Pain subsiding but numbness in breast

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EdnaM
EdnaM Member Posts: 30
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
I just joined and it is 4 weeks after "simple mastectomy" and finally pain is starting subside but now it feels numb in the area of breast and along the side. Anyone else have this or do I need to contact surgeon and see what's happening? I'm so fortunate that no chemo or radiation in my future but like many others I'm scared at each new change.

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  • greyhoundluvr
    greyhoundluvr Member Posts: 402
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    EdnaM
    I believe the numbness is to be expected with the mastectomy. I had a bilateral almost 4 months ago and had expanders put in. Every time the expanders were filled, the PS asked if I was still numb so he would know whether to numb the area before inserting the needle. When we talked surgical options before my surgery, my oncologist reminded me multiple times that I would lose sensation in the breast to make sure I wouldn't be surprised or upset by it. Maybe some of the ladies farther out can advise whether it ever comes back. I am glad your pain is subsiding, it does keep getting better.....
  • Third_Generation
    Third_Generation Member Posts: 121
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    EdnaM
    I believe the numbness is to be expected with the mastectomy. I had a bilateral almost 4 months ago and had expanders put in. Every time the expanders were filled, the PS asked if I was still numb so he would know whether to numb the area before inserting the needle. When we talked surgical options before my surgery, my oncologist reminded me multiple times that I would lose sensation in the breast to make sure I wouldn't be surprised or upset by it. Maybe some of the ladies farther out can advise whether it ever comes back. I am glad your pain is subsiding, it does keep getting better.....

    I had bilaterals in january
    I had bilaterals in january and still have numbness...had foot surgery years ago and still have some numbness there so not sure all ever comes back. I do think that self massage can help your skin relearn to feel and also m-star (I think it was her) posted about using different textures of materials to help skin relearn to feel again. In any case, it is very natural for numbness to be in all kinds of spots.... one area will have sensation and then a spot with none!
    Hope all is going well for you now.
    Brenda
  • Chickadee1955
    Chickadee1955 Member Posts: 355 Member
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    I had bilaterals in january
    I had bilaterals in january and still have numbness...had foot surgery years ago and still have some numbness there so not sure all ever comes back. I do think that self massage can help your skin relearn to feel and also m-star (I think it was her) posted about using different textures of materials to help skin relearn to feel again. In any case, it is very natural for numbness to be in all kinds of spots.... one area will have sensation and then a spot with none!
    Hope all is going well for you now.
    Brenda

    Numbness
    I had bilateral April 29th and woke up about a week ago feeling like someone had kicked me in the sternum. I was concerned I was having a heart attack. Dr says the nerves are regenerating and that is why there is more pain now than during the first few days after surgery, and why I have pain when I touch my chest. Fortunately, some of the skin remains numb, but I have more issues with the skin under my arms! Clothing that touches the under arm skin feels like it is a grater rubbing across a burn! I also have 'rolls' that extend from the breast area under each arm (Dr saved as much skin as possible for future reconstruction) that seem to swell when I do too much or remain on my feet too much.

    What an interesting bunch of symptoms! I see the oncologist Thursday to see what fate awaits me as far as chemo is concerned.
  • Mama G
    Mama G Member Posts: 762
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    Numbness
    I had bilateral April 29th and woke up about a week ago feeling like someone had kicked me in the sternum. I was concerned I was having a heart attack. Dr says the nerves are regenerating and that is why there is more pain now than during the first few days after surgery, and why I have pain when I touch my chest. Fortunately, some of the skin remains numb, but I have more issues with the skin under my arms! Clothing that touches the under arm skin feels like it is a grater rubbing across a burn! I also have 'rolls' that extend from the breast area under each arm (Dr saved as much skin as possible for future reconstruction) that seem to swell when I do too much or remain on my feet too much.

    What an interesting bunch of symptoms! I see the oncologist Thursday to see what fate awaits me as far as chemo is concerned.

    mastectomy in July 2009
    and still numb.
  • m-star
    m-star Member Posts: 441
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    Mama G said:

    mastectomy in July 2009
    and still numb.

    im also still 50%numb in and
    im also still 50%numb in and around the breast area. Worst part being under my right arm at the side of my breast. One of my PS's said i may never regain the feeling. The nerves have all been severed so you WILL be numb for a while. Until they mend (if indeed they do) then you will remain numb.
    Its a funny feeling cus i mistake the numbnesss for it being swollen.
    I can live with a little numbness if that's the price i have to pay to be free of breast tissue =)
  • Christine Louise
    Christine Louise Member Posts: 426 Member
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    Yes, numbness
    My bi-lateral mastectomy was in Jan.2010. The numbness has gotten somewhat better, but I'm assuming it's permanent. I've learned not to lean against the table edge while typing, since I can't feel it until I suddenly realize I'm hurting. Plastic surgeon also warned me about heating pads. He's seen some bad burns because people couldn't feel it was too hot.

    Yes, it's disturbing but, like many others, I feel it's an acceptable price to pay and you get used to it. I'm so happy for you that you don't need chemo or rads, EdnaM! Best wishes to you in your recovery!
  • Marcia527
    Marcia527 Member Posts: 2,729
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    I was numb for a long time.
    I was numb for a long time. It isn't now but I was diagnosed in 2003. Didn't notice when it changed. I had a modified radical mastectomy and it is a little sensitive to pressure still.
  • jikaras
    jikaras Member Posts: 58
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    Mastectomy Jan. 2009
    and still numb. I'm told this is permanent because of the lymph nodes and nerves that are cut during surgery.

    I also had my gall bladder and appendix taken out in the 1980's, and I'm numb there too.

    It's just a sacrifice that we have to give in order to take the cancer away........

    Jill
  • Chrispea
    Chrispea Member Posts: 123 Member
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    I had a radical mastectomy
    I had a radical mastectomy on April 1.

    I'm still numb, sometimes. My numbness comes and goes, like if I reach my arm up in a weird way to take a shirt off, but it goes away quickly.

    I got to physical therapy for my arm, because I couldn't lift it, and the therapist rubs my skin on my chest. She said that when the tissue is cut when it heals it will adhere to whatever it's next to. For example, if you pick your skin up on your forearm, you can pull it up, but where you had surgery on your chest, it's really tight and you can't grasp it. If you massage that area, it will break up where the tissue is attaching to things it's not supposed to, and you'll loosen up. Try massaging it.

    It sounds weird, and I know I'm not explaining it right, but physical therapy has been the best. I even asked her if she thought people who got tummy tucks should do this, and she said that it would help them.

    Good luck. Hope the numbness subsides soon.
    Good luck.
  • Chrispea
    Chrispea Member Posts: 123 Member
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    Numbness
    I had bilateral April 29th and woke up about a week ago feeling like someone had kicked me in the sternum. I was concerned I was having a heart attack. Dr says the nerves are regenerating and that is why there is more pain now than during the first few days after surgery, and why I have pain when I touch my chest. Fortunately, some of the skin remains numb, but I have more issues with the skin under my arms! Clothing that touches the under arm skin feels like it is a grater rubbing across a burn! I also have 'rolls' that extend from the breast area under each arm (Dr saved as much skin as possible for future reconstruction) that seem to swell when I do too much or remain on my feet too much.

    What an interesting bunch of symptoms! I see the oncologist Thursday to see what fate awaits me as far as chemo is concerned.

    I have this too, and it's
    I have this too, and it's annoying as hell.

    I'm 6 weeks now, and it gets better, not as puffy, like there's a ball under there or something.
  • Third_Generation
    Third_Generation Member Posts: 121
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    Chrispea said:

    I had a radical mastectomy
    I had a radical mastectomy on April 1.

    I'm still numb, sometimes. My numbness comes and goes, like if I reach my arm up in a weird way to take a shirt off, but it goes away quickly.

    I got to physical therapy for my arm, because I couldn't lift it, and the therapist rubs my skin on my chest. She said that when the tissue is cut when it heals it will adhere to whatever it's next to. For example, if you pick your skin up on your forearm, you can pull it up, but where you had surgery on your chest, it's really tight and you can't grasp it. If you massage that area, it will break up where the tissue is attaching to things it's not supposed to, and you'll loosen up. Try massaging it.

    It sounds weird, and I know I'm not explaining it right, but physical therapy has been the best. I even asked her if she thought people who got tummy tucks should do this, and she said that it would help them.

    Good luck. Hope the numbness subsides soon.
    Good luck.

    Chickadee, I had that sore,
    Chickadee, I had that sore, painful skin also -bilaterals in jan- I self massaged constantly and it is soooooo much better. I got that info from someone else's blog and was so glad to have something to try. Once in awhile I stlll have an "ouchie" return but I immediately massage and it goes away. Maybe it will work for you. I hope so, because it hurt!!
    Hope all goes well for all of you.