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Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 31603
Experience:  Over 20 yrs of Family Practice
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QUESTION FOR BREAST SURGEON OR RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGEON

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QUESTION FOR BREAST SURGEON OR RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGEON REGARDING MASTECTOMY...
AFTER NEOADJUVUNT CHEMOTHERAPY, I HAD A MODIFIED RADICAL MASTECTOMY ALMOST 3 WEEKS AGO, AND AN EXPANDER PLACED WITH 300 CCS. I ALSO HAD A COMPLETE AXILLIARY DISSECTION AT THAT TIME. ABOUT 5 DAYS LATER I HAD A SECOND OPERATION TO CLEAR UP AN INFECTION DUE TO "CONGESTION", AND THE EXPANDER WAS REDUCED TO 50 CCS. I HAVE CONSIDERABLE UNDERARM PAIN RIGHT TO MY ELBOW, BUT MOSTLY IN THE ARMPIT WHERE THERE ARE SHARP STABBING PAINS ABOUT EVERY 15 MINUTES. I HAVE THESE SAME KINDS OF PAINS IN WHAT WAS ONCE MY BREAST. IS ALL OF THIS NORMAL? IT SEEMS LIKE A LONG TIME TO HAVE SO MUCH PAIN. I AM SCHEDULED TO HAVE THE 2ND DRAIN REMOVED TOMORROW AND THE FIRST FILL WHICH NEEDS TO GET TO AROUND TO 450 BEFORE RADIATION IN A FEW WEEKS. I JUST CANT IMAGINE IT BECAUSE OF THE PAIN. I ALSO WAS JUST IN A PRETTY SEVERE REAR END CAR ACCIDENT LAST WEEK BUT MY EXPANDER IS STILL IN PLACE AND ALTHOUGH THERE IS SOME SWELLING THERE IS NO BRUISING AND MY PLASTIC SURGEON ASSURES ME ITS NORMAL. YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE PAIN (ARM AND BREAST) WHICH I THOUGHT FOR SURE WOULD BE GONE BY NOW? THANK YOU!
Hi--what exactly was the nature of the second operation--where exactly was this congestion and infection?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

IN THE BREAST - I GUESS WHERE THE EXPANDER WAS

OK--if you hadn't had the infection and the second surgery I wouldn't expect you to have this much pain this far out but it sounds as though there's still inflammation and swelling in the axilla--the arm pit--and there's pressure on the brachial plexus--the bundle of nerves that lies in that area. That's why the pain runs down to your elbow. Patti, I think everything is fine and it will probably take another week or two for these symptoms to die down.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

HOW ABOUT THE SHARP PAINS IN THE BREAST - NORMAL? ALSO DEEP BREATH PAIN IN BREAST - EXPANDER PAIN?

Normal after having the infection and the second surgery--part of it is due to the pressure of the expander.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

NERVES HEALING A POSSIBILITY?

it really is more compression of the nerves than actual injury to them. As the pressure is relieved, the nerves will return to normal.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

UNFORTUNATELY I DONT THINK PRESSURE WILL BE RELIEVED FOR 10 MONTHS BECAUSE I NEED RADIATION IN A FEW WEEKS AND HAVE TO BE EXPANDED RATHER QUICKLY I THINK ... COULD IT LAST THAT LONG DO YOU THINK?

Sorry for the delay. The problem right now is not the expander per se but the edema and swelling from the surgery and the infection. Normally expanders do not interfere with the axillary region. You still should be getting relief in another couple of weeks.
Dr. Chip and 2 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

THANK YOU SO MUCH! :)

My pleasure Patti--please remember to rate my service to you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Patti--there was nothing typed in that posting? Did you have another question?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No I didn't, just wanted to make sure the rating went through this time -- not sure why it didn't the first time? Please let me know if it did not -- Thank you again! :)

It went through--thanks very much and call on me any time