Pain side post mastectomy and Radiaton. Any suggestions?

I had a double mastectomy with 13 lymph nodes removed & expanders - (until they are replaced with implants next month) neo adjuvant chemo & radiation. My right side (the radiated side) is constantly sore- no lymphedema & range of motion and everything else is great. The pain is manageable I'm just curious as to the cause -something from the lymph node removal? Or scar tissue from radiation? The only thing that helps is massage but not sure if that is a good solution. The area is my upper side.

Doctor Answers 3

Pain after mastectomy and radiation

I am glad to hear that you have good range of motion and no signs of lymphedema! It sounds like you are still very early on in the process and still have more to do. The good news is that most patients feel that implants are more comfortable than expanders and that there is usually a bit of improvement after they are placed. More than likely much of your discomfort will get better in time and with your final implants, but it can also get a little worse before it gets better. Two steps forward, one step back, as they say. Shooting pains are common as nerves necessarily traumatized by surgery wake up and healing tissue can tighten for a few months before it relaxes later in the healing process. If it changes, let your doctor know - but if it is manageable as you say, I have high hopes for your recovery. if there is an increase or if it lasts longer than a year after recovery, there are other options to consider as well.

Pain post mastectomy and radiation

Thanks for your inquiry.Now, it is normal after radiation to have some pain.It is usually the effect of the radiation.There are 2 types of pain usually associated with this.One is pain of the external skin itself, but if the pain is deep inside. The options are to wait until the radiation effect subsides (3-6 months) and then proceed with the rest of the reconstruction.That being said, most of these things usually improve with the passage of time.I hope this helps.

Hisham Seify, MD, PhD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Capsular Contracture after radiation

Thanks for your question.  It would help to see pictures before I could tell you what maybe the cause of the pain.  However, it appears that you are dealing with capsular contracture pain, which is a dull and constant pain that is often exacerbated by activity.  This is common after implant reconstruction and radiation therapy.  The best treatment modality for this problem is removal of implants and autologous reconstruction.  Capsular contracture will often time get worse if untreated and will return if implants are used in reconstruction again.  Good luck and I hope this helps.

Ali Sadeghi, MD, FACS
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

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