I have excruciating pain in my back after an expander was inserted 5 days ago.

I started breast reconstruction of my right breast and reduction of my left. I have what i consider normal pain from the surgery. But I have extreme pain in my back on the right side. It is a deep searing pain that doesn't go away. And gets worse when touched. This doesn't seem normal at all. There is no skin change

Doctor Answers 4

I have excruciating pain in my back after an expander was inserted 5 days ago.

Thank you for your question. Sorry to hear you are having so much trouble. With tissue expander breast reconstruction, there can be some pain in the chest wall and breast. However, there should not really be any significant pain in your back. This could be a sign of something else going on and I would recommend that you be seen by your surgeon or your primary physician to have this problem evaluated as soon as possible. Pain out of proportion to what should be expected should not be ignored. 

Best of luck!

Breast reconstruction

Sounds like you need to be seen in person by your surgeon.  While it is common to have some post-op pain it is difficult to say how much is normal without an exam.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

I have excruciating pain in my back after an expander was inserted 5 days ago.

You should talk to your surgeon for sure but it sounds like referred nerve pain to me. I have no real way of knowing without an exam, so I would make sure your surgeon is aware so there are not surprises. 



Richard J. Brown, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Why am I having back pain after you tissue expander for breast reconstruction?

Hi Llevotch,

Thank you for your question. It is common to have chest wall pain and discomfort after a tissue expander placement for breast reconstruction. However, when the pain starts to radiate to your back it may mean something else is going on. I would recommend following up with your plastic surgeon just to make sure that you're not getting an infection or that you do not have something called costochondritis or inflammation of the ribs which sometimes causes back pain. If you still have drains, this maybe causing some of the back pain. I hope this helps and I'm sorry that you're going through this. Good luck.

All the Best,

Carlos Mata MD, MBA, FACS

Board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon


Carlos Mata, MD, MBA, FACS
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

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