Squeezing, pectoral pain after mastectomy?

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Question from JKO: Since mastectomy in 2006, I have muscle spasms in the pectoral muscle and pain along the incision area. I have lymphedema in my left arm and also truncal lymphedema. Also I have a constant squeezing like a boa constrictor squeezing under my ribcage area and it goes around my entire body. No one has been able to determine what causes the squeezing pressure, or the pectoral pain. Advice?
Answers - Kristin Brill, M.D., F.A.C.S. At the time of mastectomy, the surgery extends down to the base of the breast, including the covering of the pectoralis muscle there. For many women, they notice increased sensitivity at the ribcage after mastectomy, particularly after implant placement. It's also common to see sensitivity at the rib with age with anyone. This is something called costochondritis.
Linda Miller Many women after reconstruction have had that tight chest wall feeling. A good stretching program that really stretches the pectoral muscles can give significant release.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called After Surgery: Short-Term and Long-Term Effects featured Kristin Brill, M.D., F.A.C.S. and Linda Miller, P.T. answering your questions about short-term and long-term side effects of breast surgery, and what you can do about them.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in May 2008.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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