Breast skin texture change (orange peel-like) after lumpectomy?

Posted by MissLexyM @lindaalexis305, Dec 24, 2022

Hello Everyone,

This is difficult for me as I'm kind of shy, and find it hard to keep up with a forum, please forgive me? 😉

To sum it up, I am 59 and was recently diagnosed with ADH with borderline DCIS via a stereotactic biopsy. I had a lumpectomy with tissue reassignment 7 weeks ago because my breast surgeon removed so much tissue. Thankfully, it showed nothing. No atypical or malignant cells. They got the barely there microcalifications and found nothing else. Radiation was canceled and they will watch me with possible tamoxifen in the future.

I've had to go back a few times due to a tiny amount fluid (had drain removed,) hard swelling, pain, etc. They have found nothing and said it is from the surgery being so invasive / scar tissue. I was told to exercise it and massage. I had noticed a tiny amount of an orange peel texture in the same area, but it was minimal.

I'm now 7 weeks out, and I noticed a little more of this "orange peel" texture. I understand you are not doctors, but given the holiday, I can't reach my doctor until next week. I'm starting to stress over this. I'm thinking it's still fluid retention. No rash or severe swelling, just that hardness where the tissue was moved to.

Has anyone had this experience? I tried to look it up, but I keep coming here, so I decided to join. 🙂 I KNOW it can be IBC which is dangerous, but I'm wondering if it's from the surgery. I had a LOT of tissue removed and she went all the way to the chest wall 🙁 It has been a tough recovery and I wasn't expecting to wake up from surgery with all of this for a 1/2 inch area of microcalcifications.

Any insight would be so very helpful.

Thank you and have a wonderful holiday this week, however you celebrate!

Linda 💝

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Breast Cancer Support Group.

P.S. I wanted to clarify that it is more like several pockmarks, not true orange peel skin. Kind of like from acne. There’s no raised skin. If that makes sense.

REPLY

Linda, so sorry you are going through this. I had a similar situation when I was 49 of the surgeon removing a lot of tissue. I had LCIS at that time. What I’ve learned since then is lymph cannot move through scar tissue. So you are probably correct that it is fluid. Be gentle with yourself but continue to massage the scar and be persistent in reaching the Dr. tomorrow. Do something today to have fun. Thinking of you 🙏

REPLY

Welcome, @lindaalexis305. I’m so glad that you were able to overcome your hesitation about join the group. I completely agree with @jkh that it is likely that the pock marks are a result of surgery, perhaps interrupted flow of lymph fluid. I’m tagging a few other members who have experience with ADH and lumpectomy to bring in more experiences, like @trixie1313 @maureenmckean @leesal123 @cindylb and others.

In the meantime, Linda, you may also appreciate this discussion:
– Anyone dealing with Atypical Ductal Hyperplasia (ADH)? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/anyone-dealing-with-atypical-ductal-hyperplasia-adh/

REPLY
@jkh

Linda, so sorry you are going through this. I had a similar situation when I was 49 of the surgeon removing a lot of tissue. I had LCIS at that time. What I’ve learned since then is lymph cannot move through scar tissue. So you are probably correct that it is fluid. Be gentle with yourself but continue to massage the scar and be persistent in reaching the Dr. tomorrow. Do something today to have fun. Thinking of you 🙏

Jump to this post

Thank you so much jkh. I actually had some of the swelling go down and the pain dissipate. My post surgical bra helped that. My doctor's office was closed, so I have to try today (Tuesday.) I hope you are well and enjoyed your holiday. 🙂

REPLY
@colleenyoung

Welcome, @lindaalexis305. I’m so glad that you were able to overcome your hesitation about join the group. I completely agree with @jkh that it is likely that the pock marks are a result of surgery, perhaps interrupted flow of lymph fluid. I’m tagging a few other members who have experience with ADH and lumpectomy to bring in more experiences, like @trixie1313 @maureenmckean @leesal123 @cindylb and others.

In the meantime, Linda, you may also appreciate this discussion:
– Anyone dealing with Atypical Ductal Hyperplasia (ADH)? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/anyone-dealing-with-atypical-ductal-hyperplasia-adh/

Jump to this post

Hello Colleen and thank you so much for your additional help. I mentioned above that adding my post-surgical bra helped me get through the holiday. I was unable to see my doctor as her office was closed, but will reach her today. I do have a tremendous amount of hard tissue that is painful to massage. I'm not even certain I am doing it right. My surgeon is not particularly forthcoming with information. It's difficult at best. Thank you for the additional discussion. I'm grateful to be okay for now, or let's hope so. My pathology showed absolutely nothing, so it's even more confusing than the diagnosis, but I do know I need to be watched closely. We'll see what she says this week. Again, thank you. Have a wonderful day!

REPLY

I was diagnosed with DCIS in my left breast. I had a stereotactic biopsy, then a lumpectomy on 9/21. There were no lymph nodes taken with the lumpectomy. The DCIS was located in the upper, outer portion of my breast, around the 10:00-11:00 position. The lumpectomy pathology report had no cancer present stating it was removed during the biopsy. After the lumpectomy I had a spot near the incision site that was numb, which I understand can be normal. I developed a large Seroma that my surgeon drained a few weeks after surgery. 3 months later my breast still gets shooting pains & the nipple is hyper sensitive so I wear a comfort bra to keep my clothes from brushing up against it. The texture where the lumpectomy was has remained normal. Now I’ve noticed that the skin texture at the bottom, inner portion of my breast has changed. It’s hard to explain but the texture has changed, the skin feels thicker (I’m 62 & my skin is thin elsewhere) & a little rougher with less sensation, feeling kind of numb but with a bruised feeling if you apply pressure like a light pinch. Most of the shooting pains are in this part of my breast. The skin color is the same across my entire breast. Has anyone else experienced a change in their breast skin texture or thickness after a lumpectomy?

REPLY
@rene1636

I was diagnosed with DCIS in my left breast. I had a stereotactic biopsy, then a lumpectomy on 9/21. There were no lymph nodes taken with the lumpectomy. The DCIS was located in the upper, outer portion of my breast, around the 10:00-11:00 position. The lumpectomy pathology report had no cancer present stating it was removed during the biopsy. After the lumpectomy I had a spot near the incision site that was numb, which I understand can be normal. I developed a large Seroma that my surgeon drained a few weeks after surgery. 3 months later my breast still gets shooting pains & the nipple is hyper sensitive so I wear a comfort bra to keep my clothes from brushing up against it. The texture where the lumpectomy was has remained normal. Now I’ve noticed that the skin texture at the bottom, inner portion of my breast has changed. It’s hard to explain but the texture has changed, the skin feels thicker (I’m 62 & my skin is thin elsewhere) & a little rougher with less sensation, feeling kind of numb but with a bruised feeling if you apply pressure like a light pinch. Most of the shooting pains are in this part of my breast. The skin color is the same across my entire breast. Has anyone else experienced a change in their breast skin texture or thickness after a lumpectomy?

Jump to this post

@rene1636 absolutely this is more normal than you might think. Because this breast tissue isn’t like muscle tissue, there are all kinds of different tissues in a breast, when you cut through ducts and glands you get a different response.
I went through a period of all kinds of weird and sometimes painful sensations for the first year. Lessening throughout, I still have some funky scar tissue.
Try to be patient with yourself, you have been through a lot. Your body has had a trauma as well as a hit to your mental well being. If you are feeling anxious about this change notify your doctor and ask them to check it out.
Is there any other treatments in your overall plan? Follow up?

REPLY
@rene1636

I was diagnosed with DCIS in my left breast. I had a stereotactic biopsy, then a lumpectomy on 9/21. There were no lymph nodes taken with the lumpectomy. The DCIS was located in the upper, outer portion of my breast, around the 10:00-11:00 position. The lumpectomy pathology report had no cancer present stating it was removed during the biopsy. After the lumpectomy I had a spot near the incision site that was numb, which I understand can be normal. I developed a large Seroma that my surgeon drained a few weeks after surgery. 3 months later my breast still gets shooting pains & the nipple is hyper sensitive so I wear a comfort bra to keep my clothes from brushing up against it. The texture where the lumpectomy was has remained normal. Now I’ve noticed that the skin texture at the bottom, inner portion of my breast has changed. It’s hard to explain but the texture has changed, the skin feels thicker (I’m 62 & my skin is thin elsewhere) & a little rougher with less sensation, feeling kind of numb but with a bruised feeling if you apply pressure like a light pinch. Most of the shooting pains are in this part of my breast. The skin color is the same across my entire breast. Has anyone else experienced a change in their breast skin texture or thickness after a lumpectomy?

Jump to this post

Hi Rene,
I moved your message and @auntieoakley's reply to this existing discussion that @lindaalexis305 started here:
– Breast skin texture change (orange peel-like) after lumpectomy?https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/orange-peel-skin-after-lumpectomy/

I did this so you can read previous posts and connect easily with others experiencing skin texture changes after surgery.

REPLY
@auntieoakley

@rene1636 absolutely this is more normal than you might think. Because this breast tissue isn’t like muscle tissue, there are all kinds of different tissues in a breast, when you cut through ducts and glands you get a different response.
I went through a period of all kinds of weird and sometimes painful sensations for the first year. Lessening throughout, I still have some funky scar tissue.
Try to be patient with yourself, you have been through a lot. Your body has had a trauma as well as a hit to your mental well being. If you are feeling anxious about this change notify your doctor and ask them to check it out.
Is there any other treatments in your overall plan? Follow up?

Jump to this post

I had the Oncotype DX DCIS done & have a 9% chance of reoccurrence with no further treatment. Since nothing was found in the lumpectomy specimen I’m not planning on doing anything for treatment. I’m saving the opportunity for radiation in case of a reoccurrence or invasive BC. I also have osteoporosis so I’ve also decided against the Hormone suppressors & AI’s since they can lead to further bone loss & other medical issues effecting quality of life. I will be very diligent in getting a yearly mammogram followed by a breast MRI, since I have dense breast tissue, done 6 months apart. My thought is, if something else shows up in the future it should be caught early enough with the 2 scans to be treated. My main concern was the change in my skin that was no where near the incision site. I assumed any change would be with the incision or closer to it. Hmmmm, the things they never tell you to expect with breast surgery! 🤷🏻‍♀️

REPLY
@colleenyoung

Hi Rene,
I moved your message and @auntieoakley's reply to this existing discussion that @lindaalexis305 started here:
– Breast skin texture change (orange peel-like) after lumpectomy?https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/orange-peel-skin-after-lumpectomy/

I did this so you can read previous posts and connect easily with others experiencing skin texture changes after surgery.

Jump to this post

Thanks, I saw that post. The skin texture is different in my case. It’s not dimpled like orange peel, just feels thicker with rougher skin & low sensation. I love how doctors don’t tell you about 1/2 the things that you can experience other than the obvious being pain after surgery. I had hematomas, Seroma & now this.

Have a Happy New Year!!

REPLY
Please sign in or register to post a reply.