Hello - I'm 1.5 wks out from bi-lateral surgery. I chose to have my ‘o.k.' breast removed also. No nodes were taken on that side, however, cording developed right from surgery forming a C-shape from ½ way around my armpit to up my chest. Is this something normal to have happen from having a breast removed? Should I be concerned at this point? Will the cord gradually fade with more weeks of healing time? It must be something to do with disruption of node/flow due to breast removal, - no nodes taken on that side. Thank you for your insights/experience.
Your story sounds similar to mine and I am so glad that you posted. May I ask what your diagnosis was? I had DCIS in only my left breast but like you I had a bilateral mastectomy with no nodes taken. Because I had a general surgeon and thankfully required no further treatment I had no contact with the cancer centre and therefore little post op. care. When my incision bled quite badly and I had, what I now know were cords I went to emerg. The doctor there sterrystripped me up and when I told her that no nodes were taken said she did not know what the “ ropes” as I called them, were. I found out on the Mayo site that nodes are often damaged during surgery thereby sometimes causing cording and lymph disruption. From my experience though mine come and go. I do have ongoing problems with lymph disruption and scar adhesion and I see a rmt who is knowledge in dealing with both.
I hope my story helps but would stress that you should see a doctor or nurse if you have concerns. Much better safe than sorry☹️. The other important thing is, of course, to do your exercise. My rom was very good and I did not even know how important the lymphatic system is. Most people know about the blood circulation but few, including some meds. are very knowledgeable about lymph.
I wish you a good recovery and please let me know if I can help. We breast cancer people (men get it too) make up the majority here so lots of support will be heading your way.
THX MCoaster @MCoaster for you kind reply. I'm hoping the cords go away in time…like quickly!!! lol I don't think impatience works in this case…time…time…time will hopefully do it. I too had a general surgeon in Campbell River. I live in Port Hardy. I've not seen her again…YET as I'm still waiting for my pathologist's final reporting to hear from her again….this week, I hope. I too am praying for no other treatment. My post op care so far is a visit to ambulatory care at our little ‘bandaide’ hospital. I really have so many question about lots of things. I've started stretching my arms and have very good range this early on. Sentinel nodes (3) were taken on right side only…some swelling there and tightness from that….but they are lower than my pit area on me…good thing, I think. 😎 I forgot to answer your question - non-invasive ductal, stage 0, high grade cells reported from core biopsy, however, surgeon wasn't 100% sure that some cells didn't break through some part of the duct that wasn't sampled in the biopsy….Hoping all were contained in the final reporting….as that would also rule out blood/vascular spread…except that a core biopsy was taken and 2 wks+ went by prior to surgery?!?!? so who knows about blood spread. I've read that many researchers are thinking that there are many cases spread via blood, rather than cancer in the nodes.