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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 3, 2012 02:33PM - edited Jun 3, 2012 02:41PM 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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Posts 211 - 215 (215 total)

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Oct 27, 2020 08:18AM anotherNYCGirl wrote:

Jo,

You have been through so much. Sad

Do you live in/near a big city with many medical facilities? I HOPE you can still find a dr that can help with pain management. Since you dont do well with most meds, isnt there a way to lessen the pain locally?? A topical or local pain reliever? The thought of an injectable would make you cringe, but if it is an option, it might be worth it? Drs treat arthritis, bursitis, back pain, etc with injections that hurt at the moment, but do alleviate pain for a long time after.

I understand your desire to feel good about appearance, but I'd opt for loose tops, scarves, vests, anything rather than wear a bra!

Sending best wishes from NYC

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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Jan 6, 2021 11:34AM JO-5 wrote:

Sorry NYCGirl,

Just saw your post above. I have not been on or posting much.

I cannot take any injectable meds like cortisone. Had it in knees and it went systemic and I thought I was having a heart attack. Racing heart, dizzy, blurred vision, headache for 9 days. Can't use topical anti inflammatory. Only used 1/2 dose and broke out in angry red rash.

Been very careful using arms. Trying not to stretch or use them a lot. Rib pain got better and shoulder blades better until yesterday.

Can't think of anything I did to cause it but left (non cancer/non mastectomy side) shoulder blade and left side ribs hurt. Part of the graft in center of chest goes over into that breast....or could it be the weight of that breast pulling on ribs as I'm not wearing a bra. Pain is sharp and sore feeling.

Has anyone else had/have pain on non cancer side? Could it be pulling if spine from lat flap?

On top of everything else the dr I went to after my wonderful dr that was so good retired.....she left the practice and went to another state. (I'm not upset that she left because I don't think she really cared and made out like I was a hypochondriac. )

I did get in touch with my retired dr and got a recommendation to another dr that I will see Jan 22 so only about 2 weeks till I see her. No use in calling now....because I probably could not get in any sooner.

Just would like to know if anyone has pain on the OTHER side.

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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May 27, 2021 08:38AM CTLMom wrote:

I posted this on another topic as well...

I haven't been on in a while so I wanted to update my continued nightmare. Due to someone's stupidity I got Covid at the end of February and was really sick for a couple of weeks. My son got it and unfortunately was with my dad before any of us knew we had been exposed. My dad got really sick as well and went into the hospital on 3/6. It was touch and go for a while but he was eventually move to a long term acute care hospital for intensive pulmonary and physical rehab. He was having some improvements for a while and then suddenly went downhill quickly due to pulmonary scarring from having had Covid pneumonia. Long story short-he passed away on 5/15. I feel like I have been punched in the gut over and over again. I am still trying to get everything done and settled while grieving at the same time. We were very close, which makes it all that more difficult. My dad was super neat upstairs in his house but a pack rat in the basement. It is going to be a long time before I can sort through everything to say the least. My mom passed away a few years ago and I am an only child so it is all on me.

Needless to say I have not been able to focus on my own pain issues over the last few weeks with my dad's situation. I have not been in for PT and I am really feeling it. She is so booked that my next appointment isn't for another couple of weeks! I had to cancel my appointment with the surgeon and I'm going to reschedule my next one because I am not ready for it. The funeral is next week and it is just too much for me to have that and such serious discussion with my doc while my brain is so scattered!

Also, I wanted to ask if anyone has noticed that the shoulder on the same side as the lat flap surgery is higher that the other side? I have noticed that it is more pronounced lately as well as my spine/paraspinal muscles feeling like they are pulling more to one side. It feels like things are getting tighter for me. I know the massive stress is not helping either...

Sorry to be such a downer today but sadly this is my reality right now.

CTLmom

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May 27, 2021 09:43AM buttonsmachine wrote:

CLTMom, I just wanted to say that I'm sorry for all you have been going through lately. It's a lot for anyone to go through, and I'm sending prayers your way.

As for the pain issues, I don't have quite the same surgery but I also have asymmetry of my shoulders. I think it happens with the bigger breast cancer surgeries. (I had a chest wall resection with a skin graft to close the site.) I definitely have chronic pain and pretty bad flare-ups of pain if I overdo it. It doesn't take much to overdo it either. I think getting back to your PT and going very slow is a good idea.

Diagnosed at 32. Local recurrences one year later, probably due to needle seeding at inital biopsy. Now dealing with MBC. Dx 8/2016, IDC, Right, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/1/2016 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 11/1/2016 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 2/1/2017 Whole-breast Hormonal Therapy 4/1/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Dx 10/2017, IDC, Right, Grade 3, 2/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/1/2017 Lymph node removal; Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 11/30/2017 AC Surgery 3/31/2018 Lymph node removal; Mastectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 4/30/2018 External: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Chemotherapy 6/30/2018 Xeloda (capecitabine) Hormonal Therapy 7/30/2018 Zoladex (goserelin) Hormonal Therapy 2/1/2019 Aromasin (exemestane) Hormonal Therapy 9/30/2019 Faslodex (fulvestrant) Dx 8/2020, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/other, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Targeted Therapy 8/30/2020 Ibrance (palbociclib) Dx 1/2021, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to liver/lungs Chemotherapy 1/15/2021 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Gemzar (gemcitabine)
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May 27, 2021 10:32AM JO-5 wrote:

CTLMom,

Yes my right shoulder is a bit higher .. also as I've healed my spine has been pulled to the right. What is left of the Lat muscle in my back is hard as a rock.

Like buttonmatch I can do very little because of the pain in my back along the hard muscle and at the bottom where the muscle was cut.

I can not do PT. It just makes it worse. I cannot do pool therapy because chlorine will break down the tissue paper thin graft.

Yes the stress and strain will make it worse.

My heart goes out to you. Not only losing your dad but all the work.

I,too, was an only child and my husband and children all had to work when my dad passed. I cleaned out his entire home 99% by myself and that was before the lat flap. I can only imagine how badly you hurt.

May God give you strength.

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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