pain after mastectomy

terryI Member Posts: 43
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
I had my mastectomy 3 weeks ago could someone tell me how long the pain lasts. I am still very uncomfortable. When can I go to get fitted in a breast form? How long should I wait till I have this done? Thank you in advance for answering my questions.


  • Marcene
    Marcene Member Posts: 2
    Terri, you will probably have alot of discomfort for a little while longer, do you have drains still in, if you were given medication, I would continue to take as directed. I had my mysectomy in Feb.2002, and the pain was awful for quiet a while after, I wore a softee for about 7and 1/2 months before I was fitted with my prosthesis. I will keep you in my prays, but hang in there honestly it will get better. If I can help you in any way my e-mail is [email protected]. Good luck to you for a speedy recovery.
  • DeeNY711
    DeeNY711 Member Posts: 476 Member
    As long as everything is basically okay, work slowly at increasing the range of motion of your arm by having the other arm assist it gently. I had a big problem with having any elastic in the area and switched to camisoles with sewn in pockets available in the American Cancer Society's TLC catalogue. I bought a whole bunch of breast forms through catalogues and online to try them out and figure out which worked best. You will see some progress every week. Terry, find out where you can attend a program just for us called "Look Good, Feel Better." It is only available to women diagnosed with cancer. When I went, each of the other five women were just as uncomfortable and stressed as I was, but we had an absolutely fabulous afternoon together. You can find out where the programs in your area are held by calling your local American Cancer Society number or contacting someone through the ACS website. Hugs, Denise
  • shemiya
    shemiya Member Posts: 17
    I had my mastectomy the 5th August and I don't exactly have real pain but there is a lot of discomfort. you have a lot of smoothing out of the tissue and skin so my doctor told me. This will take several months. As they say hang in there but it is tough. I had my first chemo 3 weeks ago. Have my second one next Tuesday. I can't seem to wear anything in my bra for any period of time.
  • rizzo15
    rizzo15 Member Posts: 153 Member
    The lady who fitted me for my mastectomy bras said that she has even done fittings while the patient was still in the hospital after surgery. And she has done fittings for people up to years after surgery. So she felt that any time her customer felt comfortable and willing was a good time to do it! From the day after surgery to 5 weeks after surgery I just wore some of the Hanes sporty tank tops (all cotton, very comfortable) --or threw the little softee pillow inside my regular bra. Then I purchased my breast form and bras five weeks after surgery. Now I have the more expensive breast form that weighs approximately what my remaining real breast weighs, and I have a much less expensive foam breast form of the same size. I actually prefer the foam one. Good thing insurance paid for the expensive one or I'd feel real bad that I don't hardly use it.

    I didn't realize until I was all done with surgery, followed by radiation, was that my experience with pain was very different from several of the other women. It turned out that my surgeon makes it a practice of removing several of the nerve bundles under the arm while doing the mastectomy, which later spared me from almost all post-surgical pain and almost all pain during/after my 28 radiation sessions. I knew it felt kind of numb under my arm pit, but I just thought that was normal. Later during radiation, the others were questioning the radiation oncologist about why they had lots of pain and I didn't. That is when I found out from my surgeon the reason why. It also turned out that the chemo therapy oncologist knew about this nerve surgery...but nobody told me! The nerves must be slowly reconnecting from other places because I've now regained almost all feeling in the previously numb area (9 months later).
  • wingingit
    wingingit Member Posts: 48
    I actually went to the shop that fits and sells prosthesis forms before my mastectomy just to check out options. I was not looking forward to being lopsided for any length of time after surgery. The women there were all survivors and made me feel very comfortable. They gave me a very soft cotton form that I started wearing a couple days after the surgery. About two weeks after surgeon released me and drain had been removed, I returned to be fitted. The incision had healed enough to not be scabbed over anymore and I cannot recall any swelling. If you have insurance, enjoy shopping for the new bras. They were some of the nicest I've ever owned! I had very little pain after the surgery but only had a total mastectomy (just 2 nodes removed). Although a little uncomfortable, I think the exercises helped a lot.
  • bunnie
    bunnie Member Posts: 233
    Hi i was fitted for a prothsis as soon as i got my drains out.I still have a little discomfort in my chest area and i had my mastecomy done in Jan of 2003.I also still have lots of numbness under my arm in the pit area doc said that i will always have that though wich kind of suck but guess things could be worse at least i have survived.Good luck with your treatment we will all be thinking of you.Bunnie