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Discomfort after a lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy

Missy S
Posts: 3
Joined: May 2014

Hello Everyone


I'm new to the the forum.  I was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer about 4 weeks ago before my 40th birthday.  I'm 2 weeks post-op and am having alot of discomfort especially where the node biopsy was done.  I have searched all over the internet for options to keep my clothing from rubbing and irritating the area.  I know this is all normal, but I want to know has anyone found anything that you could put on the lymph node area to reduce the irritation?  When I get home and take my bra off and throw on a t-shirt it's much better, but since I work in an office setting, that's not really an option.  I go see the oncologist tomorrow and have already been told by my surgeon that radiation is coming so I'm afraid when I start radiation the irritation will just worse

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Posts: 17
Joined: Dec 2007


I am a breast cancer suvivor 6+ years.


i also have problems with sensivity to clothes rubbing on my scar.


I wear sports bras. And soft mascotomy bras. These seem to bother me less. I occasionally have some discomfort but, that see usually scaring. 

As, far as clothes go, I find if I wear a bit more loose fitting tops it helps. i got less sensivity as time went on.


i hope this helps. 

Missy S
Posts: 3
Joined: May 2014

Thank you!  I have tried the sports bra and that didn't work, but I'll check out the masectomy bra's. 


Congrats on your survival!

CypressCynthia's picture
Posts: 4014
Joined: Oct 2009

Missy, welcome and I am so sorry that you found us because of this blasted disease.  I hate cancer!!!

My older sister just had a preventive bilateral mastectomies.  She was the only sister of the 4 of us not to yet have breast cancer.  Anyway, she had a lot of pain with expanders.  Her surgeon recommended some bras that she felt helped, because she works in an office too and her surgeon wanted her to wear a bra.

I think the right bra may be what you need, but only you can say what that is.  I have bone mets in my ribs and am always looking for supportive bras with no underwires.  Recently I found a Warner's Back to Smooth wirefree lift bra at Marshall's that I really like.  The straps are thick elastic and my only criticism is that they don't adjust and I a afraid that they may stretch too much one day.  But, for right now, the bra is working for me.

It is a real pain-in-the-rear looking for bras, but I think you might feel better with one that is stretchier where you need it.

PS I can't wear sports bras either.  They are too compressing for me (is that a word?).  Wink

Posts: 6587
Joined: Oct 2010

Is the surgical tape still on? MINE stayed on for a long time. (first time I didn't' know better to leave it on and took it off at first shower)



Missy S
Posts: 3
Joined: May 2014

No, it's off.  They even had me remove the steri strips. 

Posts: 58
Joined: Apr 2014

After my lumpectomy and node biopsy I wore soft front closure bras that I got at the wig and bra boutique at the hospital where I had my surgery.  The ladies were very helpful and fitted me for the after surgery special lumpectomy bras.  I loved them and ordered 3. 

jcarol's picture
Posts: 30
Joined: Jun 2013

I had my surgery last July and am just now able to wear "normal" bras and can still only wear them for a limited time.  At first (for several months) I bought Fruit of the Loom stretchy bras with wide straps and multiple hooks up the front.  I bought a much larger size than usual but because they are soft and there were no hard seams, they didn't irritate my skin.  I found them at Walmart based on someone else's recommendation.  Since then I found bras at Kohl's that have no underwires and are more shapely.  I have always loved my Wacoal underwires and just now I'm able to wear them without irritation for a limited period of time.  

I had similar surgery and radiation.  I used lots of creams during radiation and that helped for sure.  Good luck!  It does get better.

Puffin2014's picture
Posts: 535
Joined: Jun 2014

I'm 9 days post op, having the same problem. Did anything you tried help?

Posts: 2
Joined: Jun 2014

I am now 2 weeks and 4 days post op and I know exactly how you feel.  I had 6 lymph nodes removed and luckily they were all negative but the discomfort is ridiculous.  The scars are painful and hard and I feel like I have lumps under my arm.  It is getting better a little bit each day but everybody keeps telling me they know people who had this and were only out of work 3 days.  The doctor told me a month.  Hope we all feel better soon. 

Puffin2014's picture
Posts: 535
Joined: Jun 2014

I've been finding extra strength Tylenol a couple times a day helps. Saw my surgeon today for my post op visit and he said to try either heat or cold or even both. I have one of those long rice bags you can microwave and use behind your neck, well, it wraps very nicely around my breast and under my arm pit and even though it was humid and 83 degrees today, it felt good! He cautioned about testing the temp though since any numb areas could be burned if it was too hot. He also said LIGHT massage would be OK for the next 2 weeks and then after the stitches had healed more I could try a little firmer massage of the lumps. Hope you feel better soon.

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