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All TopicsForum: Not Diagnosed With a Recurrence or Metastases but Concerned → Topic: Can you feel a surgical clip from the outside?

Topic: Can you feel a surgical clip from the outside?

Forum: Not Diagnosed With a Recurrence or Metastases but Concerned —

Meet others concerned about developing a recurrence or metastases.

Posted on: Aug 10, 2017 03:59PM - edited Aug 12, 2017 12:03PM by Kat104

Kat104 wrote:

Hi,

I had a left mastectomy with sentinel nodes removed and tissue expander placed last November. Finished radiation in March. I now feel a tiny hard bump just under the skin way over in the axillary tail where one of my tumors was removed. My original cancer wasn't aggressive, and I had radiation, so it makes no sense for the bump to be a recurrence, but of course I'm scared. The RO showed me scans in June that show 2 surgical clips in the area and said it doesn't feel suspicious. The PS felt it and said it was nothing to be concerned about. Nevertheless, I just moved my 6-month followup with the BS ahead a few weeks to next week so I can get an ultrasound and be reassured again. I feel paranoid for doing so (would have seen her in September anyway), but I'm so distracted by it. Has anyone on here been able to feel a surgical clip through your skin?

Thank you!

Dx 10/6/2016, IDC, Left, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/21/2016 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast
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Aug 10, 2017 05:56PM mystic88 wrote:

Kat,

I think it would depend on how deep or superficial the clips were placed. I know I can't feel mine at all. These are also very small implants so you should not feel them very easily. Perhaps what you are feeling is scar tissue?

Hope your appt goes well! Best of luck!!

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Aug 11, 2017 09:31AM Kat104 wrote:

Thank you, Mystic! The RO in June said that the scan showing the clips was from March, and at that time they were both 3mm from the skin surface. But she said it's feasible one could have moved closer, or maybe it's an undissolved stitch, etc. And yes, could be scar tissue. So many things to cause bumps and fears. Thanks for responding.

Kat

Dx 10/6/2016, IDC, Left, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/21/2016 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast
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Aug 11, 2017 05:22PM Outfield wrote:

Kat, even now that I am no longer super-skinny, I can still feel some of them. When I was very thin, I could feel them all over the place.

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Aug 11, 2017 07:58PM KBeee wrote:

Many causes for bumps, but you are wise to request an ultrasound. My cancer "shouldn't" have recurred, but did, and the doctors were "sure" it was scar tissue. Good for you for being assertive. Hoping all comes back benign

Karen. Dx 8/5/2013, IDC, Right, 1cm, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 8/25/2013 Mastectomy: Left, Right Chemotherapy 9/19/2013 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 12/11/2013 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 1/22/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Surgery 1/28/2015 Lumpectomy: Right Dx 2/2/2015, IDC, Right, 1cm, Grade 2, 0/0 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 2/24/2015 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Prophylactic ovary removal Dx 2/25/2015, IDC, Right, 1cm, Grade 3, 0/13 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Chemotherapy 3/30/2015 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 8/24/2015 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole)
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Aug 12, 2017 12:02PM Kat104 wrote:

Thank you both. It's reassuring that you feel them, Outfield, and I appreciate the encouragement for seeking confirmation, Kbeee. I hate feeling like a hypochondriac, and I want my docs to keep taking me seriously. But I need confirmation on what that bump is.

Dx 10/6/2016, IDC, Left, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/21/2016 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast
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Aug 12, 2017 09:41PM KBeee wrote:

I expressed concern to my MO about not wanting to cry wolf. My MO put his pen down, looked me straight in the eye and said he would rather me call him every week to check something than to ever ignore a lump. I rarely need to call, but I feel much better now if I do need to

Karen. Dx 8/5/2013, IDC, Right, 1cm, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 8/25/2013 Mastectomy: Left, Right Chemotherapy 9/19/2013 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Hormonal Therapy 12/11/2013 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 1/22/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Surgery 1/28/2015 Lumpectomy: Right Dx 2/2/2015, IDC, Right, 1cm, Grade 2, 0/0 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 2/24/2015 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Prophylactic ovary removal Dx 2/25/2015, IDC, Right, 1cm, Grade 3, 0/13 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Chemotherapy 3/30/2015 AC + T (Taxol) Radiation Therapy 8/24/2015 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy Femara (letrozole)
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Aug 12, 2017 09:47PM Meow13 wrote:

I can't feel mine either.

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Aug 18, 2017 12:09PM Kat104 wrote:

Thanks again. Kbeee, I used your phrase about crying wolf to my BS yesterday, and she said, "no, no, no, it's not crying wolf. That's why we're here, and you're not alone. Many women have the same fears." As for the bump, she did the ultrasound and measured the dimensions for my chart (so tiny, 2mm) and said it will not go ignored. She said it's not a mass and is likely scar tissue, a vascular clip, etc. I was hoping for the crystal clear "yes, here's your clip" moment, but unfortunately I didn't get that. She said she would have ordered an MRI, but I still have the tissue expander in, and I have to wait for that to come out. So for now the plan is to order an MRI after my exchange surgery, and I can always come back for another ultrasound in the meantime if it bothers me more or appears to grow.

Ugh, I hate the fears associated with BC. For a few months after radiation I was feeling so great, and I want to return to that. I didn't think I'd have problems with recurrence fears, but then I spiraled into it. I'm very bony in the entire chest area, so every little thing can be felt. At least she took me seriously and documented it, no matter how small, and it will be watched. Thank you again for your responses.

Dx 10/6/2016, IDC, Left, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/21/2016 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy Whole-breast

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