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Topic: Numbness in hand after axillary node dissection

Forum: Surgery - Before, During, and After — Surgical options and helpful tips for recovery and side effects.

Posted on: May 25, 2019 11:57AM

Pinky24 wrote:

Hi everyone -

I am post-op day 11 from BMX/sentinel node biopsy and post-op day 4 from Right Axillary Lymph Node dissection with a total of 21 nodes removed. My right hand has been periodically numb ever since my BMX, usually when I have had my arm in the same position for a while. The numbness usually goes away when I start moving my hand. But this morning it isn't going away. Only the ring and pinky finger and the outside of my hand are numb. I'm starting to worry that I have nerve damage from the surgery, but I'm also hopeful that maybe I just have swelling that's pressing on a nerve. Has anybody else experienced this?

Dx 10/23/2018, ILC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IIIC, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 11/7/2018 AC + T (Taxol) Hormonal Therapy Radiation Therapy Surgery Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right
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May 27, 2019 07:52AM godisone wrote:

Hello @pinky, I am glad that you had a successful surgery and hopefully you are convalescing well. The tingling and numbness that you are feeling on your hand is termed as Post Surgical Neuropathy. The development of post surgical neuropathies is typically attributed to compression or stretching of nerves during surgery. Lie down and raise your affected arm above the level of your heart for 20-30 minutes about 2 or 3 times a day. Put your arm on pillows so that your hand is higher than your wrist and your elbow is a little higher than your shoulder. This helps to decrease the swelling that occur after the surgery and subsequently the tingling sensation and numbness of your hand would go away. Moreover, do not forget to take the meds prescribed by doctor which would further be helpful to take down the swelling and you will be relived of the numbness sooner than later.

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May 28, 2019 11:46PM Pinky24 wrote:

thanks so much for your reply - I am following your suggestions and the numbness has resolved

Dx 10/23/2018, ILC, Right, 6cm+, Stage IIIC, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 11/7/2018 AC + T (Taxol) Hormonal Therapy Radiation Therapy Surgery Lymph node removal: Right, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left, Right
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May 29, 2019 03:56AM godisone wrote:

@pinky24, I am glad that the suggestions helped you in battling the numbness. Take complete rest and have a happy time getting well. Keep us updated about your health . Good luck and God bless

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Feb 22, 2021 12:31AM - edited Feb 22, 2021 12:32AM by Shoshiana

Hi this is Shoshiana... I had axillary Dissection Feb 2nd and since then have had increasing burning, aching and numbness in a u-shape under my arm, down the side of my chest and down the back of my upper arm. But I also have a tightness that has developed from my inner outer antecubital area, all the way to my thumb and first finger. Are these 2 separate conditions? Presently I am using Ibuprofen 400mg or Tylenol 1000mg, plus Gabapentin 300mg Tid for the pain. Anything else that would work more effectively for the pain?? Is the pain a permanent thing or will it begin to resolve?

Dx 7/31/2020, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 1/2 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- (IHC) Chemotherapy 10/13/2020 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy
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Feb 22, 2021 04:09PM MinusTwo wrote:

Shoshiana - You're surgery was pretty recent, just 3 weeks ago. Did you have a post-op appointment yet? Have you talked to your surgeon? I still had lots of interior healing going on 3 weeks post ALND & was pretty uncomfortable.

But still I would get a referral to a certified & trained lymphadema PT for an evaluation. It may be too soon to start active treatment, but never too soon to be assessed. Many docs don't know much about LE, so you may need to be persistent. Hopefully they did baseline measurements before your surgery?

Here is a site that may give you lots of help - including trained personnel in your area.

https://www.stepup-speakout.org/


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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Feb 22, 2021 06:29PM MinusTwo wrote:

Shoshiana - I've been thinking about the numbness. It could be just that nerves haven't recovered yet, but I can't tell if you indicated the numbness is increasing. If it is, I'd definitely call my doc now. Maybe no problem, but better to be safe than sorry - especially if it's your dominant side.

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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Feb 22, 2021 09:30PM buttonsmachine wrote:

Shoshiana, I definitely think you should discuss with you doctor about your symptoms as soon as possible. If there was any nerve damage during surgery (and I have no idea if there was or how much, of course) it may resolve, partly resolve, or be partly permanent. I had multiple surgeries and I do have some permanent numbness, tingling, and nerve pain on my index finger and part of my right hand. As MinusTwo points out though, there can also be lymphedema issues involved as well, so I agree that you should discuss with your doctor, and get a referral to a certified lymphedema therapist for an evaluation.

(As an aside, if you have the option, it might be good to opt for a certified lymphedema therapist who is also a Physical Therapist. Sometimes OTs are also CLTs, but I have found PTs are much more helpful when you might have more going on than just lymphedema. But the most important thing is to get to someone who is certified.)

Diagnosed at 32. Local recurrences one year later. Now dealing with MBC. Dx 8/2016, IDC, Right, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 10/1/2016 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Chemotherapy 10/31/2016 Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Radiation Therapy 2/1/2017 Whole-breast Hormonal Therapy 3/31/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Dx 10/2017, IDC, Right, Grade 3, 2/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 11/1/2017 Lymph node removal; Mastectomy: Right Chemotherapy 11/30/2017 AC Surgery 3/31/2018 Lymph node removal; Mastectomy: Right Radiation Therapy 4/30/2018 External: Lymph nodes, Chest wall Chemotherapy 6/30/2018 Xeloda (capecitabine) Hormonal Therapy 7/30/2018 Zoladex (goserelin) Hormonal Therapy 2/1/2019 Aromasin (exemestane) Hormonal Therapy 9/30/2019 Faslodex (fulvestrant) Dx 8/2020, IDC, Stage IV, metastasized to bone/liver/other, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2- Targeted Therapy 8/30/2020 Ibrance (palbociclib) Chemotherapy 1/14/2021 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Gemzar (gemcitabine)
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Feb 23, 2021 02:41PM MinusTwo wrote:

Buttons - good point. I have had certified and trained CLT's that were physical therapists and occupational therapists. The PTs were definitely better at assessing & moving the lymph, as well as teaching me what to do.

Shoshiana - please do let us know how you're doing.

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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