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Breast Cancer

Numbness and pain after mastectomy

01/15/2009

Question:

I`ve had a left modified radical mastectomy on april 13, 2007..and since then i always have a numbness on my left fingers,arms, underarm, and on my shoulders and sometimes at the back..my surgeon says that it is normally felt by women who underwent mastectomy.How long will i experience this? I always do my exercises and sometimes pain and numbness disappear..but cold seasons make this numbness and pain worst.. are there reasons which are related to my pain and numbness and the cold seasons?Thank you and God bless.

Answer:

Numbness on the chest and upper inner arm is very normal and may be permanent. The finger and arm numbness is most likely related to the stretching of the brachial plexus and usually resolves, but the timing is variable.

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Response by:

Doreen M Agnese, MD Doreen M Agnese, MD
Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University