Days after your mastectomy, you may feel a twitching where your breast used to be – a twitching in the chest wall.

Even though the skin may still be numb from the anesthetics used, you may feel some “creepy crawlies” or something like a worm squirming around in your chest, following your mastectomy.

What I’m describing can be thought of as an eyelid twitch in the chest – and certainly, like tens of millions of people, you’ve experienced twitching of your eyelid.

Well, that kind of feel can also occur in the chest muscle. It’s a fact of nature that muscles twitch.

I underwent an elective (prophylactic) double mastectomy without reconstruction. Several days later I felt some twitching going on in my chest muscle on one side.

And to be honest with you, IT FELT GOOD. It was like a tiny massage machine inside.

I did not worry at all. Muscles that have been traumatized are prone to benign twitching. This is why exercise is a leading cause of muscle twitching.

Though a prophylactic double mastectomy without reconstruction does not involve removal of any muscle tissue, the chest musculature certainly gets affected by the surgery.

I don’t know if this is why I felt some twitching several days later, or if it’s because I was short on minerals or even a little dehydrated.

But I was not worried.

There is a phenomenon called pectoral muscle spasms. The pectoralis is the chest muscle.

Pectoral muscle spasms may occur following a mastectomy. There is a report called Pectoral Muscle Spasms After Mastectomy Successfully Treated With Botulinum Toxin Injections that appears in the PM&R, the official scientific journal of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

The online abstract states that two women with “pectoral muscle spasms were successfully treated with botulinum toxin injections after they underwent mastectomy with breast reconstruction surgery.”

The term spasm is sometimes equated with twitching among laypeople. But a spasm causes painful cramping.

A spasm is a Charley horse in your calf muscle in the middle of the night that hurts to high heaven. An eyelid twitch is not a spasm.

It’s a twitch, a benign fasciculation. And this can occur in the chest muscle (pectoralis) after a mastectomy. This doesn’t mean it’s caused by the mastectomy.

Check with your surgeon if you’re concerned.

Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified by the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained clients of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health. 
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Top image: Shutterstock/Milleflore Images
Source: pmrjournal.org/article/S1934-1482(11)00116-X/abstract