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Topic: Increased pain after lumpectomy

Forum: Pain —

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

Posted on: Apr 15, 2017 08:24PM

Remali wrote:

Hi everyone.  I had a lumpectomy on April 5th, almost no pain at all following surgery, I felt great afterwards.  But, that all has changed as of about 3 days ago, I now have quite a lot of pain, all over the breast, enough that it makes me stop and have to sort of put my hand over the area.  I am also finding that I need to take the pain meds round the clock.  Is this normal with healing, increased pain ,or should I be concerned?  I was told the tumor was rather large (5.5 cm), the surgeon did take out more than was originally planned.   I plan to talk to my doctor about it Monday, since this is the weekend, there is no one to call right now.  If I should feel worse, I will definitely go in to Urgent Care.   I was telling a friend of mine about this, she is a retired RN, she seems to think this is normal....but, I don't know, sure does hurt quite a lot if it is just 'part of the healing process'.  I do not see any redness, and no streaks, although maybe perhaps a little bit of redness on the nipple itself.  I am curious if others had increased pain a week and a half out from their lumpectomies?

Dx 3/10/2017, DCIS, Right, 5cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER+/PR+ Surgery 8/14/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right
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Apr 15, 2017 09:37PM - edited Apr 15, 2017 09:38PM by MinusTwo

Remali- it would make more sense if you post this on your "concern about surgeon" thread instead of starting another thread so everyone has the same background story. Here's yet another negative mark for this surgeon if he/she has not prepared you for the side effects.

2/15/11 BMX-DCIS 2SNB clear-TEs; 9/15/11-410gummies; 3/20/13 recurrance-5.5cm,mets to lymphs, Stage IIIB IDC ER/PRneg,HER2+; TCH/Perjeta/Neulasta x6; ALND 9/24/13 1/18 nodes 4.5cm; AC chemo 10/30/13 x3; herceptin again; Rads Feb2014
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Apr 15, 2017 09:56PM Remali wrote:

Thanks I can do that.... I will copy and paste this over to my other thread.  Well, I did mention the increased pain to the surgeon last week when I went in to have my incision checked... but, he talked so much, rarely let me talk atall and well, you know the story.... I tried to tell him about the pain I was having, he basically talked over me and didn't listen.  I have an appointment with my family doctor on Monday.  I did wonder though, I realize some pain is normal... but is increased pain normal, seeing as a good chunk is taken out during a lumpectomy....   OK, will copy and paste my question to my other thread... thanks MinusTwo.

Dx 3/10/2017, DCIS, Right, 5cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER+/PR+ Surgery 8/14/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right
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Apr 17, 2017 03:14PM Remali wrote:

I think my question about pain probably got lost over on the surgery forum.  That's OK...  I can do some more Googling on the topic (or perhaps I can find a local support group to meet up with in my area)... what I was looking for were other people's experiences with pain issues after lumptectomy.  While doctors can sometimes tell you what to expect (or not) I was looking for the experience from the patient's point of view...   I know that everyone is different, and wil lhave different experiences... I am always more interested in what people who have gone thru it have to say, rather than what my doctor may say about what to expect (since the surgeon probably has not had a lumpectomy).  Just really looking for people's experiences, sharing what they have gone through, and support from those who have gone thru this. 

Dx 3/10/2017, DCIS, Right, 5cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER+/PR+ Surgery 8/14/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right
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Apr 17, 2017 04:11PM MTwoman wrote:

Remali, have you checked the "surgery - before during and after" forum on this site? I'm sure you can find a thread that talks about increasing pain after surgery - I'm pretty sure I've seen them. I would stay OFF Google, as much of the info is either outdated or just plain inaccurate. It looks like you had a fairly significant sized lump removed, so the remaining cavity could be filling with fluid (seroma) or blood (hematoma). Did your surgeon check you for localized swelling or ask about discomfort at all?

Dx 12/10/2002, DCIS, Right, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 12/20/2002 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 12/23/2003 Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction Surgery Reconstruction (right): Saline implant Surgery Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery Mastectomy: Right
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Apr 17, 2017 04:13PM MTwoman wrote:

why don't you try the lumpectomy lounge? https://community.breastcancer.org/forum/91/topics/800729?page=773

it is an active thread for anyone having had a lumpectomy and I'm sure if you posted on this thread, you'd get a response.

good luck!

Dx 12/10/2002, DCIS, Right, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 12/20/2002 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 12/23/2003 Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction Surgery Reconstruction (right): Saline implant Surgery Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery Mastectomy: Right
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Apr 18, 2017 11:46AM Remali wrote:

Thanks MTwoman, actually my very first post was on the "Surgery, Before, During, And After" forum.  So I did re-post on there again.

My surgeon has not been helpful, and I am in the process of consulting another surgeon.  Also will meet with the oncologist this week and I plan to talk to him about everything.  Last week I did see the surgeon (the one who did the lumpectomy), but as usual he talked at me rather than talked to me, didn;t listen and didn't let me talk (I even told him, "I guess I don't get to talk"), and I did mention to him that I had increased pain... I don't think he heard me at all, in his office notes (I look at my record online) he stated that I had told him I was feeling fine.  At this point I made an appointment with my family doctor.   But, what I was looking for here, at the forum, were others experiences after lumpectomy, about pain and discomfort.

Aha, good idea bout the Lumpectomy Lunge, than you, I will try that!  I had read through it, I will post a comment on there.  

Dx 3/10/2017, DCIS, Right, 5cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER+/PR+ Surgery 8/14/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right
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Apr 18, 2017 12:04PM Remali wrote:

I guess I should have explained further about Google... I only Google the reliable sites... like Mayo or Johns Hopkins, and so on... or sites that are reputable that may have a forum.  I worked at a hospital for some time, went to college for medical ultrasound, and then ended up getting my degree in Medical Coding... I have a pretty decent list of reliable sites, so when I "Google" I only read those sites that Iknow are reliable.  for sure you have to be very careful about anything you read online.

Dx 3/10/2017, DCIS, Right, 5cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER+/PR+ Surgery 8/14/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right
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Apr 18, 2017 09:11PM kkshipp99 wrote:

Hi, I had my lumpectomy last March, 2016, and I did experience sharp pains in my breast. I also had a larger than expected 6.3 cm removed it was lobular breast cancer. Sometimes when I woke up in the morning I would have to hold my breast. I ended up having some lymphadema treatments for several weeks because of fluid retention. I also had 6 wks of radiation which caused a hard calcification which has been pretty darn sore. I'm 10 months out from radiation. Pain only lasted a few months. But my breast is still sore but feelsmuch better than at 6 months.

Also I was really tired physically and depressed from the tamoxifen I was on they just changed me to the Aromatase Inhibitors and it makes your joints ache but Im over 70 and they don't like the side affects of blood clots and strokes for women over 70 on Tomoxifen so I agreed to change.. I have had all Wonen Oncologist for my Cancer if you don't like your doctor find one you do like....

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Apr 18, 2017 10:36PM Sorella wrote:

I think that pain after surgery is normal and can increase and decrease as it heals. My surgeon was not the most helpful one regarding my pain post surgery though he did give me refills on meds. Surgeons do their thing and then leave so they aren't the best for managing the pain. My pain has lasted more than many others so I might not be the best gage (going on 7 months) I eventually saw a physical therapist and she said that it was major surgery so yes, it takes long to heal. On hold with PT now as I am in radiation. RO residents recommended me seeing the pain management team. They mostly use meds. Acupuncture helped and may sound odd but self -hypnosis pain, videos on YouTube. I use motrin and when it gets bad enough percocet, stigma and all!

Dx 8/24/2016, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 6/17 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jul 8, 2018 12:21AM - edited Jul 8, 2018 12:23AM by jamikay1969

I am just a little over 3 weeks out from my lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy and am having a great deal of pain in my breast. The pain I had initially was just post-op pain, but I actually felt really good. This amount of pain this far out is very concerning for me. I, too, have to lift my breast up and apply pressure against it to make it feel better. It is so odd and actually hurts all the time. I meet with my medical oncologist on Monday and my radiation oncologist on Tuesday. I’m not sure if they will be able to help answer any of my questions or if I should get in touch with my surgeon.

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Jul 8, 2018 07:52AM nat_blue wrote:

The skin incision is pretty healed at the 10 days to 2 week mark, but my surgeon said it's about 6 weeks for the tissue below to heal. I'm just under two weeks out, and any pain from the actual cutting is gone, but I still have discomfort underneath. I work in a field that requires a fair amount of movement, and I find using an icepack under the arm helps settle the area back down. I also find wearing two bras for a bit more compression is helpful.

Dx 4/20/2018, IDC, Right, <1cm, Stage IA, Grade 1, 0/4 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Radiation Therapy 5/17/2018 3DCRT: Breast Surgery 6/25/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel
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Aug 4, 2018 01:01PM jch955 wrote:

This is good to know. I was really concerned yesterday, even though I saw my surgeon for a followup/pre surgery appointment. I had 8 lymph nodes removed and that's where I'm having pain. I'm actually 11 days post op and was feeling pretty good till yesterday. Woke up with a lot more pain in my arm pit and, then, started running a fever in the early evening. It didn't go to over 100 but I have to say, it scared me! The doctor said everything looks really good. This is just all so new and scary for someone who only ever went to the doctor for routine exams over my lifetime.

Dx 6/22/2018, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 2, 2/8 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/10/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right Radiation Therapy Hormonal Therapy
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Aug 5, 2018 03:35PM Nomoresideffects wrote:

I had my first lumpectomy on May 15th with Sentinel node removal 4 nodes removed one had cancer in it they didn't get all the cancer out doing this to me and I still have pain a year-and-a-half later from the node removal I think. I had horrible swelling in my arm pit. Heart racing and it's been over a year since that procedure. Now I've had several surgery s since then. 3 lumpectomy and then a dble mastectomy node removal on my other side. Interesting enough is I have hardly any pain or issues w the other side... At all . I had 2 different surgeons so..I feel like there is a hook in my armpit and have constant pain at incision site. Doing otherwise helps.. do does not having a manual labor job..which I do.. I'm figuring it out. Good day

Jennifer

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