realself.com/Breast-reconstruction/reviews

hugs x
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I'm truly, truly sorry you're experiencing pain (and that you had to go through the whole experience to begin with). I hope some other ladies in similar situations will stop by your page and give you feedback.

Here's what a few doctors said to a woman experiencing burning pain 10 years after her implantation (basically to get thoroughly checked out, including getting a mammogram).

Here's another person who had implants (recently) and is experiencing burning.

You might also consider posting your question to doctors in the q&a community.

Please let us know where this leads you...sending you healing, pain-free vibes!

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