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Topic: Pain from small piece of rib removal

Forum: Pain —

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

Posted on: Feb 23, 2013 03:19PM

src3acs wrote:

I had a bilateral mastectomy with immediate DIEP Flap reconstruction on October 4, 2012.  I later found out that a small piece of rib was removed at the top of my chest and on both sides so my plastic surgeon could get to the blood vessels needed to do the flap surgery.  My questions are:  Has anyone else had this done and how long does the pain last.  It's been 4 months and I still have a great deal of pain where the pieces of rib were removed.  I told my PS that it still hurts and he really didn't have much to say.  Can anyone tell me what they experienced and how long until the pain went away?  Thank you!!!!

Dx 8/28/2012, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 1, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/3/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Hormonal Therapy 1/4/2013 Surgery 1/15/2013 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right) Surgery 5/29/2013 Reconstruction (left); Reconstruction (right)
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Feb 23, 2013 07:46PM Galsal wrote:

Yes, it is normal is what I've heard from multiple PS.  There was one done on one side and two on the other.  My understanding is that they have to be moved out of the way somewhat to get to the Mammary Artery on each side. 

My attempted Diep was in early July and this still affects me.  Remember though, each of us heals at our own rate of time.

Dx 12/14/2011, ILC, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/10/2012 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right Hormonal Therapy 10/6/2012 Arimidex (anastrozole) Hormonal Therapy 12/13/2012 Femara (letrozole) Hormonal Therapy 4/16/2013 Aromasin (exemestane)
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Feb 23, 2013 08:15PM Jennt28 wrote:

Hmmm, I had bilateral surgery in September and there were bits of the rib cartilage removed on both sides. I have no ongoing pain from those areas at all...

Jenn

Jennt28 jennt28.wordpress.com/ - 3 x FEC, 11x weekly Taxol, 12 months Herceptin (end March 2013), 12 days rads (quit), BMX with recon, Tamoxifen Dx 12/1/2011, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ Surgery 12/6/2011 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Hormonal Therapy 8/1/2012 Surgery 9/27/2012 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Free TRAM flap; Reconstruction (right): Free TRAM flap Surgery 1/27/2014 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction Hormonal Therapy 3/9/2014 Femara (letrozole)
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Feb 23, 2013 10:01PM New-girl wrote:

Had my BMX and DIEP a year ago. Had bad rib and chest pain for a month before I found about the rib removal. It will get better but still hurts from time to time.

Dx 1/19/2012, DCIS, <1cm, Stage I, 0/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/19/2012, ILC, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/19/2012, IDC, 1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/16 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/13/2012 Lymph node removal: Left, Right, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Surgery 7/26/2012 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction Surgery 12/14/2012 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap, Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap, Nipple reconstruction Dx 1/19/2016, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Feb 24, 2013 01:20AM jacee wrote:

I did have pain where the cartilage was removed for probably 6 weeks or so.

My body has cancer, my spirit does not! Dx 4/27/2009, IDC, <1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 3/11 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 5/4/2009 Prophylactic ovary removal Surgery 6/5/2009 Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 7/5/2009 AC + T (Taxol) Hormonal Therapy 1/3/2010 Femara (letrozole) Radiation Therapy 2/11/2010 Breast, Lymph nodes Surgery 9/8/2010 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap Surgery 10/8/2011 Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction; Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction
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Oct 3, 2019 11:51AM Soniasegal wrote:

Hi. I am thinking about having the same procedure done and am worried about the rib removal. Did your pain ever go away?

S

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Oct 4, 2019 07:41AM HopeWins wrote:

Soniasegal - ask your PS which vessel they connect to. My first consult used the vessel in the chest, which requires partial rib removal. My second consult uses a vessel in the armpit/lat area. He said there are a few reasons besides not needing to cut rib. First being it leaves the chest vessel intact in case bypass surgery is ever needed in future. Second is his preference of back up procedure if the DIEP flap fails, which is SGAP. He said the vessel that comes with that flap is too short to reach the lat vessel. He said some surgeons prefer the chest vessel with DIEP because their back up is Latissimus Flap, and they need the lat vessel intact for that.

The second PS was definitely more experienced but idk if that also means his choice of vessel is better. I can tell you that I had skin sparing, and my scar radiates out from my nipple towards my arm pit and the incisions go all the way out under my arms. I don't remember that part of the consult so I'm not sure if those incisions were necessary only for the vessel connection or if it would be there anyway because of snb. Just sharing so you know. Scars don't bother me, but I can understand they bother some and maybe you'd avoid some scars if the PS uses the chest vessel.

If your go on the 2018 DIEP thread, its active and surely you'll get some women who can speak to the recovery of the rib area.

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