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Topic: Arm or shoulder problems after DMX?

Forum: Living Without Reconstruction After a Mastectomy — Discuss prostheses, swimsuits, bras, and other options for women not having reconstruction or waiting for reconstruction.

Posted on: Jul 12, 2020 07:48AM

Maisie1780 wrote:

Did or do you have arm or shoulder pain, loss of strength or range of motion that lasted more than a month or so after surgery? Did you have physical therapy? Do you think it is important to see a PT proactively? Is there anything you did or didn't do that you think might have help or hurt the situation? I am very anxious about this My DMX is coming up July 28

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Jul 13, 2020 07:48AM LiveLoveLaugh2020 wrote:

I had arm pains for a while and ROM issues. I had a lot of post op pain/discomfort (also had 2 surgeries back to back which I think had a lot to do with everything). It was a couple months before seeing a PT. I wish I had gone sooner, it’s made the biggest difference. I work with a PT who specializes in BC patients and ROM is almost fully restored and she works with releasing scar tissue as well.

I wasn’t the greatest with doing my exercises but again that’s because I was in so much discomfort. So follow your exercise recommendations. And if you are having any issues don’t hesitate to go for PT.

Other than having an additional unexpected surgery and being in so much discomfort due to the expanders almost the entire time I had them I have to say I still feel lucky that I had no other complications/infections etc.

So I hope your surgery goes well and you won’t be in too much pain. The first few weeks/months can be rough (emotional roller coaster) but just know you’ll be fine and get through it. Best of luck to you :)

DCIS Dx @ 34 - Bil NSM 09/2019 - Bil implant exchange with FG 01/2020.
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Jul 13, 2020 08:33AM mightlybird01 wrote:

It would depend on what you define as "problem". In my case, it took about 3 months to be feeling 80% back to normal and maybe around 5 months to completely be back to normal (minus the numbness of course, that will not go away). At 5 months I felt confident to do all my previous activities, which included a lot of lifting (hobby farm work), I just could tell I had my "robustness" back. Before then, I really could do everything, but I chose not to do heavy lifting and just overall took it a bit easy. I did not have to do this, but that just how it felt right to me. I was not in pain, I never had to take any pain meds during the whole recovery process (apart from maybe 1-2 Advils in the first 3 weeks).

I did not get any instructions on exercises post OP, nor did I ever visit a PT. the only thing I was told is not to move my arms too much while the drains are still in. Then I was supposed to just get back to what I was doing before and use common sense.


I started these stretching exercises detailed in those 2 youtube clips 10 days after surgery, or when the drains had come out. I found those myself, again, noone ever told me to do these.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPw2Me1jUCc

https://www.mskcc.org/videos/exercises-after-breast-surgery-without-reconstruction


I did one of them in the morning and one of them in the evening.


I would definitely say that you will be dealing with some discomfort for more than 1 months, but nothing that would not be manageable with a slight modification of your daily routines past 3 weeks.



Dx 4/12/2019, IDC/IDC: Medullary, Right, 2cm, Stage IIA, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- (FISH) Chemotherapy 5/21/2019 AC + T (Taxol) Surgery 11/7/2019 Mastectomy: Right
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Jul 18, 2020 08:48AM Aussie-Cat wrote:

Hi Maisie, I had prophylactic bilateral mastectomies and because I didn't have any nodes removed, I was able to raise my hands above my head the day after surgery. I was told to do exercises early on, which I did and that helped me not to get stiff and lose movement. Even though I didn't have reconstruction, my surgeon wanted to leave "fat ridges" on my chest to help a bra stay in place, so that means the skin across my chest isn't too tight and that helps my range of movement as well. I think it's very important to ask your surgeon about exercises to do afterwards and since you feel anxious about it, arrange some physiotherapy so that you will have the support and help you need for your shoulders to be okay. After surgery, it's important to have support from others but also to listen to your body about how much you feel able to do. I wish you all the best on the 28th - may you have peace and quick healing.

Diagnosed with nerve pain (post mastectomy pain syndrome) July 2018. Twin sister died of breast cancer May 2019. Surgery 6/19/2018 Prophylactic mastectomy: Left, Right

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