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How long do sides hurt

Posts: 8
Joined: Feb 2001

I had a double masectomy on Feb 15 this year. I had the 4 tubes from my side out this past Tuesday . and wow my sides still are sore but I don't think it's from the tube removal ,its like I now have breast on my sides and they are sore.Did any of you have this?

Posts: 292
Joined: Oct 2000

HI, It is amazing the different sensations that you will be getting now and the different kinds of pain. I had my mastectomy last January 00, I had the tubes out about four days after and the site was really sore for a week or so, I think you still get a heavy pain in the side because of the way the tubes were wound around inside there. Did you see the tube when it came out? Wow, amazing, I showed my husband after the nurse took it out, and the poor bugger went pale, to think of that inside me. I found the whole thing kind of fascinating. You will get little electric shocks in your arm too. It is the nerves regenerating. Now, when I get goosebumps or aroused, It feels like my nipple getting hard, but there is nothing there!!! It feels really weird to shave under the arm, it is numb still, but I can feel something, I cant even describe it, not pain or tickling, just really different. Make sure to do your exercises, it will hurt at first, but you have to do them, It will help too,in easing lymphedema. I use weights now, just a five lb, to help give me back some tone and strength. I hope I was able to help a little.
Fight The Good Fight!!
Hugs from Tiger

Posts: 105
Joined: Jan 2001

Hi! Tiger is right...you will feel all different types of sensations over the next few weeks. I had a double mastectomy on Dec 5, 2000...I hated those tubes! I kept mine for almost 2 weeks. My husband was in the room with me when the doc took them out...he almost fell over when he saw the length of those things! (me too) I am undergoing reconstruction and feeling all types of wierd pains due to the tissue expanders stretching my skin. I still have some sharp pains and soreness around the scars where the tubes were...it's all a very strange experience, isn't it? Hang in there and you will have movement back in your arm in no time...just like Tiger said, do your exercises! Keep in touch and let us know how you are doing.
My prayers are with you!
Mel in Arkansas

Posts: 130
Joined: Nov 2000

Hi, I had a mastectomy Dec. 15th & had the tubes removed a week later. Yikes! My sister went with me so she was watching. I was laying down so I didn't see them being pulled out but believe me I felt every bit of it. There was some relief once the tubes were out but it was sore for quit a while. I don't notice that spot being sore now but I do still have some soreness & numbness on back of arm, under arm & around incision. It iis getting better but just feels kind of weird. Good luck to you. Judy

Posts: 931
Joined: Oct 2000

Hi,I had my mastectomy in Sept and had the drains removed 10 days later. The soreness lasted a bit but not as bad as when the drains were in. I had a revision of recon. on Feb. 2nd and the drain this time was much more uncomfortable. It was removed 1 week later. What a relief. The soreness is almost gone. ! problem I had was the fluid con't. to build up after drains were out so I had to be aspirated 3 different times. Thank god I'm numb there! Just be patient. The soreness gets less everyday. Cathy

Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2001

Thank you for this discussion thread! I'm new here. I had lumpectomy/node excision/radiation in 1992 and the underarm and side area was the most sensitive, didn't really hurt, but felt creepy when touched for several months at least. I wore a lot of silk blouses, which were easy to find at the time - washable silk. Last month, Feb '01, I had a mastectomy on the same side for local recurrence. The scar across my breast is less sensitive than the two little scars on my side from the drain tubes (which I only had for 48 hrs this time, what a relief.) The most sensitive is a spot that's hardly noticeable, almost on my back. My surgeon says that's probably where she stuck the Novacaine needle. Yikes. Happily, I never was well-endowed, so now I get away with a T-shirt (soft, old one) or silk shirt under a vest, often with a silk tank top "undershirt." So no chafing or touching from bra or need for pads. I caught the 1.99 sale at Goodwill and stocked up on washable silk shirts! Love the bargain, and they don't last a long time, so hate to waste the money in a dept. store. My surgeon had told me before the surgery that as I was small chested, as she is, that I could just tuck a shoulder pad in that side, which I'll do once I can stand wearing form-fitting clothes again. Blessings on all of you.

Posts: 2
Joined: Jan 2009

I had my drain removed a couple of weeks ago, but I still find it so hard to lay on either side due to swelling and it hurts to turn during the night. I don't hurt so much during the day, except in the mornings. Does anyone find relief sleeping in a recliner? I did this when I had my drains in, but I wasn't sure if it would put me more at risk for lymphedema now. I would elevate my arm on a pillow. I need to find some way to get relief so I can get a good nights sleep.

Posts: 446
Joined: Jan 2008

I had two mastectomies: one for cancer, and the other side was preventative. Weirdly, the preventive one did not hurt at all. With the cancer mastectomy, I had incredible pain which I thought would never go away, but it did: it lasted one month. Don't worry, your pain will not go on forever. I found it helped to take Hydrocodone pain-killers.

Good luck!


Ltalcott's picture
Posts: 119
Joined: Mar 2009

Maybe there was no pain on the non-cancer side because they didn't take any nodes? I was supposed to do what you did, have one mastectomey for cancer, the other preventative. But they saw a pin point on the second side, did a biopsy, and lo and behold, another primary site. Made absolutely no difference in the planned treatment (except they did sentinal node biopsy on both sides), but that second diagnosis knocked me on my a**. My surgeon explained I had taken both of them the same places all these years, exposed them to the same things, not really all that surprising that they would both come up with CA.

I do have a lot of arm pain on the left side, and I asked the surgeon about it. He said, "oh yeah. We had someone on your right side pulling on a retractor as hard as they could to lift up your pectorals muscle--one of your nodes was really buried pretty deep." I think we might be glad we have no idea what happened during surgery, huh?!! Huge bruise on the inside of my right arm, puncture wound on the top of my right foot, scrape on my left thigh? Where did all these things come from!?

Pain is so relative--they keep asking on a 1-10 scale. I've been sitting on a 2-3 most of the time (3 weeks post-surgery now), but if I were just walking down the street and had pain like this it would be an 8!


Posts: 145
Joined: Feb 2010

I had one for cancer and the other was preventative too and I have a sore spot when touched under my arm, they think that it is a nerve that never died. I have alot of strange feelings that are hard to explain. This whole process is hard to understand and explain. I wish you all the best. Hugs:) Robbin

e_hope's picture
Posts: 371
Joined: Sep 2009

I had pain on my sides for weeks and weeks after the expanders where done filling.. Its caused by the skin expanding and the pulling on the internal surgical stuff they used to make the breast shape... massage the area frequently... it will help... and over time the pain goes away.. at least mine did... good luck

Posts: 3
Joined: Nov 2009

I'm just over a month from a bilateral and it feels as if there is a steal band across my chest. The pain has not subsided. I have to sit at night to sleep. How long indeed does it last? Did anyone else have that same sensation of a tight band around your chest?

I was also told that it takes time for the scar area to even out. Does it? Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Posts: 69
Joined: Nov 2009


DianeBC's picture
Posts: 3886
Joined: Jun 2009

I hope that you soon feel better lizziejane. Have you talked to your plastic surgeon about this pain?

Posts: 6
Joined: Nov 2009

I had a expander put it immediately after the mastecomy and reconstruction,. I feel like my chest is full of something hard. My surgery was 10/9/09 and although some swelling has gone down its still uncomfortable. I try to do my spider exercise daily to avoid swelling but under my arm is extremely sensitive. I'm scheduled to have my first injection this friday and I am scared to death. My breast was reconstructed using skin only so it looks natural but its not fully healed. I hate to look at it. Are you experiencing the same under the arm.?

RE's picture
Posts: 4644
Joined: Feb 2004

Not sure how this one popped up here, it is an old post from 2001, apparently the only post this person ever made. Just thought I'd let you all know.


mimivac's picture
Posts: 2147
Joined: Dec 2008

It's weird seeing these years-old posts sometimes. I always wonder how the women are doing....

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