Tight chest

Blossom1961Blossom1961 Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 1,294
My mastectomy was five months ago. I have been moisturising, massaging and stretching on the mastectomy side. However it appears that everything is getting tighter. The Lymph Physio says to just keep doing the stretches however within ten minutes of doing so, it is tight again. My arm is okay, just my chest area. I guess this is what a tummy tuck feels like. I don’t like it but I am not sure if I am being a spoilt brat who just wants things different or if it should feel more ‘normal’. What are your experiences please? I do various stretches throughout the day. Should I just learn to accept it as is?


  • LMK74LMK74 BrisbaneMember Posts: 787
    Hi @Blossom1961, my mastectomy was two years ago this August. I still have significant tightness. Some days are worse than others so not sure if it gets better over time. I have numb spots where my boob used to be and also have a constant feeling of duct tape stuck under my armpit. Hate the feeling but what choice have we got.
  • JulieVT11JulieVT11 Chermside, BrisbaneMember Posts: 52
    @Blossom1961 I also had mastectomy approx 5 months ago and my chest has just been aching, maybe its the cooler weather or something.  Do have a bad cold and been coughing a lot which I'm sure hasn't helped, but certainly has just come on out of the blue.

  • SisterSister Adelaide Hills, SAMember Posts: 4,328
    Mine gets a bit tight, too since rads.  My spec physio has advised pushing firmly downwards over the scar but I would check before you do anything like that.  I also get tight from the scar tissue adhering (to what I can't remember).  They use something called "physio touch" which is like a little vacuum on the area over the chest and upper arm.  It feels like it's doing absolutely nothing while it's happening but works a charm at loosening things up.
  • Blossom1961Blossom1961 Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 1,294
    The Lymph Physio told me to massage it from all different directions, crossway, up and down, clockwise, anti clockwise and to do suggested stretches. It seems to have gotten worse over the past week even though I have been doing all that. I will ask her about the Physio touch, thank you.
  • Brenda5Brenda5 Burrum Heads, QldMember Posts: 2,315
    3.5 years post op and I still get phantom pains. It is also tight to start when I start a walk but as soon as I get my stride and start enjoying it the chest part settles down. The underarm (loss of all lymph nodes) may always be uncomfortable.
  • Blossom1961Blossom1961 Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 1,294
    Hi @LMK74 I don’t have the duct tape feeling. I do however gets spasms of pain in my arm that feels like someone has gouged a hole there. The surgeons assistant told me quite forcibly that they hadn’t touched that area so it has nothing to do with them. That was the day after my mx and anx node removal. Last week I saw my surgeon for my one year since diagnosed appt, whom I requestioned about this. He said “We played around a lot in that area so it wouldn’t surprise me if we hit a nerve”. 
    I am pleased it is not a constant pain and hopefully will eventually disappear. But definitely no duct tape. Sounds mighty uncomfortable. I am pleased about the numb feeling as I am having a tattoo and this should dull the discomfort. I have to make the most of it!
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