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Topic: Breast, underarm pain months after surgery normal or lymphedema

Forum: Lymphedema — Risks, tips for prevention, and info about products that can address the symptoms of lymphedema.

Posted on: Jun 21, 2018 07:59AM

Dectoremember wrote:

Hello everyone,

I had Oncoplastic surgery in December. I had three sentinel lymph nodes removed. I was never given any exercises to do for my arm. As I've complained all these months, I've been told nothing about lymphedema. My new MO said I have swelling under the arm and fluid in the breast. She recommended I see a lymphedema specialist. She could not believe it was not mentioned to me right after surgery. My original MO and PS have never said a thing to me about lymphedema.

I don't have swelling of my arm (not that I see) nor do I have swelling of my fingers. My breast on the outside portion and under my arm is very tender and sore as well as my chest up to my collarbone. I do feel a large solid area in my breast, but since the lumpectomy and reconstruction I have many lumps within the breast. I went from a DDD to a C cup. It feels more like a tear or cut inside the breast. It seems worse when I first get up in the AM. It seems wearing a bra all day makes it worse, more underneath the breast and the outside. It hasn't been this bad till I reupholstered a chair a month ago.

Has anyone experienced this or similar?

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Jun 21, 2018 08:55AM Trishyla wrote:

I have truncal lymphedema and it presents in much the same way. Swelling in the breasts (I had a BMX) and pain and tenderness in the armpits. I was told it was just a seroma by my plastic surgeon. I basically had to diagnose myself.

Do get in to a lymphedema specialist asap. The longer you wait, the harder it is to treat. They can help with manual drainage, compression garments and possibly even kinesio taping. It really does help.

If it is truncal lymphedema, the first thing they'll tell you to do is to ditch the underwire bras. I've been told I can never wear one again.

Good luck! Please PM me if you need more info.


Dx 8/30/2016, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 8/30/2016, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Dx 9/6/2016, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 9/28/2016 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 4/4/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right; Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap
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Jun 25, 2018 08:15AM Billb464 wrote:

I agree, you need to find a lymphodema specialist to help, you could also have some banding in your arm and armpit! I had mild banding down To my elbow. She gave me exercises to do plus the massage. We also took a measurement of my arm so that if I do have problems in the future, we would know. I had surgery in January and still have lots of twinges (it may be some nerves regeneration). I went for 2 months , once a week.

Good Luck

Dx 8/6/2017, IDC, Right, 1cm, Stage IIA, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Chemotherapy 8/23/2017 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 1/9/2018 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary; Reconstruction (right): Fat grafting, Latissimus dorsi flap Dx 1/10/2018, DCIS/IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 2/6 nodes, ER+/PR+ Radiation Therapy 3/1/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 4/5/2018 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Targeted Therapy 7/7/2018 Ibrance (palbociclib) Hormonal Therapy
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Jun 25, 2018 09:18AM Dectoremember wrote:

Thank you Trishyla and Billb. I see a lymphedema specialist in mid July. I see my PS this week as well.

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Jun 28, 2018 12:00AM Cyto_Destructo wrote:

YES! I have the same issues. I have just one or two axillary lymph nodes removed and it causes milder symptoms of lymphedema I'm me.

Usually just after strenuous activity. But also if I wear a bra too long.

They may have thought it wasn't like to happen but still should have said something because it's definitely a risk.

Talk to your oncologist and they can refer you to a specialist. I just saw a lymphedema specialist for the first time today.

There are stages of lymphedema, from just at risk to full arm swelling. Since we didn't have all our lymph nodes removed, we probably won't ever get extreme swelling.

I was prescribed a compression sleeve just for when I work out or have other risk for swelling like flights.

Dx 2/2015, Right, <1cm, Stage IIA, ER+, HER2- Chemotherapy 4/23/2015 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 2/5/2018 Surgery Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Underarm/Axillary Radiation Therapy Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Jul 11, 2018 01:26PM flowergal wrote:

Hello Dectore. and every one. I also was told I didn't need to exercise after lumpectomy and NO provider ( except the nurses who took BP at FU visits) ever mentioned the risk of lymphedema. I was having a lot more axillary soreness and swelling post rads but was told it was from surgery not radiation luckily I persisted in my complaints (breast warm to touch and still swollen) to my MO" NP who looked at it, dx lymphedema and now I am doing the CDT with good results. I also have a rotator cuff tear and am staring PT for this which should help the lymphedema i am told. I am using a compression bra, swell spot ,along with the manual sweep method and seeing the lymphedema specialist who does the manual exercises as well. We really must be our own advocates and I have learned to speak up more and ask questions more of the providers

Good luck with your therapy .

Dx 1/2018, IDC, Left, 1cm, Stage IB, Grade 1, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)

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