We are 157,640 members in 80 forums discussing 124,753 topics.

Help with Abbreviations

All TopicsForum: Breast Reconstruction → Topic: muscle spasm and tissue exp.

Topic: muscle spasm and tissue exp.

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

Posted on: Feb 1, 2008 07:50AM

DianeNMil wrote:

I had a right mast with tissue expander on Jan 22. I was wondering if anyone had the same experience. I have constant muscle spasms where the breast area gets extremely tight. It feels almost like an extreme Braxton hicks (for the moms out there) or even an extreme version of milk letdown when breastfeeding. It is not painfull. Just annoying and uncomfortable. I was given valium (as a muscle relaxer) but it knocked me out cold! Has anyone had a similiar feeling from expanders? I was filled half way when I woke from surgery,by the way. I wonder if it will get worse with each fill and when it will stop?

Log in to post a reply

Posts 1 - 13 (13 total)

Log in to post a reply

Feb 1, 2008 08:19AM LiveForToday wrote:

Hi Diane,  Yes, what you are experiencing is very normal.  The muscle does not like being stretched so it is rebelling!  I took flexiril but it really did not help very much.  It is just an event you will have to endure thru the expansion process.  Mine were worse following each fill but would let up after a couple of days.  Just be sure your ps is not over filling the expanders.  That does cause a lot of pain.  I was filled 60cc's each visit and could stand no more at one time.

It is all a process but you will make it thru the uncomfortable moments.  Just keep your eye on the prize!

  God Bless,   Sherry

I will stand my ground...and I won't back down
Log in to post a reply

Feb 1, 2008 08:37AM lvtwoqlt wrote:

yes it is normal. I had bilat done and had the same feeling on both sides. Like Sherry said, go slow on the fills. I also did some stretching exercises that opened up the chest area. I rolled my shoulders toward my ears and back and down holding that for a few seconds (think puffing out your chest). That seemed to help the spasms for me.


Women are like tea bags, we don't know how strong we are until we were thrown into hot water. Eleanore Roosevelt Diagnosed ADH Feb 2005, ADH Sept 2006 Dx 4/27/2007, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes Hormonal Therapy 10/12/2006 Surgery 06/01/2007 Mastectomy of one or both breasts: Mastectomy of my left breast, Mastectomy of my right breast Surgery 09/10/2006 Lumpectomy in one or both breasts: Lumpectomy in my right breast Surgery 02/12/2005 Lumpectomy in one or both breasts: Lumpectomy in my left breast
Log in to post a reply

Feb 1, 2008 08:52AM Sociologist wrote:

Hi Diane,

Unfortunately this is normal.  In my case, it got worse with each fill and continued until I got my implant. You may want to check this board and the conversation "tissue expander pain"; there are hundreds of posts about this as well as people still in the process of getting fills. They're great! Best of luck.


Dx 6/14/2007, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 2, ER+/PR+, mastectomy 07/12/07; silicone implant 12/18/07; implant removal 06/22/09; lumpectomy on mx side 06/21/10, PAP flap 05/2012
Log in to post a reply

Feb 1, 2008 12:20PM rubytuesday wrote:

Diane, Mine actually got better after my first fill.  Hope it works that way for you too.  Make sure to tell your PS when you can 'feel' the fill.  Slow and steady wins the race!!!  Filling too much at a time or too fast = pain and bad looking expanders that want to travel to your armpit or to your shoulder....not the look you are going for.  Stretching exercises help IMMENSELY with spasms so do isometrics (like clasping your hands in front of you and pushing).  PT can also be beneficial.  Best wishes!

Proud member of the TaTa Sisterhood! :)
Log in to post a reply

Feb 1, 2008 02:11PM DianeNMil wrote:

I am a 36b and when I woke from mast I was about half full on Mast side.  I was suprised by this, but also it was a GREAT psychological comfort to me to see something down there.  Is it usual to be filled that much at time of surgery ( I don't know exact fill amount )?  Maybe that is why I am having so much spasm?

Dx 10/10/2011, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
Log in to post a reply

Feb 1, 2008 02:19PM rubytuesday wrote:

Diane, I only had 30cc at surgery....I had a little 'breastlet' but like you, I found it to be a comfort. It seems like most surgeons like to fill more than what I had.  I was a small B....probably a B- on that side due to a previous lumectomy.  Best wishes

Proud member of the TaTa Sisterhood! :)
Log in to post a reply

Feb 1, 2008 03:09PM , edited Feb 1, 2008 03:10PM by peace-in-the-storm

At the time of surgery my ps gave me 180 cc. The next 2 fills were 100cc(way too much), and caused pain for a week. The last 2 were 60cc, and the pain subsided after a day...what a relief. I am now waiting for the exchange, and am looking forward to having a softer breast...this expander is full and hard. :)

Log in to post a reply

Feb 1, 2008 03:14PM wackyjackie wrote:


I had the same thing, but eventually it went away.  Mine did not get worse after each fill.  It just seemed to go away before my fills.  The flexoril did help me.  Good luck.

Hugs, Jackie

Dx 5/25/2007, IDC, 3cm, Stage IIB, 3/13 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
Log in to post a reply

Feb 1, 2008 03:45PM lewisfamily503 wrote:

Yep! Muscle spasms were a huge concern to me around the same time after my surgery. My husband could actually see my chest twitch!! My doctor prescribed valium as a muscle relaxer and that really helped. The good news is that is does go away. I am 6 weeks out today and I had a fill this past Monday and there was NO twitching. It was a little sore but at least that terrible tight feeling isn't there. Someone on the site said that basically your muscles are being stretched and they eventually just sort of "give up" and now that I am going through this, I agree!! They do seem to adjust. I really would recommend you ask for some sort of muscle relaxant. That was what got me through it!

Good Luck!

Anne Dx 10/19/2007, Grade 2, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+
Log in to post a reply

Feb 1, 2008 05:48PM DianeNMil wrote:

Thank you to all!  It is always reassuring to know what I am experiencing is "normal".  Who said "this too shall pass".  We should all be thankful for that.

Dx 10/10/2011, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2+
Log in to post a reply

Feb 1, 2008 06:52PM Mookaite wrote:

Hi Diane,

Valim helps a lot but is not real practical unless you like to sleep constantly. ;+)

I was given a couple of exercises that helped tremendously.  Spasms are your muscles reacting to strain but you don't want them learning and staying in that behavior mode. 

One excercise is the "wall creep" where you face a wall with your toes just about touching the baseboard. One side at a time reach out and touch the wall at waist level w/your fingers and let your fingertips creep up the wall to as high up as you can go.  Another is to swing your hand over your head in circles like you are rolling a lasso.  Also reach one had up and over the top of your head and touch your opposite side ear.

Take it easy on the fill amounts if you can.  Each fill starts the ball game all over again with the muscle response.

You're well on your way to completing your recon! YEAH!!


Log in to post a reply

Feb 1, 2008 06:56PM PhyllisCC wrote:


I had my mast in November and was "filled" with 120 at surgery.  Due to a lot of bruising, my PS wanted to wait and I didn't have my first fill for three weeks.  It was 60cm ...no pain at all.  A little ache that night and then nothing.  I've had four fills now of 60 each.  I guess I'm pretty lucky as I've only needed ibuprophen or asprin to help with ache.  Go slow.  That seems to make a difference.  After my final fill, my PS wants to wait at least a month or more before scheduling the exchange.  My biggest problem is finding clothes that "work".  I work at a 4-Star Hotel and have to look good.  So it's kinda stressful each morning to find the "right" outfit.  All of  us are "normal".  Hang in there, Diane.   Best wishes...Phyllis

Log in to post a reply

Feb 4, 2008 09:25AM Carolina59 wrote:

Hi Diane,

I had a bilateral mastectomy with expanders on 6/26/07, and my ps filled me to 350cc at the time of the surgery. It was nice to wake up and have "breasts" but I was in a lot of pain afterward. Not only the muscle stretching, but it felt like I had a terrible sunburn on my chest. PS said it was the nerves regenerating and it was good, but I was on pain meds and muscle relaxers for about 2 months after my surgery (valium and percoset). I was concerned about staying on it for so long, but eventually my body and brain adjusted and I didn't need it anymore. Also I adjusted to being on the meds, and I could function on them--actually functioned better because I wasn't in pain.

I only needed one fill of 50cc, and then had implant exchange on 12/27 (I had to wait to finish chemo). The implants are much better. As everyone said, it is all a process, and you will get there.


Dx 5/31/07: left, DCIS; right, DCIS (10cm) & IDC (multifocal >2cm); Stage I, grade 3, 0/12 nodes, ER+/PR+/HER2+; bilateral mast. 6/26/07; TCH, Arimidex; BRCA2: variant of uncertain significance; ooph 2/29/08