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Nerve pain after surgery, any advice?

Posts: 12
Joined: Dec 2010

Anyone else have it? Its driving me up a wall! I had a hand assisted laproscopic partial
( some smaller incisions on the side with a 6 inch main incision above belly button that is getting smaller, thankfully) 3 weeks post op and I still can't stand the feeling of my pants ( even the baggiest yoga pants known to mankind!)or anything at all, rubbing against my skin, even 6 inches away from my incision! It feels like my pants have brillo pads, sandpaper or sharp things attached to them, that seem to poke, scratch and aggravate my belly.( just to make it clear, these things are imaginary, due to the nerve damage) I also feel a
"buldging" sensation under my main incision, and they have told me its not a hernia. Any miracle cures or advice anyone has, would be very much appreciated! I asked the doctor and he said it will " probably" go away within a year..

And for ladies only:
How could someone possibly stand wearing undergarments? Im guessing there has to be someone on here who has come up with a solution lol...Not like I'm really going out of the house much anyway haha...( sorry if too much info, but jeeze! its unbearable!)

*All the whining aside, It's still a small price to pay, compared to the alternative =)

Jamie1.3cm's picture
Posts: 188
Joined: Jan 2011

I've never had that kind of nerve pain; in fact, just the opposite. I have residual numbness on my belly. Much better to deal with! So, I don't know about the pain you're feeling. The only nerve pain I've had is when the nerve cells are re-connecting and they feel like they're on fire.

That bulge, from what I understand, could be swelling. Or, it could be fluid build up. Did you have drains after surgery -- you'd know it if you did: a bag hanging from a drainage tube that you pin to your gown. You could ask your doc about either of those 2 things.

I definitely prefer underpants that have no seams. The seams are what really irritate my skin.

blackbelt's picture
Posts: 32
Joined: Apr 2006

Your nerve pain is normal, it just means you're healing. I would suggest putting an ice pack on your buldging" sensation under your main incision for a minute or so a few times a day. The buldging" sensation under your main incision you feel is also a normal process of healing, the ice pack will help calm down inflammation caused by healing and performing daily activities. Give yourself a little more time than three weeks to heal, yes EarthMama it will get better over time. Feel free to contact me with any more questions.

Posts: 10
Joined: Feb 2011

Yes, it is normal, and it will go away. I have all of my nerve sensations back, and I am glad, very happy. I am exercising, and I tend to swell in the area of my muscle. And, it becomes uncomfortable, but it eventually goes down. I would imagine that since they cut my muscle that as I exercise and work out, well, I can't imagine how it will look, and as long, as I remain cancer free, I do not care. I can handle the bulge, nerves, tingling, etc. Deep breathe. I love to exercise now.

Von55's picture
Posts: 57
Joined: Aug 2010

How are you, Earthmama? So glad to hear you've got the surgery behind you!

Ah, the underwear! I had my partial in Sept last year & I still can't wear a bra for longer than 15mins without wanting to rip it off- mine was open surgery, and the incision was nearly 16" long, so both bras & knickers are a problem. That nerve pain can drive you crazy! I still havn't solved the problem ( though it does get better over time!) but wearing really loose french knickers (folded down as far as you can) might work; also just plain going without! You could ask your Doc if there's any kind of temporary dressing you can use over your belly to stop the irritation if you have to go out & must wear undies, maybe? I had to roll my baggy yoga pants down & just wore a loose hippy top in soft cotton that didn't rub to cover it all up. Daggy but it worked ok!
You sound like you're feeling pretty chirpy, aside from this pain, but remember you're only 3 weeks out of major surgery and are healing, so give it time & rest as much as you need to. If you're into visualisation work it can really help to spend some meditation or quiet time everyday- see yourself as happy & whole with your body bathed in light & strength & working just the way it should. If nothing else, it could take your mind off that rotten nerve saensation for a while!
All the best,
Von xx

donna_lee's picture
Posts: 1015
Joined: Feb 2009

It's been 4 1/2 years since my "big" surgery, with recurrences that added to the length of the incision line and the width. All told, I have a line starting just above my hysterectomy bikini line scar to about 3 inches below the right armpit. They also had to separate ribs and put them back together in the first go round.
It takes a while. I had a big knee surgery over 20 years ago and it still gives a weird sensation with a light brushing.
You want solutions now. Be a hippie. Wear an oversize mans "wife beater" tank shirt with a long flowing dress (if you're a woman) Then you can go commando on the bottom.
Lotion gently rubbed in.
Showering is a curse/blessing. The finest spray or even a hand held shower arm allows bathing without the battering feeling on the incision. I've found that a medium temp shower, and then turning the water temp down slowly to cool helps. Hot water induces dilation of the capillaries in the skin, creating a histamine effect with itching. After the cool down, I pat dry. Then rub on a hemp based lotion. It's someghing my hairdresser gave out at X-mas and doesn't have a greasy feel or odor. I can check on the brand when I get home and post the name later.
Good luck on your recovery and may your test results be fantastically great.

Posts: 9
Joined: Dec 2010

I had my right kidney removed Augyst 30, 2010 via radical nephrectomy for kidney cancer. Thank God, no further treatment needed.....However, I have severe nerve pain in my back where my kidney was that burns along the scar line. My family doctor prescribed Gabapentin which has helped. It is my understanding that sometimes the nerves do not reconnect or grow back correctly and form a neuroma. I am headed to a pain management specialist for a possible nerve block. You may want to talk to your doctor about the medication.

Good luck to you. It is so wonderful to have this site where we can share our experiences and provide advice and support. I so enjoy reading everyone's posts!!

Blessing to all!!

Posts: 9
Joined: Dec 2010

Just a couple of further thoughts - try wearing a cotton camisole (can be purchased at Wal-Mart or anywhere) on top, not very supportive but does provide some modesty. Also, a "scar cream" rubbed on the scar can help relieve some of the discomfort. I tried bikini panties so the elastic would not be near to the incision, but I found them uncomfortable for other reasons. An elastic back brace (can be purchased at drug store) which is about 10" in width with velcro closure is very supportive when you need to be up moving about.

It does get better!! You will get stronger and the discomfort will lessen. Hang in there - you are a cancer survior!!! I will look for your updates!!


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