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Topic: pain after reconstruction

Forum: Breast Reconstruction — Is it right for you? Discuss timing and various procedures and techniques.

Posted on: Dec 29, 2019 03:26PM - edited Dec 29, 2019 03:28PM by glover5

glover5 wrote:

I am about 14 weeks post double mastectomy and reconstruction. I have had a slow and painful recovery and need to make some decisions. When explaining my discomfort at my last appointment with my PS, he wondered whether smaller implants would be more comfortable. My implants are 470cc's because that is what "fit the remaining skin" after the mastectomy. At this point, I feel like I just want to remove the implants but want to be sure I am being realistic with recovery rate. I want to be sure I give my body enough time to recover, but at the same time, the constant discomfort and pain is physically and emotionally exhausting. I continue to have tingling in the top of my breasts, sternum pain, pressure/pulling, pain under the implants when I wear certain bras, and there is an area on my right side at the top that has been troublesome since day one. The pain on the right has evolved from what felt like someone tearing that muscle to pushing on the muscle. Dr. is not sure what it is from-perhaps where they cauterized the muscle after the mastectomy. If it will get better, I want to try to wait it out, but I have had little to no reprieve particularly in the area on the right. Within the day, I alternate between bras and wearing nothing to try to alleviate the pain. It is difficult to describe the sensations, but wondering if anyone has had a similar experience and how things have progressed. Any feedback from your experiences would be welcomed.

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Dec 29, 2019 03:30PM MinusTwo wrote:

I would suggest an appointment with a different doc at a different facility for a second opinion. I found it extremely useful to get feed back from a non-involved but medically expert party.

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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Dec 29, 2019 06:24PM Moderators wrote:

Dear glover5,

Welcome to the BCO community. We are sorry that you are in such pain and glad that you reached our for support and information. MinusTwo offers helpful advice and others may as well. You have come to the right place in community with others to share common experiences and to engage in supportive discussion. Please let us know how can further assist you to find the information that you need.

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To send a Private Message to the Mods: community.breastcancer.org/mem...
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Jan 6, 2020 07:29AM - edited Jan 6, 2020 07:32AM by D0800V

I want to share I am so proud of all the women who post. You are courageous and I pray for God to strengthen each one of us. I found out in April 2018 I had a 9cm tumor in my left breast. The right had some pre cancer there also. I had both breast removed. I had expanders in at time of breast removal. I had to take 4 months of Chemo and 51/2 weeks of Radiation. I had the expanders in and filled before the Radiation treatment. I found out later the Radiation is a big enemy to your skin because the area that is radiated breaks down the skin and makes it thinner and doesn't always heal well. I waited a year and was ready to replace my expanders with the gel implants. This was in October 29, 2019. I wore a ace bandaged and drains were in for 4 weeks. I thought I was on my road to recovery but on my left side the implant was scraping me every time I lifted my arm. It was painful. I asked my doctor why was I experiencing this pain and he did not know. I compared it to just like having the expanders in for the first time. They were painful like that. This pain did not go away. My right side was healing up well but now about a month out the left side was now open about 1/16 inch and was draining outside the surgical tape. I was not healing on my left side. I had to go back into the hospital just 2 months later and have the implant removed. My doctor did not replace this implant. My doctor told me give your body time to heal at least 6 months and we can discuss other options like a flap reconstruction. I will tell you it is shocking to look flat on one side and still have the other side with that implant. After, the removal of the implant I do not feel that pain on my left side. I know it was the implant that was causing it. I am still healing. I was upset after all I had gone through to prepare for these implants and still have to remove the one. Now, I am thinking about removing the other one. I do not want to have another major surgery to replace the one I lost. It will be 2 yrs this April and the Chemo, Radiation and expanders and the implants. Did I say 2 long hard years. I told my daughter and husband I am done! I just want to get on with my life. I truly know the heart ache of losing your breast. God gave us breast. I know implants can give us some shape but I do not feel anything. The sensation is gone and at the end of the day I am left with a bump on the chest. Please, I am not saying this to be cold to anyone but I had to be true to myself. Help me God to see me as you see me. You love me no matter what! We are beautiful in the eyes of God Almighty.

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Jan 6, 2020 10:12AM glover5 wrote:

Thank you for sharing your experience. I have felt the same way. I am done with Chemo but continue to have discomfort with my implants at a time when I am just ready to be done and feel better already. I was struggling with my decision b/c I felt like if I knew it would get better, I would try to tough it out instead of having another surgery to take them out, however, I did not want to continue to be uncomfortable if this was something that would potentially never resolve. My PS told me it would take up to 2 years for the cells to recover from the chemo which has been a big influence on my slow recovery from reconstruction. It is discouraging/defeating when your doctor is unsure of where pain is coming from. That is one of the reasons I joined this forum. I had to think I wasn't the only one who had experienced this.

I wish you the best with your recover.

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