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What could it be.....contracture or rupture???

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1openheart
1openheart Member Posts: 250
edited March 2022 in Pain

Hello everyone. It has been a long time since I have posted, but I am hoping to gain some insight into what is going on with my reconstructed breast. I had my mastectomy and direct to implant reconstruction in June of 2011. So I am coming up on 10 years with my implant. It is a smooth, round, hight profile Mentor silicon implant. Over the past year, I have notice an off and on dull, achey pain that starts at my armpit and goes around the top of the breast and around. I mentioned it to the tech when I had my annual mammogram in November and they did not see anything of concern. I also mentioned it to my oncologist when I saw her for my annual visit. Again, nothing that was concerning to her. I did not go see my surgeon because of Covid concerns and the discomfort was intermittent. Well, it is no longer intermittent. For the past 3 weeks or so the pain has become much worse. The dull ache is now accompanied by a burning sensation in the entire breast and down my arm and up into my neck. There has been a ripple on the inner upper quadrant for a long time. And the breast doesn't feel particularly firmer to me. It may be riding higher on my chest than before, but it is hard to know for sure. The natural breast has defiantly drooped some so it is hard to compare the two. I have an appointment with my surgeon next week and I am confident that the will order an MRI to check for rupture or CC. So my question for you wonderful, helpful ladies is, does my description of the symptoms sound like anything that you experienced and what was your diagnosis? Thank you in advance for reading my post and sharing your experiences.


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  • moderators
    moderators Posts: 8,085
    edited April 2021
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    Welcome back, 1openheart, though we're sorry to hear of the concerns that bring you here. It's usually a little quiet around here on the weekends, but we hope someone will be by soon to weigh in with their thoughts and experience.

    We're glad you're pushing your doctors to take your concerns seriously -- we always suggest any changes in your breast be evaluated until you're confident that there's nothing more going on. Please keep us posted with what you find out!

    --The Mods

  • 1openheart
    1openheart Member Posts: 250
    edited April 2021
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    Thank you, Mods! I appreciate your kind words.

  • rah2464
    rah2464 Member Posts: 1,192
    edited April 2021
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    Openheart I do not have any personal experience with the level of pain you describe, just wanted to say you are doing all the right things getting it checked out. Hoping that the implant has just shifted a bit and pressing on a nerve causing the burning sensations. I am sure your surgeon will order that MRI. My first set of implants (I had nipple sparing direct to implant surgery) caused all kinds of havoc and pain on the cancer side. Scar tissue and cording and a neuroma on a single nerve that created a low level buzz of pain. Thinking back I also had lots of issues with my left arm with cording so could all be connected. I had an exchange surgery in November and my PS removed a ton of scar tissue as well as that neuroma and things are much better. Hoping that you too can have an easy surgical fix. Please keep us updated on how your appointment with the surgeon goes. Wishing you all the best

  • 1openheart
    1openheart Member Posts: 250
    edited April 2021
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    Thank you, Rah. I appreciate you taking the time to write. Some of the arm pain feels like cording pain, but I don't feel anything there. We'll see soon enough, I guess. Neuroma...argh...I have those in my foot. That could not have been comfortable in your breast!! Thank you for your kind thoughts.
  • 1openheart
    1openheart Member Posts: 250
    edited April 2021
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    Quick update....I had a good visit with my surgeon today. He agrees that CC is unlikely. He thinks it is more likely to be a rupture or tear in the implant, or possibly the implant has shifted and is now impinging on a nerve or surrounding tissues. He has ordered a MRI. I am waiting for the scheduler to call me and hopefully I can get it scheduled soon and then hopefully have some answers. I would still love to hear from anyone who has experience with what a rupture of a silicon implant feels like. Thank you and be well.

  • 1openheart
    1openheart Member Posts: 250
    edited April 2021
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    Hi all. I had my MRI early last week and I finally heard from my surgeon last night. I also went and picked up the MRI report yesterday from the imaging center because I was getting impatient waiting for him to call me. Good news....no signs of any cancer in either the reconstructed breast or my remaining natural breast. I wasn't expecting them to find any, but it is always nice to have a clean report. There is also no mention of an implant rupture or any fluid in or around the capsule or implant. So, all good news.

    So this is what they did find: There is an area of inflammatory reaction involving the implant capsule in the superior medial area and clinical correlation is requested. That is exactly where most of the burning pain is located. There is also a blooming artifact within the inferior axilla felt to be related to some form of metal clip or calcifications. I also have pain there. I don't recall having any kind of biopsy clip placed there, but I wonder if it could be from the sentinel node biopsy? So my general surgeon wants me to see a plastic surgeon. The one who did my reconstruction is no longer doing reconstruction so I need to see someone new. But my original plastic has agreed to see me for a consult and hopefully he can give me some insight about how best to move forward. My current plastic's nurse called me back today and said he wanted me to take Singulair until I see him. He still thinks that I may have some contracture. I told his nurse that my foob is still soft and that I have been on Singulair for several years for my asthma. Could the Singulair be enough to keep the implant soft but maybe not enough to prevent inflammation and pain? My pain has been pretty bad this week. I was out and about quite a bit yesterday and I find that driving really causes a lot of pain. I think that driving causes me to activate my arm muscles which activates my chest muscles and moves my implant around toward my armpit. I had to ice my chest last night. Well, that's all I know right now. I really appreciate any and all feedback and, as always, I thank you all for your grace and support.

  • 1openheart
    1openheart Member Posts: 250
    edited May 2021
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    Wanted to give an update. I saw my plastic surgeon from ten years ago today about the pain around my implant and the MRI results. He is confident that I do not have capsular contracture, but he feels like my pectoral muscle is inflamed and has developed some scar tissue which is adhering to my implant capsule. He has recommended physical therapy with ultrasound treatments and he gave my a muscle relaxer to take at night. Hopefully this will do the trick and give me some relief soon.

    Many thanks to those of you who reached out to offer support and share your stories. Take good care. I'll update in a few weeks.

  • B123
    B123 Member Posts: 239
    edited March 2022
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    1openheart, I have not been in here in years because I have felt great. I started to excerise and weight bearing in my arms and then noticed the pain across my chest around the implants, under my arms and down my sides. It’s a dull ache feeling and hurts. I honestly was becoming nervous because I forgot that I exercised. I sometimes feel a tightening in implants. But I think it may be stress? I read your post and felt better knowing it is probably inflammation on chest wall. I’m sorry your going through that, hopefully by now you are feeling better. I have flexor and will try it as well. Thanks for posting. Stay wel