Chronic post mastectomy pain

What is Chronic post mastectomy pain?

Chronic post-mastectomy pain is one type of chronic postoperative pain. It is also known as post-mastectomy pain syndrome (PMPS). PMPS is a pain that retains after mastectomy or any other kind of breast surgery. The procedures that may involve in the post mastectomy are partial mastectomy, total mastectomy, lumpectomy and breast reconstruction.


  • One of the common causes of Post-mastectomy pain is neuropathic, which means caused due to nerve damage.
  • According to researchers, it can also cause due to any nerve damage in breasts and underarm.
  • It can also cause due to development of an abnormal nerve tissue.
  • Another possible cause of chronic post mastectomy pain can be the development of a hematoma while
  • surgery.


  • A dull ache, burning pain or numbness
  • The pain may be in the chest, near the area where the breast was operated on.
  • The pain may be present in the armpit if the arm is operated
  • You usually experience severe pain as you move your shoulder on the operated side.
  • The pain get increase if you apply pressure to the operated area.
  • Usually the pain varies from woman to woman. It can be either severe or mild
  • .


Chronic post mastectomy pain can be treated with both medications as well as other alternative treatment. They are:


  • NSAIDs
  • Tricyclic antidepressants
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Opioids: when other medications are not effective enough for this pain, then you can use opioids for its treatment.

Alternative Treatments

  • Physical Therapy
  • Message
  • Reflexology
  • Acupuncture
  • Hypnosis
  • Topical medications
  • Counseling

1 response to Chronic post mastectomy pain

  1. I have a burning sensation and pain in my chest area from a mastectomy , I also had a frozen shoulder as a result of the surgery. They called it a winged shoulder. My dr wants to give me muscle relaxers, but I don’t want to take those. I also have scar tissue. It has been seventeen years since my surgery. Do you have any suggestions?

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