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Post mastectomy discomfit

Concerned daughterConcerned daughter Member Posts: 9
My mum had her right breast and lymph node removal two years ago. After treatment finished she decided to have the other breast removed as a precaution and to make it easier in regards to prosthetics. Her first surgery she had very little discomfort. She is now four weeks post her second breast removal and in considerable discomfort. She says it feels as though the surgeon has removed too much tissue. She says it feels like she has a fridge on her chest....tight feeling which affects her movement. She never had this last time even though she had the same surgeon. Today she said she now regrets her decision given her breast was clear and her recovery is 80% worst than last time. After going through so much already it is sad that she now has to deal with this. The surgeon despite us both liking her was dismissive and said it would become more comfortable in time. I do not know why the surgeon did this after the last successful surgery and the surgeon will obviously not admit to an error....though she commented on making mums chest tight so she didn't get excess skin....doesn't make sense as having both sides of her chest similar is more desirable than one with really tight skin and one looser. 
Has anyone experienced similar and has anything positive or any suggestions that can  an offer mum


  • TonyaMTonyaM Member Posts: 2,646
    Hi,I had a left mastectomy 8 yrs ago and I still have a tight sensation as if I have duck tape strapped across my chest.I had previously had a lumpectomy and radiation which didn’t help matters. My surgeon says I have adhesions and there’s nothing to be done.Now here’s the weird thing- when I put my prosthesis and bra on,I can’t notice it.Pressure on the area seems to help.It’s only been 4 weeks for your mum and I’m wondering if a few more weeks might improve things. Perhaps physiotherapy using ultrasound on the tight area might help?Gentle massage?
    Hope it improves for your Mum.xx
  • Concerned daughterConcerned daughter Member Posts: 9
    Mum is massaging and gentle stretches in the hope something will help. Obviously too early for her to get prosthesis just yet but I will tell her of your experience as it may give her some hope that her discomfort may ease.
  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 4,592
    She may need to see a specialist physio as it could be tissue adhering to the scar as @tonyam says.  They can work on it and show your Mum the right way to massage the area.  But do give it a chance to heal 

  • AllyJayAllyJay Member Posts: 629
    Hi there @Concerned daughter...I had a bilateral mastectomy almost two years ago, with a full node clearance on the left and sentinal node on the right. My scar goes in a more or less straight line from armpit to armpit. I had a massive bleed after the surgery, which involved a return to theatre to open me up again and fing the bleeders. Eleven days in ICU followed and then another fortnight on the surgical ward. Long story...other medical conditions I already have contributed to this. The end result is a lot of thickened scar tissue and tightness. Feels like I'm wearing a really, really tight bra all the time. Also areas of numbness. I have two silicone prosthesis (Amoena), which I only wear when going out. Otherwise I go flat and free. I also find that the gentle, soft pressure they provide helps enormously with this sensation. I feel better with the bra and prosthesis than without. The reason I take them out at home is that they are very hot, and I sweat like crazy on my chest when wearing them.
  • kitkatbkitkatb Member Posts: 442
    Hi @Concerned daughter  I agree with what the lovely ladies have said about giving it time.  I reached the 4 week stage and thought I would never get there with such tightness as my mx was right back to the chest wall. Come the 7th and 8th week started to feel really good.  Your mum will get there just needs to be kind to herself and keep up on the those pesky exercises. Also agree with the gentle massage all along the scar to stop the scar adhering to the chest wall.  It does hurt a bit initially but gets easier and I found massaging using the whole hand instead of just the fingers was easier. Hope all works out in the end. xo
  • Concerned daughterConcerned daughter Member Posts: 9
    Thanks for comments. I will pass them on to mum. The surgeon straight after surgery commented she had made mum tight and as the discomfort (duct tape tight across chest is similar to how mum describes it) was there from the moment she woke after surgery i don't think it is adhesions. Dr used lumpy stitches....first mastectomy it looked as though the would was only super glued....I think maybe the surgeon has not been as diligent as I would have been in ensuring the second surgery duplicated the first to provide a consistent result. But not much we can do now but hope for improvement. Breast nurse didn't come see mum after second surgery. I had to buy a lightweight bra and stuff it for her. Surgeon encouraged mum to contact breast nurse who was not that helpful and sent mum two different bra inserts through the mail. Quite disappointing as the breast nurse after the first surgery was excellent. The inconsistency of treatment, same surgeon, different hospital, has been a challenge.
  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 4,592
    It might be worth including your general location @Concerned daughter as there may be members who can provide recommendations for services.
  • kmakmkmakm MelbourneMember Posts: 7,903
    @Concerned daughter You could also give the BCNA helpline a ring. The nurses there might have some suggestions to make. 1800 500 258.
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