Tips For Managing Post-Surgical Mastectomy Pain

Posted on: 20 November 2019


If you are getting ready to undergo a mastectomy as the first step in breast cancer treatment, you need to be sure that you are fully prepared for the recovery process and understand what it will mean for you. One of the biggest challenges of breast cancer surgery recovery is dealing with post-surgical pain. Here's what you need to know about pain management for your mastectomy recovery.

What Should You Know About Post-Surgical Pain After A Mastectomy?

The first thing you may want to know is what type of pain you can expect to experience after your surgery. The fact is that it's different for every patient, but there are some common threads to the recovery process that can help you to be prepared.

For example, you may experience pain in your chest wall, arm, or breast area. Any type of nerve damage that occurs during the surgery could also lead to more pain. You may also experience some pain along the surgical scar after your healing is complete. In addition, some patients experience what is known as phantom breast pain. Phantom pain is the presence of pain in what is seemingly tissue, but the tissue isn't actually there. 

How Can You Manage Post-Surgical Pain After A Mastectomy?

While you may be surprised to learn of the pain that you could experience following your mastectomy, the good news is that post-surgical pain is easily manageable. Understanding how to control and deal with the pain is important.

For example, there are many different pain medications used to manage the nerve pain and other discomfort that follows a mastectomy. You may be prescribed pain medication, or your doctor may recommend an ointment that is blended with a topical pain reliever.

You'll also find that, immediately following surgery, the anesthesia used during the procedure can help to keep much of your pain at bay. In addition, your doctor may recommend treatments such as physical therapy, acupuncture, and even TENS therapy to help you control and handle your pain.

In some cases, if you are experiencing severe pain, your doctor may recommend a nerve block. The block will last for a predetermined period of time, and then you may need to have another treatment to help maintain your pain control.

The more you understand about managing pain following a mastectomy, the easier it is for you to recover. Talk with your doctor about your pain management options.