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Post mastectomy pain
32 Posts
Hi everyone. I had a double mastectomy June 1st and I have healed well. A week or so after my surgery I have started to experience burning pain on my skin. It feels as if my skin is raw and the slightest touch from my clothing causes a burning sensation. It is all across my chest, under my arms and along the back of one arm. I am taking Lyrica but it doesn't seem to be helping. Does anyone have any suggestions for pain relief?
11 Replies
1297 Posts


good morning and thanks for this post. what an uncomfortable sounding situation!

if you are taking Lyrica, then you have seen the medical types about this.
it seems as tho it is a nerve thing, non? not every medication works for every body - maybe you need to try something different if the Lyrica isn't touching it?

frustrating to be sure. is there anything that makes it feel better?

do let us know how things move along for you…..no doubt, others will have had or will have the same sort of post mastectomy pain.

gentle hugs from over here

#postmastectomypain #breastcancer #lyrica

ps-maybe give the cancer info experts a call….they may have some information about this condition???

32 Posts

Thanks @supersu, I will keep everyone posted and give the cancer info line a call.😁

7 Posts

If you use Facebook please check out the Surviving Post Mastectomy Pain page. There are some women there who experience this, who may be able to help you. After a year I am still experiencing it to some extent. I am ok with most clothing but I am unable to wear a bra for more than a couple of hours. My skin just feels so irritated under my arm. Still irritated down the back of one arm also. Still in pain From nerve damage. I am currently receiving nerve blocks at a pain clinic.
It is truly unfortunate that here in Canada there is very little help for Post Mastectomy Pain Syndrome.
It is still early days for you and nerves grow back very slowly. I hope you will eventually find relief.

14 Posts
I had a similar pain and was given Gabapentin for nerve pain. It worked and even got rid of my phantom boob pain but I developed a really bad UTI which can be one of the possible side effects so I dropped it as I can deal with pain better than burning. When I mentioned to my surgeon that I had this phantom boob pain he said he had never heard of that??? but after reading several posts its not that uncommon. It's been almost three months now and things are better. Just under the arm is still a bit raw and uncomfortable. Good luck.
34 Posts

I had that same raw flesh feeling on the underside of my right arm after my mastectomy. It lasted for many weeks but finally faded away. I still get odd sensations though on my breastless side. Occasional <breath-sucking> slivers of pain but, more often, periods of <aargh> itchiness underneath the dead breast area. Oh well, at least I know there's no cancer there.

32 Posts

Thanks @Heady , @Daf & @MNbOK . I will try gabapentin next if the pain keeps up. Fingers crossed it subsides soon.

1728 Posts

@AOK I had a bilateral mastectomy in March and although I don’t have a lot of pain, I do get shooting pain once in a while and definitely have some numbness. I have started working with a physiotherapist to help with some shoulder pain. She recommended massaging the area to help. I have been doing a lot of massage on the area and found it to be very helpful. I will be going for a professional massage later this month and hope that will help as well with scar tissue and loosening up my chest wall muscles. I was lucky to find a practice which is for women only and has only female practitioners. I’m not sure if this is something you are interested in but may be another avenue for you to explore. I hope you can find a solution to help.

9 Posts

@AOK So sorry for the pain you are experiencing. I had a bi-lateral masectomy May 31st. I do not have any pain - the odd twinge but I did have an abscess on my incision. It is healing but many visits to doctors, surgeon and care-partners. My non-boobs are tender to touch but okay. Waiting now for radiation in Kitchener but worried about accomodation there for 5 weeks. Any information on that would be helpful. Thanks

28 Posts

Hi AOK…. Sorry to hear this. I had a mastectomy April of last year. I had more of the tight band feeling around my chest for a bit. However, before i had my mastectomy, i had a node biospy. I had the same sort of feeling in my arm pit all the time….even when i wasnt moving my arm. I was pretty much in tears the 1rst day i went back to work 😢. I thought it was getting infected, but it wasnt. I figured it was nerve endings from the surgery and it did go away after a few weeks. Maybe its something different for you, but sorry youre going through this!

1 Posts

@AOK I’m sorry to hear about your nerve pain. While I have not had a mastectomy yet (still working through the decision phase), I have been on Lyrica for sciatic nerve pain. I don’t know what dose you are on, but it did take me about 1 month of gradually dosing up to find an amount that helped a bit. It is possible that Lyrica can still work for you given time and the correct dose.

32 Posts

Thank you @Rosenpop . The nerve pain does seem to be subsiding. Hopefully it will be gone soon

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