• Axillary lymph node dissection pain

    Asked by jennt4211 on Tuesday, December 27, 2011

    Axillary lymph node dissection pain

    I had a lumpectomy and axillary lymph node dissection done on 12/12/11. How long should I be in pain in my left arm? The pain and tenderness generates down my left arm to the elbow, tender to the touch and has a burning sensation. Also, it generates around the back of my shoulder blade. Doctor told me this procedure could cause temporary or permanent nerve damage. I go back to see the surgeon on January 6. Plan to ask about it if its still hurting but its really driving me crazy. They gave me percocet after surgery but I was allergic. Then they gave me vicodin which didn't help with the pain at all in my arm. Should I call and ask for more meds or am I to just deal with it? Regular pain relievers and anti inflammatory pills also do nothing. The pain is making it hard to rest and sleep and I feel worse when I wake up. Any help??

    9 Answers from the Community

    9 answers
    • susie81610's Avatar

      Hi Jenn:
      Although my cancer didn't start at the breast it has metastisized. Was found in one of my lymph nodes under my left arm which they removed and now it is very sore also and a large bump. I have had it checked 2xs by the onc and she said it is doing good. But you also have to remember if you have your port on that side that the chemo and everything runs through those veins which will make is more sore also. This is what I have found? Also I use Ice on mine when it gets sore and try not to wear a bra that will push on it or under it.
      If you are in pain do not just sit there call your Drs. that is what they are there for you need to be kept comfortable tell them what is going on and that what you have tried has not worked and could you get something else many things to help deal with pain.
      Can't really help with understanding breast cancer but I can relate to the lymph node removal. Stay strong get some pain pills and try and get it under control.
      Good Luck Hope to talk with you.

      about 5 years ago
    • Paprika's Avatar

      When you are in pain, never hesitate to contact your care team. They have heard it all and should be able to give alternative suggestions. What else can you try? Remember to do your range of motion exercises, not only is this good for restoring muscle and nerve strength, but it also helps to clear out your circulation system and lymphatics (which have been traumatized by surgery). This might help the pain too, as you circulate out dead cells and get fresh blood into areas that have not had motion in a while. Also, try heat alternating with cold packs. Remember, your body is healing and it's a process not an overnight thing. But stay connected to your healthcare team and don't suffer! HUGS to you! Hang in there!

      about 5 years ago
    • jennt4211's Avatar

      Thank you Susie and Paprika! I did finally call yesterday and they called in a rx for the pain until I get back in on the 6th. I didn't get instructions of exercising the arm but I have started to move it around more to get rid of the tightness and it has improved my range of motion.

      Susie, my port is on the right side which is good.

      I am going braless and just wearing tank tops under my shirts to keep warm and give some support but not to put too much pressure on my breast, under my arm or on my port.

      Hugs to both of you. You have both helped answer my question and I feel better now. If I can be of any support just let me know.

      about 5 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar

      I had a radical neck disection. R side of my neck, they cut me from ear down to my adams apple. Went in and took out every lymph node they could find, the Surgeon said they would have to move the nerves around and I might have some nerve damage. I had shooting pains up my neck in this area periodically, hurt very bad, nothing would help. The surgeon's explanation was this: The nerves start growing back from where they were cut, they grow aprox. 1 cm. per day, and the pain will last until they reach back to where the are growing back to. This pain lasted a month or better with me.
      Just my experience, might be the same with you. Good luck in your healing!!

      about 5 years ago
    • jennt4211's Avatar

      Thank you Drummerboy! That makes sense. I had a giant cell tumor in 1990 in my right femur which turned my bone to pebbles and shafted my nerves, tendons and such. I had nerve damage that ran down the front of my shin and had no feeling to the touch for years and years. Half of the front of my shin still has numbness to the touch but the bottom part has feeling again. Good luck and blessings to you too!

      about 5 years ago
    • susie81610's Avatar

      They didn't tell me about exercise either so I just started doing stuff myself. I also massage the lump I read that you need to keep the fluid moving through and just rub on it a few times a day. Glad you got some better pain meds.
      I had to laugh I wear tank tops under everything also since I cant wear a bra. Also my port is in a strange place it is in the top of my inner left arm I had lost too much weight for them to put it in my chest. But it really doesn't bother me there. Thanks for the hugs and hugs back same goes for you if you need anyone to talk to just holler. We have different cancers but to me cancer is cancer no matter where it is. Have a good night

      about 5 years ago
    • jennt4211's Avatar

      Well I am glad that you said something about moving and exercising the arm.. it is helping a great deal. I don't have a lump under my arm but have a nice incision.

      The tanks help to keep warm right? I am so cold here in PA. Ugh.

      You said it right.. cancer is cancer. It doesn't matter where. We all need the care and support. I am so glad for you. This site is getting better now that I understand how to use it :)

      Hope you have a great night too! Gonna take it easy now. Talk with you again soon I hope.

      about 5 years ago
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      over 4 years ago
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