Pain Following Unilateral Mastectomy?
Hi all--having unilateral mastectomy on Tuesday, wondering what to expect, pain-wise. For context, over the past year I've undergone three diagnostic mammograms (one that was attempting to visualize an area near the nipple was significantly painful, requiring me to do some mindful breathing and self-talk exercises), two biopsies, two lumpectomies, and a breast reduction on the unaffected breast (yeah, it's been a heck of a year). For all of the surgeries, I used no opioids afterwards and managed well with tylenol and then tylenol/advil alternating. The breast reduction was the most painful one to wake up from (felt like someone had been punching me in the chest for hours) but that seemed to respond well and quickly to tylenol. I declined a nerve block before that one.
My question for anyone who's had a uni- or bilateral mastectomy--how painful was it? what did you do/take? I really, really want to avoid opiods and a nerve block if possible, but I don't know if I'm being overconfident about my pain threshold. To be clear, it's not a pride/macho thing--I took the epidural when I delivered my kids! But so far, nothing I've experienced yet has even remotely approach the pain of labor contractions, and like I said, I really don't want to take opiods if I can avoid it, and I'd like the skip the nerve block too if it's offered. Any experiences anyone wants to share will be gratefully considered!
Cynthia (age 56, DCIS stage 0 scattered throughout left breast, two lumpectomies with persistently positive margins)