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Topic: Pain in reconstructed breast

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: Apr 3, 2021 06:12PM

1openheart wrote:

Hello everyone. It has been a long time since I have posted, but I am hoping to gain some insight into what is going on with my reconstructed breast. I also posted this in the Pain thread, because I was not sure where to place my question. I had my mastectomy and direct to implant reconstruction in June of 2011. So I am coming up on 10 years with my implant. It is a smooth, round, hight profile Mentor silicon implant. Over the past year, I have notice an off and on dull, achey pain that starts at my armpit and goes around the top of the breast and around. I mentioned it to the tech when I had my annual mammogram in November and they did not see anything of concern. I also mentioned it to my oncologist when I saw her for my annual visit. Again, nothing that was concerning to her. I did not go see my surgeon because of Covid concerns and the discomfort was intermittent. Well, it is no longer intermittent. For the past 3 weeks or so the pain has become much worse. The dull ache is now accompanied by a burning sensation in the entire breast and down my arm and up into my neck. There has been a ripple on the inner upper quadrant for a long time. And the breast doesn't feel particularly firmer to me. It may be riding higher on my chest than before, but it is hard to know for sure. The natural breast has defiantly drooped some so it is hard to compare the two. I have an appointment with my surgeon next week and I am confident that the will order an MRI to check for rupture or CC. So my question for you wonderful, helpful ladies is, does my description of the symptoms sound like anything that you experienced and what was your diagnosis? Thank you in advance for reading my post and sharing your experiences.

"The wound is the place where the light enters you." ~ Rumi Dx 4/28/2011, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 6/15/2011 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction
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Apr 3, 2021 11:29PM LivinLife wrote:

Welcome 1openheart though sorry you need to be here (again).... I'm glad you have an appointment with the surgeon right around the corner! As you said I'm sure they will evaluate this further MRI or otherwise.... I have not experienced this... I had pain in the area of my DCIS though cannot remember if I had that in the same way prior to diagnosis or if it was nerves soon after diagnosis... I basically just want to send support and wish you well with your appointment next week. Hopefully someone else will come along that may offer more information or experience.....

with expansive comedo necrosis & weak ER/PR Dx 7/2020, DCIS, Left, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 8/31/2020 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right
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Apr 4, 2021 12:15AM 1openheart wrote:

Thank you, LivinLife! I so appreciate your note. Your dx sounds much like mine, although mine was very ER and PR positive. I had multicentric and multifocal DCIS with lots of comedo necrosis. I had a fair amount of pain in the first year after my surgery. I had a lot of nerve regeneration pain and some cording that developed in my abdomen. I was very lucky to have a wonderful myofascial release PT practice near my and they helped me immensely. I hope that I get some answers next week, but I don't know how long it will take to schedule the MRI. Honestly, I'm not sure what I want to hear. I'm not too worried that this is a cancer reoccurrence. But if it is CC or a rupture, then I will need more surgery. I guess that the best outcome is that it is a pulled muscle.....but weird that I have felt the pain off and on for so long. Thank you again for taking the time to reach out. I hope that I will hear from others that have felt the same kind of discomfort and pain and can share some of their insights.

"The wound is the place where the light enters you." ~ Rumi Dx 4/28/2011, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 6/15/2011 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction
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Apr 7, 2021 07:45PM 1openheart wrote:

Quick update....I had a good visit with my surgeon today. He agrees that CC is unlikely. He thinks it is more likely to be a rupture or tear in the implant, or possibly the implant has shifted and is now impinging on a nerve or surrounding tissues. He has ordered a MRI. I am waiting for the scheduler to call me and hopefully I can get it scheduled soon and then hopefully have some answers. I would still love to hear from anyone who has experience with what a rupture of a silicon implant feels like. Thank you and be well.

"The wound is the place where the light enters you." ~ Rumi Dx 4/28/2011, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 6/15/2011 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction
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Apr 7, 2021 08:30PM LivinLife wrote:

Wow not that a tear sounds great either though this is one for perspective-taking, right? I hope it is something "that simple" for you! Please let us know after your MRI, OK? Best!!

with expansive comedo necrosis & weak ER/PR Dx 7/2020, DCIS, Left, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 8/31/2020 Mastectomy: Left; Prophylactic mastectomy: Right
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Apr 7, 2021 09:58PM SpecialK wrote:

1openheart - I asked my PS about having a MRI at my annual appt with her in Nov 2019 because I had been experiencing some intermittent discomfort where I had previously had a large suture granuloma, which was also the site of my tumor - basically at the outside edge of the breast where an underwire in a bra would end, directly below the axilla. I also have textured implants and wanted them looked at, particularly in light of this sporadic discomfort. For a number of reasons, mostly having to do with some weird lab results that I needed to clarify and nail down cause for, I delayed the MRI. I saw my PS again in Dec 2020 and this time ordered the MRI, done in late Dec right after Christmas. Everything is fine in terms of anything that would be linked to textured implants, no suture granuloma, no evidence of a malignancy, but surprise - ruptured implant on the right. I will say that it doesn't bother me all the time, but when I notice it what I do feel is a tightening feeling, like a muscle seizing, but it is not sharp or severe. I have a heightened awareness of that implant, if that makes sense. Had it been worse I never would have delayed the MRI, and it has not worsened since I initially discussed this with my PS. I will be having another surgery to replace the right ruptured implant with a smooth, I will also replace the left to a smooth because I am already there under anesthesia and don't see why not. My consult for the surgery is in two and a half weeks. In between the MRI and now I have gotten both injections of Pfizer vaccine so I am feeling a bit better about surgery. If I can answer any specific question please don't hesitate.

BMX w/ TE 11/1/10, ALND 12/6/10. 15 additional surgeries. TCHx6 2/17-6/2/11. Herceptin until 1/19/12. Femara 8/1/11, Arimidex 6/20/12, back to Femara 6/18/13-present. Dx 9/27/2010, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3 Dx 9/27/2010, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC)
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Apr 8, 2021 01:21AM 1openheart wrote:

Will do! Thank you! I got the robocall to schedule at 7:05 and they close at 7:00. So I'll get it scheduled tomorrow. Hopefully I don't have to wait too long for an opening. Take care!


"The wound is the place where the light enters you." ~ Rumi Dx 4/28/2011, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 6/15/2011 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction
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Apr 8, 2021 01:29AM 1openheart wrote:

Hi SpecialK...I have read about silent ruptures. Sounds like what you are experiencing. This hurts too much to be silent if it is indeed a rupture. I'm glad that you are getting taken care of and it is probably best to go ahead and replace those textured implants while you are at it. We have also had both our our vaccines and I feel better about getting this taken care of if I need to have surgery. Thank you for taking the time to reach out. You know, I think I remember chatting with you when I first was dx and new to these boards. I'll update when I know more. Take care.

"The wound is the place where the light enters you." ~ Rumi Dx 4/28/2011, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 6/15/2011 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction
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Apr 8, 2021 01:58AM SpecialK wrote:

Def keep me posted, and yes, I remember you, I recognized your heart shaped cloud! So sorry you are having this concern and experiencing pain, so not fun, but hoping you get answers asap and there is a fix right around the corner for you.

BMX w/ TE 11/1/10, ALND 12/6/10. 15 additional surgeries. TCHx6 2/17-6/2/11. Herceptin until 1/19/12. Femara 8/1/11, Arimidex 6/20/12, back to Femara 6/18/13-present. Dx 9/27/2010, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 3 Dx 9/27/2010, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 2/14 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+ (IHC)
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Apr 9, 2021 02:26AM 1openheart wrote:

Well, I can't get an appointment for nearly 2 weeks, but I am going to call everyday and check for cancellations. Looks like my surgeon ordered the MRI with contrast. I don't need contrast to evaluate the implant, but we discussed whether or not it made sense to go ahead and do one with contrast since I will already be in the machine and I do still have one breast that has been pretty dense in the past. So, it will mean a few more uncomfortable minutes in that noisy machine while laying on my face, but hopefully it will give me an answer to what is causing the pain in my foob and give me a clean bill of health for my boob. Take good care and be well.

"The wound is the place where the light enters you." ~ Rumi Dx 4/28/2011, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+ Surgery 6/15/2011 Lymph node removal: Left, Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left; Reconstruction (left): Nipple reconstruction

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