Possible nerve damage?

I had my surgery in February 2013 and recovery has gone pretty well to date. Over the past couple of months I have noticed a 'tingly' sensation around the area of the large 'shark bite' scar on my back below the shoulder blade. It's not really painful but as with most aches and pains, survivors like me always seem to worry. I was just wondering if it could be nerves that were damaged during the operation becoming active again or am I barking up the wrong tree! Anyone else had a similar experience?

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  • Around both my scars I have a bit of numbness. I used to get a little tingling but that's gone. My op was in May 2013.

  • Many thanks

  • My op was in November 2014 and I also experience a tingling numbness. Over the past few months the numbness disappears to be replaced by pain and sometimes feels like the shark bite scar is about to rip open. At first I thought I had caused it due to over exertions but after careful plotting and monorting there seems to be know connection and is there for out of my control and just one of the many side effects that us "post ops" experience.

    I have found postings on this site dating back quite a few yeas that covers my expierece in precise detail and suggests that it is the knitting of nerves of the rib cage.

    My wife and I were discussing my early post op days, walking at 1 mph, scared to eat certain textures, dumping syndrome, sleeping with a mountain of pillows but most of not just surviving but flourishing and enjoying a quality of leave that was once feared lost.

    I start work again on Monday on a building site and will soon be celebrating my 56th Birthday.

    It is obvious from this site that we have all had some similar and extremely different effects and experiences and that one size does not fit and it can be one step forwards and two back but we will get there in our own time.

    Keep the faith , James x

  • Many thanks for your feedback James. Good luck.

  • The pain gets a lot less with time and stops after a while unless you eat too much ore get bad dumping syndrome. I had my surgery in February 2007. I went on to have two children post chemo and surgery.

  • Many thanks.

  • I think quite a few people have these sensations. Nerve damage is a very difficult thing to combat, but often, gently progressive exercise / massage does tend to sort things out sooner or later, but not without pain or discomfort. Your surgery scars are well settled by now, but nerve damage sometimes takes a long time to rectify.

    There is always an element of anxiety that these niggles are signs of cancer coming back, which is a natural thing to worry about, but it is very probably just your body continuing to settle down after all the changes that have been made to it by the surgeons.

  • Thanks for your feedback Alan.

  • I had my IL in early January 2015, returned home late January 2015, went through 5 cycles of ECX chemotherapy starting March 2015, and completing late May 2015, feeding tube was removed April 2015. I recommenced work from home April 2015 and completed a full return to work in June 2015.

    The sensation you describe is one that I have experienced from the time I left Intensive Care (9 days after surgery) and continues to this day. I had two lung drainage tubes inserted in my right rib cage and feel that the sensation starts at the site of the lower of the two lung drains and radiates to the front of my rib cage and ends just under my sternum (close to where the main incision site) and radiates backwards up my shoulder blade.

    At it's best it's like a mild tingly sensation. At it's worst it's almost completely debilitating.

    I do feel that it's related to my eating habits and to my general state of being - too much food = pain, too little food = pain, wrong combination of food types = pain, too much time standing up = pain, too much travel = pain, too much stress = pain. If you combine all of the above it's worse.

    The view of my GP, my surgeon and my oncologist is that two of three of the intercostal nerves around my right rib cage have been damaged. I've had three courses of RF Nerve Ablation therapy and it helps for a little while and then comes back - worse.

    I'm on a large dose of pregabbalin (300mg twice daily), this is an anti-epilithic drug which aims to "numb" the nerves. I think this helps - trying to go "cold turkey" on this drug is extremely painful. I am contemplating trying to wean myself off this drug but am struggling to get my GP to provide lower dosage tablets so that I can try to go to 200mg, 100mg, down, etc.

    I'm "glad" I'm not alone in this but would like to hear more stories.

  • Gosh you seem to be having a tough time of things. Thanks for the feedback and good luck.