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I was not prepared for the pain I went through when I was being prepted for lumpectomy surgery. Anyone have this expereance ?

dmamafish's picture
dmamafish
Posts: 2
Joined: Jan 2014

I had my surgery on Jan. 9,2014. I had to be at the hospital at 7:30 am. After they got my vidals and put an IV in my arm, I waited for another 2 hours before the next step. Which was a mammogram . Which are very painful to me. As I was waiting, the surgen came in with a tray covered with a blue cloth and gave it to the Tech. She layed it on the mammogram machine. I said what is that? She said "Oh, its a tumor from another lady that is in surgry right now. They will do the same with yours. If it bothers you just don't look at it." I felt that was unprofessional.  Then the dr. came in to place the wire in my breast while it was compressed in the mammogram device. He gave me a shot to numb the area, but it didn't help much. I could feel the wire being pushed down into my breast. It hurt so bad my whole body was trimbleing . The tech was very nice to me. She let me squzze her hand. The dr. was nice to me, but he also acted like I was being a big baby. Then the tech. put a styrafoam cup (that right, like the ones you drink coffee from) over the wire and taped it in place. After that I was taken to another  waiting area and waited another hour. Then I went to another room where they used exrays to place the radioactive pellets in my breast that helps them locate the lympnote to be removed. Well, this required me to lay completly flat, which made the area around the wire hurt like crazy. After 30 to 40 minutes of taking exrays, the doctor came in and numbed me up some more, which worked alot better this time. He then used a needle to inject the pellets (or markers, I think ) into my nipple. Then I was taking back upstairs to the surgical unit. After another 30 minute wait I was finly  taken into surgery to remove the tumor, marginal tissue and 1 lympnote . I made it  through that and recovery and I go home at 7:30pm. It was a long day. This is day 2. I have done well with pain meds heping.

I would like to know if any of you have 

gone through any of what happened to me ?

cinnamonsmile
Posts: 1049
Joined: Dec 2010

Yes, I have absolute horror stories of how I a have been treated by medical staff. I am sorry you had to go through that. 

You are NOT a baby. Everyone has different pain tolerances, reacts to anesthesia differently. Your surgeon was rude, unprofessional and down right mean,disgusting, unsanitary and despicable. AND I do believe violated HIPPA by letting  you see someone else's tumor. This needs to be reported to your doctor's state licensing board, and the head of the surgery department. Personally, I would fire that surgeon and get a new one. 

When my radiologist gave me the news over the phone that the biopsy she had done came back as precancer and didn't trust that there wasn't a cancer growing in there somewhere because the tumor was so large, she told me to see a surgeon (She didn't know I already had an appt. scheduled).THEN she tells me that the surgeon will only take out the worst looking parts to save the breast from being more disfigured. I was mortified and spent the next week or so freaking out and wondering WHY the surgeon would not take it all. By the way, she got her education at HARVARD!!!

I won't go on cuz I'd be here all day.

You need to all this to the department heads. I know you have a lot on your plate, but we need to remember that THEY work for US. So in a way, they are OUR employees.

I had severe pain after the lumpectomy, but I got lucky that I was numbed enough that I didn't feel the wires at all and my wait times were much shorter.

Putting a small ice pack in your bra for 10-15 minutes helps with swelling and  pain. Wearing a sports bra also helps. I couldn't afford a new bra when I had my lumpectomy, and when I bent over or stood up, just the gravity pulling on the breast hurt.

I am so so sorry that this happened to you, but you are not alone. So many of us, and it is not just breast cancer patients, its with any illness, get mistreated sometimes. 

Make sure you speak up about pain issues. Don't be timid. Sometimes you gotta be tough with idiots.

dmamafish's picture
dmamafish
Posts: 2
Joined: Jan 2014

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I have been feeling as if it was just me. I have read so many post that say they did not have a hard time with their surgery. Did you have a lot of bruseing ? I am one solid bruse on my right side, from my rib cage up to my shoulder and all the way across half the left side too. It looks bad but is not painful. They put me in a sports bra at the hospital. Can't wait to see what that coast. I have small breast and think that has a lot to do with why I brused so badly. Anyway, thank you for reaching out to me. Have a blessed day :)

 

 

cinnamonsmile
Posts: 1049
Joined: Dec 2010

I had very large breasts and I had a big dark, bruise where they took out the tumor.

disneyfan2008
Posts: 5333
Joined: Oct 2010

My first lumpecomty was just about the same as yours> I had long waits from wire being inserted (had to lay in hall way with my arm UP above my head to it didnt move (they tape it up and said IT looked like Madonna)-

 

Prior to the wire I begged and my husband to give me loopy meds-we were told they can't..i was very scared , no clue  what the wire being put in was going to be like. I sat in chair-staff pushed me up to mammo machine-one nurse let me squeeze her hand too. (great help)

2nd lumpectomy last a year ago (Nov) was much better with wire being intersted-i laid on table on my side-numbed and guieded (much better) but mine was slo close to rids they took over 15 mammo to try to find the wire and they never could (as well as the chip put in prior at biospy)

I hope you are feeling better and happy that step is over for you.

Denise

Lynn Smith
Posts: 1265
Joined: Mar 2011

I didnt have much discomfort.But I did have a shock.They found another tumor and needed to get me back on the mammo.I did and then they marked that one also. I was very very worried but the other tumor was benign. Seemed I was out of surgery and home by mid day.Wasn't long at all.

Bringing someone else's tumor in the room is not a good thing.Never heard of this and IMO not sanitary.I never saw my tumors let alone someoone else's.That was wrong and disgusting. I did have though a nurse (while I was having hysterectomy) sucking on a sucker.Yes the nerve of her and her boss(doctor) didn't say anything but another doctor who was in on the surgery for me did say something to her.Then he was good enough to tell me what went on.  We should know these things that go on.

   Lynn Smith

GMcD
Posts: 120
Joined: Oct 2011

The shot for the dye still sticks in my head.....very painful.  My surgeon gave it to me himself and I had no warning that it was going to hurt so much.  I considered myself very lucky and kept my chin up during all my testing, etc., but I cried during that one.  This was four yrs ago and as I said, I still cringe when I think about it.  Glad you got through okay and you are very brave.  Best wishes.

sandra4611's picture
sandra4611
Posts: 121
Joined: Sep 2013

GMcD,

I didn't know the dye was painful too. I had isotopes. Before my bilateral mastectomy I was told I would have a  sentinal node biopsy so I knew they were going to inject radioactive isotopes next to my nipple on each breast 2 hours before surgery. Some of the info I read said it was going to hurt so I asked my breast surgeon if he could order Emla cream to numb the area. He said I wouldn't need it because it wasn't very painful.

Wrong. It was the worst part of the whole BMX experience. I agree, I still cringe when I think about it. I now know that the radioactive isotopes are a different Ph from your body so thats why it stings so badly. I had two radiologists do it, one on each side of the table. They said it would feel like a bee sting and counted down 3-2-1 to make sure they were doing it at the same time. Bee sting my a**. More like 10 bee stings at the same time. After I peeled myself off the ceiling, they said, "Are you ready for the next one?" OMG! I didn't know there had to be two into each areola! The bravest thing I ever did in my life was pull myself together, knowing how bad it was going to hurt, and tell them to do it. My heart was racing with fear and tears were running down my face, but there was no choice. It had to be done. The doctors massaged the area, which helped a little. The intense pain was only about 10 seconds long each injection.

With the isotopes, it takes about 2 hours for it to reach the sentinal node. The surgeon uses a geiger counter in the OR to find the correct nodes. I mentioned this on another breast cancer forum and was slammed by a woman who said I had no business upsetting women by telling them a horror story. Bull. I wish someone had told me what it would really be like. I would have insisted on Emla cream (you rub in it before the procedure...an hour?) When I went back for my check up with the surgeon I told him he was wrong and made him promise he would never tell another woman that it wasn't going to be painful. For heavens sake, we are grown women. If it's going to hurt, tell me so I can prepare myself.

 

b7pima
Posts: 16
Joined: Jul 2010

I went through the exact same thing, but to make a long story short, the nurse who prepped me said, "You have really nice breasts." She said this one hour before my bilateral mastectomy. That was the last thought i had before surgery.

GMcD
Posts: 120
Joined: Oct 2011

Thank you for your response, Sandra.  I would never want to scare someone but couldn't agree more that we are grown women and the whole breast cancer experience is scary but I felt like I was being kept in the dark about this whole procedure.  Maybe my surgeon thought someone else told me, but I feel the more knowledge the better.  I didn't know how long the shots would last or how many.  Anyway, like you said, it has to be done.  I'm glad you are doing well and send warm thoughts your way, Gayle.

taurus1955's picture
taurus1955
Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2013

It was unfortunate that you went through such pain and bad experience.  To bring someone else's anything into the room were you are is very unprofessional.

 

After hearing those words on June 10, 2013 "you have breast cancer"  I was in a daze for what seemed forever.  All kinds of tests and appointments were made that day to prepare me for my lumpectomy. 

I had my lumpectomy with one lymphnode removed on July 5, 2013.  I had no pain before or after my surgery.  When I arrived at the hospital at 7:00 AM I was sent to the nucler medicine department to have the radioactive medicine put into my breast, then I was sent to have the mamogram done & have the wire inserted.  Other than the normal pressure of my breast being squeezed, I had no other pain or discomfort.  After the wire was inserted it was taped down then a gauze dressing was placed over it so as not to move it. The technicians, nurses, doctors, and physician assistant were very compationate and made my fears less.  I had radiation in the operating room after my surgery, therefore I didn't have to go through the daily 4 - 6 weeks of radiation. 

Having my children and grandchildren with me at the hospital helped a lot.  I started chemotherapy on August 5, 2013 for six treatments and finished November 15, 2013.  I will be following up with the surgeon one more time then the oncologist.

I joined a support group (not on line) in November, but I wish I had done that sooner. I thought I could just do the on line sites, but you get instant responses when you are face to face instead of waiting for web responses.   It's never too late to join a group.  Some of the ladies in my group have been there as long as 5 years.  You come until you feel you are ready to leave.

You take care.

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