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All TopicsForum: Surgery - Before, During, and After → Topic: Excisional/Lumpectomy~ Pain 3 weeks out...

Topic: Excisional/Lumpectomy~ Pain 3 weeks out...

Forum: Surgery - Before, During, and After — Surgical options and helpful tips for recovery and side effects.

Posted on: Mar 18, 2012 05:52PM

shabby6485 wrote:

hi ladies

had two excisionals done three weeks ago for atypia.  both on same breast. one right under the nipple.  surgeon said he was aggressive with tissue removal.  had post op visit last week and he said it is healing well but couldn't really address the pain near the nipple.

he stiched right on the areola.  i still can't wear a bra as the nipple is hyper-sensitive and tender. turns out i have lcis so heading toward mastectomies.  i am thinking.....if i can't handle the pain from an excisional, how the heck am i going to do with a double mastectomy with reconstruction?

by the way, i had an excisional done in 2008 and was recovered in 3 days.  

anyone? 

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Mar 18, 2012 10:15PM annievan wrote:

I had pain after my December excisional for at least 5-6 weeks.  The incision healed very well, but my whole boob throbbed, particularly the quadrant from where the area was removed.  I couldn't believe how badly it continuted to hurt, then I noticed some nasty infection oozing from edge of incision.  Dr's office called in antibiotic as I was heading out of town. . . it took 2 rounds of antibiotics to totally clear it up.  They told me it could have been that some infection was deep in there and had to make it's way to the top.  Anyway, it's felt fine for last 4-5 wks. but now it's starting to throb again.  I'm nervous there's infection somewhere in there, and like you, Shabby, I'm worried that if this has hurt this much, how on earth will I handle BMX if I decide to schedule that in June (for LCIS)?  Has anyone else had excisional hurt for a long time?

Surgery 12/20/2011 Lumpectomy (Left)Surgery 07/10/2012 Prophylactic Mastectomy (Both); Reconstruction: Tissue expander placement (Both)Surgery 09/24/2012 Reconstruction: Breast implants (permanent) (Both)
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Mar 18, 2012 10:26PM, edited Mar 18, 2012 10:26PM by Beesie

I found that the pain that I had a few weeks after my excisional biopsy (a lot of tissue was removed in two areas of my breast) was much greater than the pain that I had from my mastectomy.  With an excisional biopsy or lumpectomy, you still have breast tissue and nerve endings.  As the breast tissue starts to move to fill in the gaps left by the surgery, and as the nerve endings start to connect and regenerate, that's when you have pain.  With a MX you don't have breast tissue and you don't have nerve endings - so the physical pain should be less, maybe not in the first few days after surgery but certainly once you get a few weeks out. That's the upside of having the MX.  The downside of having the MX is that you have no breast tissue and no nerve endings, which means that you forever lose the feeling of your breast (except possibly for the surface skin sensation).

Of course everyone is different and some women do have more pain after a MX, but I think as a general rule most find it to be less painful than they expect.  What can make a difference in the pain level after a MX is if you have reconstruction.  For example, if you have an expander or implant put in under the muscle, the stretching and pressure on the muscle might be painful - but it's not the mastectomy that's causing the pain, it's the reconstruction.  In my case I had little pain from my expander, but here again everyone is different and I know that some women have found expansion to be a difficult and painful process.  If you have DIEP or GAP type construction, that's something else again because you have incisions on other parts of your body.  I think what's most important is to head into surgery with a realistic understanding of what happen - if you are expecting it, then it won't be as bad.  And if it turns out better than you expect, then it's a bonus. 

Dx 9/15/05, DCIS-MI, 6cm+ Gr3 DCIS w/IDC microinvasion, Stage I, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR- “No power so effectually robs the mind of all its powers of acting and reasoning as fear.” Edmund Burke

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Mar 18, 2012 11:19PM bdavis wrote:

I had an excisional biopsy 14 years ago that hurt a lot.. it was infected. Once I got proper treatment, it was all fine... Last year, I had a lumpectomy and had no pain... and then last summer had a BMX and GAP flap surgery and again, no pain... A month after, I had DIEP flap (to repair one side) and again, no pain in the breasts, but for that surgery did have back pain (from being hunched over). My SN biopsy hurt a little... but from  what I hear, that is normal... something about the nodes getting attention.

Betsy... 1.9cm tumor, micromet in SN, ER/PR+ 98% .. Had my BMX and Reconstruction in NOLA

Dx 11/12/2010, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIa, Grade 2, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-