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Weird numbness after lumpectomy

daenerys30 Member Posts: 10

I had a right side mastectomy in 2020 but my cancer came back like a movie villian everyone thought was dead and got a tumor on the same side with an affect lymph node. I did chemo and had a lumpectomy and 9 lymph nodes removed. I had numbness from the mastectomy but with the new surgery I have numbness just above my right elbow. What bothers me is that since I came back to work I will have numbness and tigling in my right hand if I use my computer mouse too long. I use it alot for work and will have to take breaks and streatch to help the numbess. Should I be concerned? It kind of feels like carpel tunnel and I"ve used ergonomic mouse and mouse pads, changed how I place my arm on my desk but nothing helps.


  • moth
    moth Member Posts: 3,293

    I think you should see your dr first and then if they dont see anything wrong, get a referral to pt.

    You.might have nerve impingement caused by muscle tension higher up in your shoulder or neck or thoracic spine. There are exercises for this. If you want to try dyi pt see "bob and Brad physio" on YouTube I think I'd look at ""shoulder mouse", "radial nerve flossing" "ulnar nerve flossing". These are the things I've all had that presented with that numbness above the elbow but it could really be other things & should be diagnosed by a pro

    Good luck!

  • minustwo
    minustwo Member Posts: 12,992

    Agree with Moth - see your doc first. But you might also consider CIPN (chemo induced neuropathy) from some chemo treatments. Then you would get a referral to a neurologist. You might also get a referral to a Lympadema trained PT specialist since you had 9 nodes removed.

  • rah2464
    rah2464 Member Posts: 1,192

    I was going to mention lymphedema as a possibility as well. There are so many nerve bundles in your armpit where they are removing the lymph nodes. Sometimes they just are aggravated and need time to heal, but best if you consult your surgeon and have them direct you to the appropriate PT resources. The sooner you get appropriate therapy the better. Hope you get some relief quickly.

  • tinkerbell65
    tinkerbell65 Member Posts: 48

    I had a right side lumpectomy in August, with sentinel nodes removed. For the past month, I have had some weird feeling in my right arm. The first time it happened, I thought it was from holding my phone too long in a weird position. the second time, I assumed I had slept on it funny. Then, it started happening daily - when I carried my laptop bag into my office, when I reached for something, or just randomly. It's not constant, but when it occurs, my arm feels heavy, weak, kind of tingly/numb. I called my surgeon's office, just heard back from the nurse. SHe said that the nerves are healing from the surgery, and that is what is causing it. The doctor called in a referral to the hospital's physical therapy department, and I am waiting to set it up.

    It bothers me that I wasn't warned about this after surgery. If this is a relatively common occurrence, months later, why wouldn't that be communicated? It would have saved me a lot of worry, as I have had arm pain due to spinal issues in the past, and have been going through cardiac testing as well. Arm pain could be a lot of different things, and had I known of the possibility, I would have been able to get this diagnosed a lot sooner.

    When I began to realize that it was a daily issue, I didn't know who to call - breast surgeon? Radiation oncologist? Neurologist? Cardiologist? I didn't immediately connect it to the node biopsy.

    It seems PT is going to be the answer. I hope this is helpful, Daenerys.

  • minustwo
    minustwo Member Posts: 12,992

    tinkerbell - The average education for docs in med school about lymphadema is 15 minutes - in 7 years. So no, most docs don't discuss it or understand it or even believe it.

    Do confirm that it's LEPT so you can get initial measurements by some who is trained & certified. They seem to be scarce. This site will have reliable info.

  • tinkerbell65
    tinkerbell65 Member Posts: 48

    Update: I was referred by my surgeon to a physical therapy practice associated with the hospital. I saw the lymphedema specialist there. she was very knowledgeable, took measurements, put me through a bunch of tasks to assess what was going on. I feel much better about this now, as she gave me exercises to do and verified that my right upper arm is weaker than my left, and that it seems to be nervous system related. Not lymphedema, but most likely connected to the removal of sentinel lymph nodes.

    Along with all of this, I have been going through cardio testing to find out why my EKG always shows something abnormal, and I have an enlarged right ventricle - usually associated with chronic hypertension or chronic lung disease - neither of which applies to me.

    I'm just so tired of all this - I don't want to feel like being a "patient" is my primary role in life. I had been pretty healthy until the breast cancer, now I'm trying hard to not feel like my body is just giving up on me.