• Anyone else had bilateral mastectomy and multiple lymph removal?

    Asked by AuntD on Friday, January 27, 2012

    Anyone else had bilateral mastectomy and multiple lymph removal?

    I had surgery on Sept 9, having tightness, pain in arm/shoulder/neck. Limited movement in arm. Need physical therapy but the copays are expensive as I am already paying ALOT for the out of pocket expenses of chemo.

    5 Answers from the Community

    5 answers
    • CountryGirl's Avatar

      I had a double mastectomy and three lymph nodes removed in March of 2011. Mobility, even now, is still something I work on every day. Even at work, I pause two or three times to stretch. If I forget, I notice the tightening. They are little stretches, like reaching up and touching the door frame every time I walk in or out of my office.

      My surgeon suggested this exercise: put a towel over the top shower rail and grab each end, pull the towel back and forth over the rail. He cautioned me to work on mobility for a solid year, and I agree because ten month later, I notice when I slack off even a little.

      Everyone is different. My surgery was post chemo. I hope this helps.

      over 4 years ago
    • Sunnydays' Avatar

      I had left mastectomy 1/2011, lymph node dissection (14 nodes removed, 2 cancerous) 2/2012, then prophylactic right mastectomy and expanders put in both sides 1/12/2012. So, kind of in similar situation. It took a while to get mobility back last year but I did a lot of stretches and used my arms while walking and also lifted weights very gradually to regain strength in my arms. I still have no feeling from my left elbow all the way across my chest and I don't think it will come back. Never got full range of motion back but was working on getting strength back until this most recent surgery. Now, with expanders, I can't do anything for a few months. My advice, be patient, do exercises, stretch, use your purse or anything with a little weight to slowly increase strength in both arms, exercise your whole body - it really helps. Not sure if PT would really be able to show you anything you couldn't do on your own. Maybe try one of those stretchy rubbery rope things, you can control how much resistance you put on it.

      over 4 years ago
    • kkkkk's Avatar

      I too had a bilateral mastectomy 9/6/11 with lymph nodes removed. I have expanders and wasn't able to exercise for a few weeks. When cleared, my right arm/shoulder was pretty good, but my left was frozen. I have been in physical therapy for 3 months and am slowly improving. It is a lot in terms of co-pays, but I am not disciplined enough to constantly exercise on my own and they stretch my shoulder at each visit. I will be having permanent implants put in soon and hope I won't be back at the beginning again. Keep stretching and exercises (I do it in the shower w/ the hot water hitting my shoulder). I still can only sleep on myt back which is annoying. Good luck.

      over 4 years ago
    • Rita's Avatar

      I had multiple surgeries last year, including a bilateral mastectomy with tissue expanders. The exchange surgery was Dec. 28, 2011. I had significant issues with arm and shoulder pain, lack of mobility, tendonitis in my arm, numbness - you name it. The entire expansion process following surgery was horrible. I'm lucky enough to have insurance that has paid for physical therapy and to have found an amazing physical therapist who has made, and continues to make, a wonderful difference.

      One of the things that has really helped in between sessions is a book entitled - The Breast Cancer Survivor's Fitness Plan: A Doctor-Approved Workout Plan For a Strong Body and Lifesaving Results (Harvard Medical School Guides). The stretches really helped when the tightness, soreness and swelling started to set in. I hope it's something that may help you as well.

      Good luck!

      over 4 years ago
    • whirl's Avatar

      I guess I have been lucky after reading the above answers. I had 25 lymph nodes removed with a double mastectomy/expanders 2 years ago. I do have slight numbness in my axillary area, but that is it. I did have physical therapy for lymphadema shortly after the surgery. I am a gym nut. Trained all through chemo. Infact the day after chemo from the predisone I would do 5 miles or more. Of course the following day I needed a nap. I have full arm rotation, swim, do core exercises, push ups, yoga, etc. In fact 4 weeks after the mastectomy I went to Vail for a week of down hill skiing. I do have times when the axillary area feels like it is tugging and maybe some mild discomfort. I think it is the scar tissue. I would have your surgeon check your arm and if ok'd do the above suggestionsfrom others. Also read and learn how to help the lymph nodes work more efficiently to remove your lymph fluid by massage. I am 70 years old. If I can do it so can you.
      Good luck.

      over 4 years ago

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