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Topic: Pain from Latissimus Dorsi Flap Surgery

Forum: Pain —

Share important questions and provide support to others experiencing breast cancer and treatment-related pain.

Posted on: Jun 4, 2012 07:33AM - edited Jun 4, 2012 07:41AM by Lisa58

Lisa58 wrote:

Hello,

I would like to correspond with someone who has lived the nightmare of chronic pain after this type of reconstructive surgery. 

I had a complete mastectomy 12/14/10 and have been living a horrible nightmare.  There is not enough space or emotional energy to provide all of the details here, but I will provide a few deails...I developed a seroma and was adhesed to my rib cage.  This required a second surgery on 5/9/11.  After 15 months of physical therapy, an active stretching program, pain medications, a swimming program with PT, acupuncture, craniosacral therapy, massage, and more, I continue to have unrelenting pain.  Neurontin has caused tinnitus.  I am now using Lidoderm patches.  I may never be able to return to the active lifestyle that I enjoyed previous to all of this.  I have returned to work part-time, but that took 9 months to accomplish.  There is more!  I want to connect with other survivors who have endured!!!  I am excited to be on this website!

Thank you!

 LisaCB

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Apr 23, 2019 10:00PM JO-5 wrote:

Thanks for answering, Krissy. My new dr took note of how my spine is pulled out of alignment, the large very hard muscle running all the way down my back next to the spine...then the long scar and the other side of the scar is swollen with LE.

I'm thinking all that muscle and bone pulled out of place ..... then what she said about the remaining breast causing muscle and bone pain......why wouldn't it affect the hip?

Hope you feel better after the Xeloda and if you find any answers about the hip please share.

Joanne

IDC 04 Stage 1 Grd 3 no nodes Lumpectomy rads plus boosts ER+PR+HER- AI 5 yr 2014 secondary angiosarcoma from rads lumpectomy recurrence 1 yr Mastectomy with lat flap 1/2 flap went necrotic skin graft to center of chest.
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May 10, 2019 07:58AM nash wrote:

Jo, I have a lot of pain and strength issues with my hip on the LD side. I didn't think of the connection until you mentioned it, but it must be related. I had an MRI done of the hip, it was so bad, and I do have a small tear in the labrum, along with bursitis. But I wonder if those issues are a result of using that hip incorrectly while I skate now due to the LD flap issues.

Stage IV Pleomorphic ILC, initially diagnosed at age 38 Dx 6/7/2007, ILC, Left, 2cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 7/19/2007 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 8/1/2007 CAF Radiation Therapy 12/27/2007 Whole-breast: Breast, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 3/1/2008 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Dx 4/24/2015, ILC, Left, 1cm, Stage IV, metastasized to other, Grade 2, 0/10 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 5/15/2015 Mastectomy; Reconstruction (left): Latissimus dorsi flap Dx 2/1/2018, ILC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IV, metastasized to other, Grade 3, ER+/PR+ Chemotherapy 2/15/2018 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxol (paclitaxel), Taxotere (docetaxel) Dx 6/20/2018, ILC, Both breasts, 6cm+, Stage IV, metastasized to brain/bone, Grade 3, ER+/PR+ Targeted Therapy 7/1/2018 Ibrance (palbociclib) Dx 7/17/2020, ILC, Both breasts, 6cm+, Stage IV, metastasized to brain/bone, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 7/17/2020 Xeloda (capecitabine) Radiation Therapy 7/23/2020 Hormonal Therapy Faslodex (fulvestrant), Zoladex (goserelin) Radiation Therapy External: Brain
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May 10, 2019 08:52AM JO-5 wrote:

Nash,

It absolutely makes sense to me, that the LD flap could be adding to whatever pain you would be having from the tear and bursitis, and the LD flap could possibly have caused it.

I know my whole body is out of balance and I think it is from the LD flap. My new dr says it is a combination of the LD flap and not having a reduction on the good breast to balance me because I did not have reconstruction.

She said in a situation like mine she ALWAYS does a reduction on the good side because otherwise it just throws your whole body out of balance and causes a lot of pain.

Those of you with implants or double mx, I think just the LD alone throws the body out of balance enough to cause hip pain.

Joann

IDC 04 Stage 1 Grd 3 no nodes Lumpectomy rads plus boosts ER+PR+HER- AI 5 yr 2014 secondary angiosarcoma from rads lumpectomy recurrence 1 yr Mastectomy with lat flap 1/2 flap went necrotic skin graft to center of chest.
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May 10, 2019 11:43AM CBK wrote:

Jo I have BMX, implants and a single sided lat flap. Huh?

Honestly BMX, ooph and Arimidex contribute to way more pain than this lat flap ever gave me!

Where does the Lat Flap contribute to hip pain?

??????



Dx 3/26/2017, IDC, Left, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/11/2017 Mastectomy: Left, Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 7/21/2017 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 1/25/2018 Prophylactic ovary removal Hormonal Therapy 2/17/2018 Arimidex (anastrozole) Surgery 4/9/2018 Reconstruction (right): Latissimus dorsi flap, Silicone implant Surgery 9/28/2018 Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Silicone implant Surgery 4/3/2019 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction, Silicone implant
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May 11, 2019 06:10AM JO-5 wrote:

Those of us that are having hip pain....don't know it is from the lat flap.....we're just wondering if it might be.

That being said, the lat flap absolutely has pulled my spine out of alignment and add that to what my dr said about being balanced. A C-cup breast on one side and the lat muscle lump on the other, a crooked spine.....sort of makes sense that it could cause hip pain.

Happy for you if the lat flap is not causing you all the problems others and I are having. From your description your body is balanced, so if the lat flap has not messed up your back....good for you and I hope the Arimidex and etc don't give you too much trouble.

I had the lat flap....to save my life and I will forever be thankful for it even though I am in constant pain from it.

Joanne

IDC 04 Stage 1 Grd 3 no nodes Lumpectomy rads plus boosts ER+PR+HER- AI 5 yr 2014 secondary angiosarcoma from rads lumpectomy recurrence 1 yr Mastectomy with lat flap 1/2 flap went necrotic skin graft to center of chest.
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May 29, 2019 09:42AM - edited May 29, 2019 09:47AM by Crannie1000

I had a flap 8 years ago and have had pain across the bottom of it in front the ribs in front the side and back the doctor feels coming from scar tissue. I had several steroid type intercostal injections with ultrasound hat have helped from a pain management dr I feel is good try that if not good try a different dr and see if that helps it's probably the scar and intercostal rib nerve pain and might help at least some and need to be done periodically. I also had quite a bit of shoulder pain for a while but it finally settled down. Best Wishes ! And overall I think Hospitals should track outcomes to see if surgery needs to be banned do to back issues as I am not cured but improved.

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May 29, 2019 01:52PM Moderators wrote:

Hi there, Crannie1000! We want to welcome you to our community here at BCO, and thank you for sharing your story. We're so glad to hear that you found something that helped with your pain, and hopefully your suggestion helps someone else!

The Mods

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Aug 9, 2019 03:41AM JO-5 wrote:

Question for those of you with pain from lat flap .

I remember some of you saying your spines have been pulled out of alignment from this surgery. I know mine has.

My question is do you have pain down your legs mostly on the front outsides of the calf and in the top of your feet?

It feels like sciatica but it's not in the back of my leg. I have read that you can have sciatica in the front of the legs and feet.

I'm wondering if this pain could be neuropathy from my spine being pulled so out of line?

Anyone else?

Thanks in advance for any answers.

JO-5


IDC 04 Stage 1 Grd 3 no nodes Lumpectomy rads plus boosts ER+PR+HER- AI 5 yr 2014 secondary angiosarcoma from rads lumpectomy recurrence 1 yr Mastectomy with lat flap 1/2 flap went necrotic skin graft to center of chest.
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Aug 19, 2019 08:28AM ryalisa wrote:

Thank you for your inspiration.I had this surgery done 20 years ago, and it has ruined my life. I have tried everything for the pain, the gabapentin makes me feel loopy I can only handle 600 mg and it does nothing for my pain. I am getting worse as time goes on, more areas of my body are not functioning, my biggest issue has always been that I can't sit, I had to go on disability. I am not the same person I use to be, I am miserable, I hate life, I have so much anger that this is how my life ended up, and I feel as though I will be dying soon. I had the surgery done when I was 36 I am now 56 and am going downhill fast, it really sucks all this because of breast cancer. I would of rather just died then instead of all this suffering

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Aug 20, 2019 11:45PM ryalisa wrote:

I have had pain from the LD surgery for 20 years now, and have tried everything. I can't sit my sides burn so bad. Has anyone ever heard of the block therapy a friend of mine told me about it they have a group on facebook i'm just debating if I should spend the money and try this. I have tried everything I am running out of things to try. I really don't know how much longer I can live like this, unfortunately leaving this planet is looking better everyday, as I have no life living like this

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Aug 21, 2019 11:05AM nash wrote:

rylisa, are you talkin about nerve blocks? Can’t hurt to try

I’m sorry you’ve been through 20 years of this, and totally get it. I honestly wasn’t that upset with my post-LD flap brain mets state IV diagnosis bc I figured I didn’t have to suffer through decades of this crap then. How awful is that.


Stage IV Pleomorphic ILC, initially diagnosed at age 38 Dx 6/7/2007, ILC, Left, 2cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 7/19/2007 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 8/1/2007 CAF Radiation Therapy 12/27/2007 Whole-breast: Breast, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 3/1/2008 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Dx 4/24/2015, ILC, Left, 1cm, Stage IV, metastasized to other, Grade 2, 0/10 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 5/15/2015 Mastectomy; Reconstruction (left): Latissimus dorsi flap Dx 2/1/2018, ILC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IV, metastasized to other, Grade 3, ER+/PR+ Chemotherapy 2/15/2018 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxol (paclitaxel), Taxotere (docetaxel) Dx 6/20/2018, ILC, Both breasts, 6cm+, Stage IV, metastasized to brain/bone, Grade 3, ER+/PR+ Targeted Therapy 7/1/2018 Ibrance (palbociclib) Dx 7/17/2020, ILC, Both breasts, 6cm+, Stage IV, metastasized to brain/bone, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 7/17/2020 Xeloda (capecitabine) Radiation Therapy 7/23/2020 Hormonal Therapy Faslodex (fulvestrant), Zoladex (goserelin) Radiation Therapy External: Brain
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Aug 21, 2019 11:52PM ryalisa wrote:

No. I have had nerve blocks. It's an actual block that you buy and they have videos, or a block therapist, but there are none in my area, and you lay on the block and do deep breathing. I was just curious if anyone has ever heard of this.They says it breaks up facia. I have spent so much money on different stuff to try and was wanting to know if anyone has ever heard of,, or tried this, before I spend more money for something that doesen't work

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Aug 22, 2019 11:26PM - edited Aug 22, 2019 11:29PM by nash

Thanks for the explanation. I haven't heard of block therapy. It doesn't sound like it would help much, frankly. I looked it up, and it’s literally just a block of wood. If you wanted to try it, it seems like you could just go buy a cheap block of wood at the lumber store and lay on it.

Stage IV Pleomorphic ILC, initially diagnosed at age 38 Dx 6/7/2007, ILC, Left, 2cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 7/19/2007 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 8/1/2007 CAF Radiation Therapy 12/27/2007 Whole-breast: Breast, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 3/1/2008 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Dx 4/24/2015, ILC, Left, 1cm, Stage IV, metastasized to other, Grade 2, 0/10 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 5/15/2015 Mastectomy; Reconstruction (left): Latissimus dorsi flap Dx 2/1/2018, ILC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IV, metastasized to other, Grade 3, ER+/PR+ Chemotherapy 2/15/2018 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxol (paclitaxel), Taxotere (docetaxel) Dx 6/20/2018, ILC, Both breasts, 6cm+, Stage IV, metastasized to brain/bone, Grade 3, ER+/PR+ Targeted Therapy 7/1/2018 Ibrance (palbociclib) Dx 7/17/2020, ILC, Both breasts, 6cm+, Stage IV, metastasized to brain/bone, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 7/17/2020 Xeloda (capecitabine) Radiation Therapy 7/23/2020 Hormonal Therapy Faslodex (fulvestrant), Zoladex (goserelin) Radiation Therapy External: Brain
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Aug 31, 2019 09:36PM Bonnie7 wrote:

Hi Ryalisa and Nash,

Quite confronting to read yr posts.....and I too can so relate to what you say! This surgery, for some, really does mar yr life! I had a lat dorsi in 2014 and regret it more than words can say. I am angry at my surgeon who blatantly lied to me about this procedure which, I now firmly believe, was to keep his skills for this type of surgery. I am writing to the Assoc of Plastic Surgeons in Australia and will cc the hospital where I had the surgery in the hope that they may look further into this - I weighed 49 m/50 kilos when I had my surgery and this is not a surgery for lean/smaller figures! I will not let this go as Plastic Surgeons need to be held accountable!

I do know that the anti estrogens can exacerbate lat dorsi pain with effected tissue and vascularity changes.

I live in hope and am sure there WILL be some options/relief for us soon!

Hang on in there girls, you are NOT alone!

😘💗💗

Dx 2002, DCIS, Right, Stage 0, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 2005, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 2016, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery Mastectomy Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane), Femara (letrozole) Surgery Lumpectomy Radiation Therapy Hormonal Therapy Chemotherapy Surgery Lymph node removal Hormonal Therapy Aromasin (exemestane) Surgery Reconstruction (right): Latissimus dorsi flap Surgery
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Sep 1, 2019 04:57AM nash wrote:

Hi, Bonnie! I’m sorry you’re in the same boat, but glad to meet you

Stage IV Pleomorphic ILC, initially diagnosed at age 38 Dx 6/7/2007, ILC, Left, 2cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 2, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Surgery 7/19/2007 Lumpectomy: Left; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 8/1/2007 CAF Radiation Therapy 12/27/2007 Whole-breast: Breast, Chest wall Hormonal Therapy 3/1/2008 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Dx 4/24/2015, ILC, Left, 1cm, Stage IV, metastasized to other, Grade 2, 0/10 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 5/15/2015 Mastectomy; Reconstruction (left): Latissimus dorsi flap Dx 2/1/2018, ILC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IV, metastasized to other, Grade 3, ER+/PR+ Chemotherapy 2/15/2018 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxol (paclitaxel), Taxotere (docetaxel) Dx 6/20/2018, ILC, Both breasts, 6cm+, Stage IV, metastasized to brain/bone, Grade 3, ER+/PR+ Targeted Therapy 7/1/2018 Ibrance (palbociclib) Dx 7/17/2020, ILC, Both breasts, 6cm+, Stage IV, metastasized to brain/bone, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 7/17/2020 Xeloda (capecitabine) Radiation Therapy 7/23/2020 Hormonal Therapy Faslodex (fulvestrant), Zoladex (goserelin) Radiation Therapy External: Brain
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Mar 4, 2020 11:12AM thephatgal wrote:

Thank you all for posting your results. I am new to the site, but am a 25 year survivor. Had a Bilateral Mastectomy at 33yo, with reconstruction in 1995. Capsular contracture of one within one year, replaced with good results. Revision of both in 2009 due to Capsular Contraction, and again this past October.

October 2019 - Revision.

Two weeks after revision, I was back in Surgery for a Seroma. A week later, I burned the skin of the right breast with a heating pad, which eventually led to a hole and Implant was exposed. PS thought he could suture it, but after three tries, I ended up back in Surgery - he washed it out, sutured wound from inside, and placed a smaller implant in. One week post-op was yesterday, and a foul odor was emitting from underneath steristrips...yep, infected.

So he gave me a local, pulled the implant, replaced the drain, and wants to do a D Flap in 6 weeks.

Sounded good to me, until I read the complications. Complications that seem to be highly understated! Right now the only pain I have is at the new drain insertion site. my chest actually feels better than it has in since the first set of implants. I always had a tightness under my breasts, where a normal bra band would sit, and it’s gone! It wasn’t a constant pain, but it was sometimes necessary for me to pull my bra away so I could take a deep breath.

Again, thank you for sharing your stories. I am so sorry that so many of you are living in constant pain. So not fair!

MJ

P.S. He gave me Levaquin for the infection. Oh hell no! Read the warnings from the FDA - scary stuff!

P.S.S. DO NOT USE HEATING PADS!! No matter how low of a setting, your loss of sensation and thinned out skin will most likely burn. Please share that info, as I was this doc’s 3rd burn patient!

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Mar 4, 2020 12:05PM thephatgal wrote:

Proof that it’s not you!

Google:

The musculoskeletal consequences of latissmus dorsi breast reconstruction in women following mastectomy for breast cancer
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Oct 15, 2020 07:10AM - edited Oct 15, 2020 08:05AM by JO-5

I googled that above and I don't see anything about my problem.

I have not been on here for a while, but have been in pain all the time. It has been 5 years in August since I had the lat flap (no reconstruction) LD was to save my life besides I did not want more surgery.

Many of you already know all this but newer members won't know.

I have had this in the past but not this bad. My ribs hurt right where the bra band fits.

I had been doing a bit better but after painting the bathroom and doing some other work that required stretching I've had excruciating pain.

The first time it hit was all the way around my ribs. The back got better but the front continued to hurt. Finally that stopped. That was 2 months ago.

Today, I carried in a very few very light grocery bags and the pain in front started again.. Now it is on the lat flap side and REALLY BAD. I have ROM in my shoulder, but it hurts

Does anyone else have extreme pain in the ribs where the bra band goes? It is so painful, I wonder if it could be mets to the ribs but don't think it would come and go.

It hurts worse to push on those bones especially on the lat flap side. The graft is right on the chest bone which left a deep divot in my chest. Those bones have been sore for 5 yrs.I've learned to live with that but the ribs are the worst.

Joanne

IDC 04 Stage 1 Grd 3 no nodes Lumpectomy rads plus boosts ER+PR+HER- AI 5 yr 2014 secondary angiosarcoma from rads lumpectomy recurrence 1 yr Mastectomy with lat flap 1/2 flap went necrotic skin graft to center of chest.
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Oct 16, 2020 03:20AM - edited Oct 16, 2020 03:21AM by JO-5

bump.....anyone?

Today it is hurting across my back right on bra line.....but not in front or side. Haven't done anything but make some stuffed shells that the ingredients needed stirred...and husband did most of the stirring.

Joanne

IDC 04 Stage 1 Grd 3 no nodes Lumpectomy rads plus boosts ER+PR+HER- AI 5 yr 2014 secondary angiosarcoma from rads lumpectomy recurrence 1 yr Mastectomy with lat flap 1/2 flap went necrotic skin graft to center of chest.
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Oct 17, 2020 03:45AM Jaybird627 wrote:

Sorry JO-5, I'm doing okay at almost 1year post lat flap. But I do have the iron band feeling from my mastectomy. I have good range of motion. I did a lot of lat flap exercises before the surgery. I lift light weights. I'm very physical and am in good shape upper body wise so maybe that's why I don't have any issues (yet). I hope you find some relief. Perhaps a physical therapist can help? Acupuncture? Chiropractor? Good luck!

Jaybird. My hopes are not always realized, but I always hope - Ovid. Dx 3/5/2005, IDC, Right, Stage IIB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/5/2005 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal; Mastectomy; Prophylactic ovary removal; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Latissimus dorsi flap, Silicone implant
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Oct 17, 2020 11:16AM - edited Oct 17, 2020 11:18AM by JO-5

Jaybird,

Thank you. I've been being very careful with my right arm and the pain is better, not constant like before. I've tried PT, with no good results not Acupuncture or Chiropractor.

I had scoliosis, not noticable, before, but since the lat flap my spine is very crooked and pulled to the right. It makes sense that would make my ribs hurt. My back, at the bottom of the scar, goes into spasms if I stand for long or use my right arm much.

My dr has always told me .... if it goes away it is not cancer and right now the pain is gone.

I am not able to tolerate pain meds and most days Tylenol is no help at all.

I am just wondering how many more have this pain besides me.

JO-5

IDC 04 Stage 1 Grd 3 no nodes Lumpectomy rads plus boosts ER+PR+HER- AI 5 yr 2014 secondary angiosarcoma from rads lumpectomy recurrence 1 yr Mastectomy with lat flap 1/2 flap went necrotic skin graft to center of chest.
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Oct 17, 2020 12:08PM Jaybird627 wrote:

JO-5,


I, too, have scoliosis but it's not that bad. I haven't noticed any more curvature or pulling. I swear by my chiropractor and I've used an acupuncturist in the past but don't use one now mostly because I now live in a different state from her. I wish you luck in finding pain relief. My OT/PT was helpful in giving me numerous stretching exercises as I have more mobility in my R arm than my L arm (lat flap on R side) but I am not consistent in my stretching. lol.


Jaybird~


Jaybird. My hopes are not always realized, but I always hope - Ovid. Dx 3/5/2005, IDC, Right, Stage IIB, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 3/5/2005 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal; Mastectomy; Prophylactic ovary removal; Reconstruction (left): Silicone implant; Reconstruction (right): Latissimus dorsi flap, Silicone implant
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Oct 17, 2020 01:14PM buttonsmachine wrote:

JO-5, slightly different situation, but I am also dealing with chronic musculoskeletal pain issues partly due to the very extensive surgeries I have had (chest wall resection and skin graft). My doctors have said that when there is a lot of trauma to the area, as there is with our bigger surgeries, the muscles are in a state of constant contraction to try and "protect" the injured area. This leads to the muscles getting more and more hurt over time, and it can develop into a chronic problem. My doctors said this happens with some mastectomy patients, and those like us who have bigger surgeries.

I have recently been referred to PT and have been given a regimen of muscle relaxers to help things calm down some. I do not know yet if these things will be successful, but I hope they will. I hope you find some answers, please keep us posted on how you're doing. Best wishes.

Diagnosed at 32. Local recurrences in the skin, and now dealing with MBC. Dx 8/2016, IDC, Right, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 10/2017, IDC, Right, Grade 3, 2/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 8/2020, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/other, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Oct 18, 2020 01:22AM anotherNYCGirl wrote:

Jo-5,

I never wear a bra because of the discomfort/pain on the lat side. Even the softest bra doesnt work for me. I wear a camisole or tank top or T shirt under my blouses/sweaters. That side also tends to spasm if I move in a certain way, or even get too cold. Perhaps the cold problem is because the implant, even though a small one, tends to feel cold.

The lat side is much more of an issue for me than the non lat side.

Wishing all here the very best.

Dx 1998, DCIS, Stage 0 Surgery 3/17/1998 Lumpectomy: Left Dx 6/2000, ILC, Stage IA, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 7/10/2000 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Chemotherapy 7/31/2000 CMF Hormonal Therapy 2/11/2001 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy 2/11/2001 Breast Hormonal Therapy 2/11/2006 Femara (letrozole) Dx 2/2014, ILC, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 3/24/2014 Lymph node removal: Left, Right; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): Tissue expander placement; Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Chemotherapy 5/1/2014 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 11/19/2014 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Surgery 1/13/2015 Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery 5/27/2015 Reconstruction (right): Latissimus dorsi flap, Silicone implant Surgery 2/21/2016 Reconstruction (left): Fat grafting, Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Nipple reconstruction
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Oct 23, 2020 07:28AM JO-5 wrote:

Jaybird, Buttons, NYCG,

Thanks for your answers...

Jaybird, I have tried PT and got worse, and stretching is out of the question. I can't even stand to reach my top cupboard.

( buttons you said ....My doctors have said that when there is a lot of trauma to the area, as there is with our bigger surgeries, the muscles are in a state of constant contraction to try and "protect" the injured area. This leads to the muscles getting more and more hurt over time, and it can develop into a chronic problem)

That makes a lot of sense and sounds like that could be my problem. I may ask for muscle relaxers, but I am extremely sensitive to most meds, and this feels like bone pain instead of muscle. I suppose muscle pulling on bone could hurt like this.

NYCG,

You sound a lot like me. I wear a sports bra a lot but usually around the house I just wear a soft silky shirt. I did not have an implant, but the muscle from my back that is on my front sometimes gets very cold and when it is cold it hurts. I didn't expect this pain to get worse the longer it went. I thought it would get better with time.

My new dr ( original one that I really liked retired) ask me the first time she saw me ...why they did not do a reduction on the left breast. ( No one even mentioned it.) She said with not having a reconstruction, leaving the other breast without at least reducing it causes nothing but trouble like pain in the back and shoulders. She also said it throws our balance off.....and I've found that to be true with the balance.

I am not going to have another surgery at this point.

I am miserable.

Joanne


IDC 04 Stage 1 Grd 3 no nodes Lumpectomy rads plus boosts ER+PR+HER- AI 5 yr 2014 secondary angiosarcoma from rads lumpectomy recurrence 1 yr Mastectomy with lat flap 1/2 flap went necrotic skin graft to center of chest.
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Oct 24, 2020 12:29AM CTLMom wrote:

JO-5 I've been reading your recent posts and just wanted to say I totally understand your frustration with your pain and physical limitations due to the pain and tightness. You can read my ongoing plight in different spots on this community site. In a nutshell, at this point after multiple surgeries, radiation damage, and later lat flap surgery I am in a chronic state of pain and tightness. Looking for answers and finding relief is an ongoing process for sure! Being shuffled from one specialist to another is tiring but so is the constant pain. Like you and others I have given up on bras. Even the softest ones drive me crazy after a while. Soft tee shirts seem to be the go to thing to wear. I'm so sorry you have to deal with this situation. Hopefully between all of us here we will be able to find some answers and direction!

CTLmom

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Oct 24, 2020 05:34AM - edited Oct 24, 2020 05:36AM by buttonsmachine

It's really hard that so many of us end up in chronic pain from these big surgeries.

The only "bra" I have been able to wear without it causing pain are the Rhonda Shear "Ahh Bras." The reversible body bra is my favorite. https://www.herroom.com/rhonda-shear-9599-reversible-body-bra.shtml

JO-5, I know what you mean about PT making things worse - that has happened to me a couple times too. I have found that even really good PTs do not appreciate how easy it is for us to irritate these areas.

For example, recently I had to have a spinal tap, and it left me bedridden for about two weeks. Even just lying down so much really hurt my cancer/surgery side! I was having shooting and referred pains that were a 6 or 7 on the pain scale due to the muscle spasms and tension. My "good" side is fine. It just goes to show that once we have had these big surgeries, even seemingly small or normal things can really hurt us, even years out from surgery.

Diagnosed at 32. Local recurrences in the skin, and now dealing with MBC. Dx 8/2016, IDC, Right, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 10/2017, IDC, Right, Grade 3, 2/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 8/2020, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/other, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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20 hours ago JO-5 wrote:

buttons,

I could not use that bra but thanks for the suggestion. I am happy to take a look at anything that might help.

I tried a "step in" bra and thought I was going to have to call 911 to get out of it. I was in a store dressing room and would have cut myself out of it if I would have had scissors!

I have a hard time finding any position to sleep in that doesn't hurt. Many nights I end up going to the recliner around 3 or 4 AM. Thinking about getting an adjustable bed, except we don't need a new mattress....just got one not long ago.

The "loaf" under my arm where they ran the lat muscle is hurting tonight. It never has gone all the way down. Has yours ever gone flat....or anyone else?

JO-5



IDC 04 Stage 1 Grd 3 no nodes Lumpectomy rads plus boosts ER+PR+HER- AI 5 yr 2014 secondary angiosarcoma from rads lumpectomy recurrence 1 yr Mastectomy with lat flap 1/2 flap went necrotic skin graft to center of chest.

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