We Treat Mastectomy Pain Without Drugs or Surgery
Mastectomy is a major surgery – one that can cause adhesions to form, with pain that lasts long after the surgery. Clear Passage®️ is a world leader in the non-surgical treatment of adhesion-related pain, with over 30 years experience treating women’s health issues using manual physio/physical therapy.
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Mastectomy Pain Overview
Mastectomy is a life saving treatment for many women diagnosed with breast cancer. Like other surgeries, it can leave painful adhesions and scarring. Moreover, some patients are left with significant nerve damage after a mastectomy. Radiation therapy can cause additional adhesion formation in the irradiated areas.
In a total mastectomy, the entire breast is removed but the lymph nodes that extend into the armpit are left intact. This is often the course of action to treat and prevent further cancer when the lymph nodes are not involved. A modified radical mastectomy is even more invasive than the total mastectomy; it involves removal of the lymph nodes along the armpit and removal of the entire breast and nipple. Many women who undergo a modified radical mastectomy choose to proceed with an immediate or delayed breast reconstruction.
Women who have undergone a mastectomy can experience a variety of post-surgical symptoms. Pain may occur at the surgical scar, throughout the chest wall and into the neck, shoulders or arms. Mild to severe tightness can occur at the surgical site and throughout the chest cavity and neighboring structures as adhesive straitjackets envelop the area after the surgery. While pain in some women is attributed to cut nerves (which may be irreversible), we find adhesion formation to be a major cause of pain and tightness, or “frozen shoulder” after mastectomy in our patients.
As the first step in the healing process after surgery, tiny strands of collagen rush to the site that has been cut or irradiated. There, they lay down in a random pattern to create the powerful bonds we call adhesions. After a mastectomy, these adhesions tend to remain in the body for life as a permanent by-product of the surgery.
Clear Passage®️ Treatment
We have over 30 years of experience treating cancer-related post-surgical adhesions. We faced this situation three decades ago when our Director, physical therapist Belinda Wurn, developed severe adhesions after surgery and radiation therapy to treat cancer in her pelvis. Unable to work due to the pain and having seen the devastating effects of post-surgical adhesions in her own patients, she was determined to find a non-surgical way to decrease or eliminate adhesions.
With her husband, massage therapist Larry Wurn, she took a much deeper look at the etiology and biomechanics of adhesion formation. Together they found that the chemical bonds that attached each of the tiny collagen fibers to its neighbor appeared to dissipate or dissolve when placed under sustained pressure over time. With this knowledge, they developed the Clear Passage®️ approach to unravel the bonds between the fibers that comprise adhesions.
Other Treatment Options (Surgery, Drugs)
Until recently, lysis (burning or cutting adhesions during laparoscopy or laparotomy) was the only option to remove adhesions. While lysis of adhesions can be effective, surgery has major drawbacks:
- It carries risks associated with anesthesia or infection.
- Surgeons can mistakenly cut of burn nearby or underlying structures.
- Despite the best skills of the finest surgeon, the body tends to create more adhesions as it heals from the very surgery designed to remove them.