Breast pain after open heart surgery

I am 8 months post-op. I have had pain, numbness
and constant soreness in my right breast. After a week
at home I called my surgeon and was told they had no
idea what it could be. I told the nurse a few days later
that the pain was so sharp at times I could not walk
across the room. She told me maybe I should see an
OB/GYN. My Cardio said it was nerve endings healing.
My PCP said it could be nerve damage from removing
the vein used in the by-pass. I am having trouble with
using my right arm for lifting even a gallon of milk.
The pain now is much less and only occasionally, but
the numbness at the top of my breast and up into my
chest area is still there and the soreness is always
there. Anyone out there have this problem? I have
learned so much from reading all the posts and hope
someone has an answer for me.
An added note: My surgeon scheduled a double by-pass, only did a single, did not use vein from my leg,
but used the one from my chest, and re-scheduled my
sugery 3 times because he was so busy. Needless to say I was not happy and told him so. I will not be seeing
him again.
Just wanting answers.

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I think the pain is nerve endings becoming active again. It took forever for my boob to get feeling and it finally did...I remember when I was having gallbladder issues and I am such very hard stick for iv's I tend to be a picc line girl when I have to have surgery or serious stuff lately anyway because my boob was still numb I allowed them to try to get an iv in my boob but alas it didn't work and she was saying how sorry she was and all that and I just looked at her and said really its numb I can't feel it:-)

I have had severe chest pain since the surgery and they think it is Chostachondritis or something like that so that might be what is going on with your boob...mine is mainly in my sternum but I would guess your boob could be effected too what it is, is that you have major imflammation from the surgery in that area...they are doing steroid injections...but uhmm since I just got over a never ening 5 week period which they think the steroids is the cause I won't be doing them again...I may just settle with the pain meds the rest of my life:-) don't know as haven't told the pain management dr. about the bleeding issue yet!!!

Hoping knowing that pain issues after surgery are not uncommon and you are not alone helps:-)

Best wishes,


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I have also had numbness on my right breast since my surgery on 2/14 of this year. It's a fairly small spot, but it is annoying. I was told I had a rib that hadn't settled into the right place yet and it could also be caused by the nerves healing.

Recently I feel like it may be getting worse - almost like a pulled a muscle pain which makes me think it is the nerves.

I'm still hopeful with time it will go away, but I'm not as far along post-op as you are.

Let me know if you learn anything more about it.

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Thanks ladies for your replies. The only thing I did learn, beside the ones I mentioned, was that my
chest was pulled open too far because of the type of instrument used in the surgery
I know what my limitations are and am trying to remain positive.
The reason they gave for only doing one artery was that the could not safely get to the second.
I was told it could be stented at a later time. I had my surgery done locally, but if I'm still tiring easily
and the pain and use of my right arm doesn't go away by my 1 year anniversary I will go
to The Cleveland Clinic for a complete checkup.

Thanks Again

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