This week, James E. Craigie, MD, of The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction answers your question.
Question: I am 70 years old, and 5 years ago had a bilateral with reconstruction. Since then, I have had severe cramps in both breasts and they can even tie a knot in my stomach I can feel knot up when I cough. These are not like stomach pains, they are very painful, hard cramps like one experiences in the calf of their legs….I asked my Plastic Surgeon about them, and he just said he had never heard of cramps in breasts. I can cause my breasts to cramp by simply turning over on. My side, raising my arm or reaching around for something…I’m a tough ole broad, but these cramps make me nauseous they hurt so bad…have you any experience with this? Thank you so much for your time.
Answer: Thanks for your question. I’m sorry you’re having a difficult time. Painful cramping suggests muscles are having spasms. Normally the breast does not have muscle but the chest muscle is underneath the breasts and can have spasms for different reasons. The explanation could possibly be related to the type of breast reconstruction. If you have implant reconstruction the implants are often placed under the muscles. If the body rejects the implants or develops scaring that tightens around the implant the distortion can cause muscle spasm. If you had reconstruction using one of your body muscles to rebuild the breast, that too could possibly be related to the cramping pain. If the muscles from the tummy wall were used to rebuild your breast or breasts that might explain the “knot in your stomach”. I would need more information to let you know what I would recommend. What type of breast reconstruction did you have? Do you have implants and did you have radiation to the breast? Thanks again.
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