Costochondritis, recurrence risk after mastectomy and implant?

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Question from Maska: I had a mastectomy 9 years ago with a saline implant. I had DCIS with microinvasion and clear lymph nodes. After 9 relatively pain-free years, I'm now struggling with costochondritis, with pain under the implant and around to my back. I had an MRI and there was no sign of metastasis. Should I worry that this is a recurrence, and how can I deal with the pain?
Answers - Kristin Brill, M.D., F.A.C.S. It's unlikely with DCIS 9 years ago that this is recurrent, but MRI is appropriate to evaluate for recurrence and also the integrity of the implants and surrounding tissues. Costochondritis is a common problem in women who have been affected by breast cancer and who have not. It acts up in a similar way to arthritis, so arthritis treatments may improve symptoms of costochondritis as well. You have the option of seeing a plastic surgeon to determine whether any alteration in the reconstruction or the implant will help.

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 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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