• Tightness after Mastectomy with reconstruction

    Asked by JudithCST on Sunday, March 6, 2016

    Tightness after Mastectomy with reconstruction

    I had bilateral mastectomies with latissimus flap reconstruction four years ago. Following the surgeries I had various complications... seromas that would not go away, as well as several serious infections: pasteurella,C-Diff enterococcus and even herpes. I was experiencing a lot of tightness, not just in the breast area, but around the sides and back as well. It felt like I was wearing a bra that was four sizes too small. The doctors said it would ease up in about a year. Now, four years later, I am still experiencing tightness to the point where it's sometimes difficult to breathe and it seems to be getting worse. In fact, I had such severe shortness of breath last night that I went to the ER thinking that I was having a heart attack. But they couldn't find any pathology and said it's probably because I have so much scar tissue. Has anyone else experienced this?

    9 Answers from the Community

    9 answers
    • savingrace's Avatar
      savingrace

      I've never experienced that but if your still having that problem, it may be a good idea to go back to your doctor and explain everything and get a thorough checkup.

      about 4 years ago
    • Mary1313's Avatar
      Mary1313

      I experience tightness like the too-tight bra feeling you describe. I haven't had the complications you've had, but I hear this is, for the most part, normal. I had some cording (scarring) and underwent about 8 weeks of physical therapy for it and that helped my flexibility in my arm. I go to a Jazzercise class 4 times a week to keep up my strength and I know that's helped in stretching out my chest tightness too. Have you tried anything along those lines to stretch out and loosen the scar tissue? A good therapeutic massage person might help too. Good luck.

      about 4 years ago
    • Lanage's Avatar
      Lanage

      I had the same procedures and also experienced tightness, though not to that extreme. I suggest you go back to your plastic surgeon and mention it. Mine referred me to physical therapy. I ended up having three different 12-week sessions, but the tightness subsided for the most part. I still experience tightness after exercising my chest muscles, but it's manageable. I also have lymphedema. That may be a factor for you as well. I hope you're able to get some relief soon. Blessings to you.

      about 4 years ago
    • mwfd's Avatar
      mwfd

      I had a lumpectomy with cording. My surgeon told me the pain would last 6 months to a year. After several months of occupational therapy, the cording was resolved, but I still had pain. I would ask the Dr. about the pain every follow-up appointment. At the two year mark, when I asked him what was causing the pain and how much longer it would last, he shrugged his shoulders and said "I don't know." To make a long story short, I found another surgeon who took my concerns seriously. My suggestion JudithCST, after four years after extreme tightness, enough is enough, please get a second opinion.

      about 4 years ago
    • TArt's Avatar
      TArt

      I also have experienced this after latt flap surgery in 2012. Twisting to get my purse off the floor of my car in the back seat sends me through roof. I do deep breathing until the extreme pain subsides. Most uncomfortable on side where radiated, probably scar tissue. No help, just not alone.

      about 4 years ago
    • Charnellf's Avatar
      Charnellf

      I have problems with tightness. It always feels like someone is sitting on my chest.

      about 4 years ago
    • gardengal52's Avatar
      gardengal52

      I had bilateral mastectomies with chemo before surgery and radiation after in 2008. I have not had reconstruction. I have had tightening and pulling all these years. It feels exactly like a band tied too tight in the surgical area. I also have severe pain when I twist to the left (as when picking up an object) that takes my breath away. I have went to the Dr for these problems. No help. Pain Management clinic treated me like a drug addict because I asked for lidocaine patches. Long story short I am sorry to report that the pain is something I live with. I try not to dwell on it or reach with my left arm for anything. I do take sleeve. My Oncologists have been no help.

      about 4 years ago
    • Charnellf's Avatar
      Charnellf

      I have had two nerve blocks because I had shooting stabbing pains. They helped quite a bit.

      about 4 years ago
    • Donnabakins' Avatar
      Donnabakins

      It seems as if every time I comment on this procedure the comment disappears. It will be interesting to see if this one does. I am four years post op fro xx mastectomies and lay dorsi reconstruction. I take narcotics every day for pain. I've ended up with three herniated discs in my back.

      I too have developed chest pain. I get out of breath easily and have severe chest pain. My cardio work up was good. Something infection or inflammatory is now in my lungs. They don't know what. If I could undo this reconstruction I would.

      about 4 years ago

    Help the community by answering this question:

    Create an account to post your answer Already have an account? Sign in!

    By using WhatNext, you agree to our User Agreement, and Privacy Policy


    Read and answer more invasive (infiltrating) ductal carcinoma questions.  Also, don't forget to check out our Invasive (Infiltrating) Ductal Carcinoma page.