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Mastectomy and expander pain

June Rose
Posts: 4
Joined: Feb 2012

Hi girls,
I had bilateral mastectomy three weeks ago, and expanders put in. I thought I was doing really well- no infection etc.. But the extreme soreness on the skin and burning is driving me insane. I'm taking Panadol, and anti-inflammatories, but they don't seem to make any difference. I was given Tamal, but they play havoc with my stomach. I hope this won't last too long. What have your experiences been like?
lol June

VickiSam's picture
VickiSam
Posts: 8470
Joined: Aug 2009

your Doctor? What does he/she say?

The soreness and burning is part of the adventure in my opinion. I did not take
panadol, or anti-inflammatory med's -- so the side efforts offered up by those
med is foreign to me.

Again, I would call up my Surgeon, and get in to be checked out. Are you doing
the exercises, as prescribed by your Physical Therapist and Surgeon?

Gentle hugs,

Vicki Sam

--------------
Below is what I often post to Survivors preparing for bilateral -- it has helped
others:

take pain medication when necessary. Multiple pillows in various, sizes help with sleeping on your back.

Please have cups, saucers, plates at arm level - as well as re-arranging your fridge for more commonly used items at arm levels. Tide/Downy small container sizes - also at arm level. Reaching up and grabbing heavy items -- will tear your stitches, as well as hurt your arms. Muscles and tissue in breast, as well as arm areas will be cut,moved and sewn back together.

I tried to take a bath ..but hence could not pull myself out of the our spa tub, no muscles or strength in my arms after bilateral mastectomy.. It took my husband, and daughter some time to pull me out of the tub == without hurting me. Not a pretty time, or sight to say the least. So I opted to shower ...My husband removed our shower head, and replaced it with a flex hose type so I could shower maneuvering the flex hose from waist down, as well as place shower water under my arms.

Lastly, please make sure you do your exercises as prescribed by Plastic Surgeon, and Physical Therapist.

Strength, Courage, Hope and Speedy recovery.

Vicki Sam

jendrey's picture
jendrey
Posts: 377
Joined: Sep 2009

Hi - and welcome!

I second that! Be sure to mention this to your plastic surgeon and ask what can be done about it. Surely something with lanacaine could be prescribed? If nothing else then perhaps some Neosporin, it contains an anesthetic to both sooth soreness and hopefully alleviate some of the burning. But check with your doctor first just to be safe.

I was very fortunate not to experience any pain whatsoever from any of the surgeries I've had. But itching, OMG, I know itching!

(((Hugs)))

June Rose
Posts: 4
Joined: Feb 2012

I emailed my surgeon today. It's funny how our bodies can react in different ways, but isn't it great we can get together and talk about it. I'm so grateful for this opportunity.

June Rose
Posts: 4
Joined: Feb 2012

Hi Vicki Sam
Thanks for your advice - I can really relate to the shower. I was so relieved when I could shower properly, but am still not using deodorant and am frightened to after having a couple of nodes out. That has healed up, but can't bring myself to use a chemical deodorant.
I am worried that I'm not exercising as much as I should. I have a tendon tear in my shoulder and it's starting to worry me more as I do the exercises.
Anyway, must keep positive.
I have an appointment with an Oncologist tomorrow evening, and although I don't have to have radiotherapy, there is a chance I might have to have chemo. Dreading that!
Take care Vicki
x

MMO3's picture
MMO3
Posts: 44
Joined: Mar 2012

Hi June Rose-
I have been reviewing and reading everyones discussions faithfully for the past two weeks and now that im nearing my double mastectomy date...i feel anxiety more than ever and still trying to process and understand whats all happening. I have a question and being that you just had a double yourself...want to ask you about the expanders..perhaps i will understand this better from patients themselves vs me feeling like im in -capable of comprehending the reconstruction afterwards. Am i right to say that if we are not good candidates for the free-flap (natural tissue from our body part) that the only other choices are the implants (silicone or saline right?)....these expanders you speak of, this is to fill with the saline or silicone at a later time and date after healing? so everyone who chooses implants have to wait weeks before they actually get breasts?
Still learning sorry but if you or anyone can help me get a more clear image and understanding, i would so very greatly appreciate it. thank u

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