How To Relieve Pain From Tissue Expanders – Naturally
One of the things I hear most frequently from women going through breast implant reconstruction is their pain and frustration over those darned tissue expanders, so today I’m offering some information on how to relieve the pain from tissue expanders – naturally.
Tissue expanders are temporary devices implanted within chest muscles after a mastectomy, the main goal being to expand the tissues of the chest in order to accommodate an implant after removal of the patient’s own breast. The point of the tissue expanders is to make room for a permanent breast implant, and it is the muscles that are being stretched that are the source of the pain and discomfort.
Depending on the elasticity of your skin, it can be a very painful and uncomfortable process. This is not true for everyone and it should be said that the pain and discomfort are temporary. But for those going through it, it can be pretty miserable, so here is some help for you.
There are certain essential oils that are very good for improving the elasticity of skin, the best ones being lavender, myrrh and geranium. The essential oils of wintergreen, peppermint and copaiba can also help to relieve pain and inflammation – without the use of NSAIDS, opiates (Yes! I know one doctor who prescribes Vicodin for this pain!) or other pharmaceutical drugs.
How to Relieve Pain From Tissue Expanders – Naturally
You will need:
1 small glass bowl
1 larger glass bowl
Organic, unrefined coconut oil
Essential Oils for Improving Skin Elasticity – lavender, myrrh and geranium – make sure they’re high quality oils, I only use Young Living Essential Oils
Essential Oils for Pain Relief and Inflammation – wintergreen, peppermint, copaiba, clove
Step 1. We will work on pain relief first. Put about 1/2 tsp of coconut oil into the smaller glass bowl, set aside for a moment.
Step 2. Pour boiling water into the larger second bowl.
Step 3. Place the smaller glass bowl containing the coconut oil into the larger glass bowl. The boiling water will melt and warm the coconut oil. Once the coconut oil has melted, usually after a minute or two, just add 2-3 drops of each of wintergreen, peppermint and/or copaiba or clove (you can skip the boiling water and melting part of this if it’s a hot day and your coconut oil is already liquid!).
Step 4. Now dip your fingertips into the bowl containing the oils and gently massage into the sore tissues of your chest that are being expanded. Easy does it. These particular oils really help relieve pain and inflammation, as will the gentle massage. You could also do some gentle movement like yoga stretching. A cold gel pack can help a lot with pain if you’re in a hurry.
For Improving Elasticity of Tissue
Just go through steps 1-4 above, only substitute 2-3 drops each of lavender, geranium and/or myrrh. They all help to improve the elasticity of the skin, as will the warm coconut oil and gentle massage.
You can use this procedure as often as needed.
I hope that helps!
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The information provided on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem and please be sure to consult your health care professional when making decisions about your health.
Going through chemotherapy and reconstruction at the same time has made life very difficult over the past two months. But when I read about the possible relief from warming the coconut oil and adding the other essential oils, I gave it a try. Ah..relief at last…the tightness was relieved along with that uncomfortable expanding feeling. This will be added to my nightly routine, because I hadn’t slept better for a long time. Thanks so much Marnie!
Thanks for letting me know! I’m so glad this has helped you. You are very welcome and keep up the good work.
Hi Marnie – Does this help with elasticity of skin, post-radiation, as well?
Yes! Use the same procedure, only use the essential oils under the section “For Improving Elasticity of Tissue”. Coconut oil, combined with essential oils and massaged into radiated tissue, is amazingly healing.
Thanks for your question!
The recipe for control of the pain was a true blessing. The pills upset my stomach so much. I gave it a try. To my astonishment the oils really did help and the smell was soothing as well. I am sure I benefited from the little massages I got while applying the oils. Definitely beats an upset stomach.
That’s great – thanks for your feedback! The power of essential oils is truly astonishing and I’m so glad the recipe and procedure was helpful to you. These particular oils are all about anti-inflammation and pain relief (among many other qualities). I’ve been using and recommending them for many years for exactly these reasons. Wishing you the very best.
Just had my first fill yesterday and thought I was going to come out of my skin today. I started searching for oil recipes and found this site! Thankfully I had all the oils I needed and now I am so relieved! Thank you!
I’m sorry for the late reply. Thanks for your comment, I’m so glad you were able to get some relief, that’s awesome. Thanks for the feedback!
Hi Marnie, I’m so happy I came across your site. I just recently had a bilateral mastectomy and am under going breast reconstruction. I have expanders in, and had my 1st fill last week. I’ve had pressure, tightness, and constriction since the expanders were put it on May 18th and the feeling is unbearable, and it doesn’t seem to be subsiding. On top of that, I’m also experiencing the burning, sensitivity and irritation of PMPS (I feel like I have a constant sunburn and anything that touches my upper chest area is extremely irritating), and I’ve developed Axillary Web Syndrome. I read your article entitled How To Relieve Pain From Tissue Expanders – Naturally. Since I’m experiencing discomfort due to skin elasticity AND pain due to PMPS, can I mix ALL the ingredients listed together (from the 2 separate recipes), or should I make a batch of each separately and massage them into my chest as needed?
Is there something else you suggest for PMPS? Are there any stretching exercises you suggest to help ease the tension in the muscles?
Thank you so much for all your wisdom, guidance and support.
I really sympathize with you! I think you may have a variety of things going on. The feeling of constant sunburn can be caused by nerve damage but it can be difficult to diagnose when you have so many things going on. I certainly can’t diagnose the problems you are having so I am going to recommend you go back to your surgeon and complain! Let them know exactly what is going on and see if they recommend anything for you. In the meantime, I would use the oil recipe for pain first. Let’s get that pain under control and then try the other recipe for improving skin elasticity. There are definitely stretches which will help to ease muscle tension, I recommend yoga and deep tissue massage. I will send you some information via email. I hope this answers your questions, at least in part.
Hi Marnie, I just came across your site, I need to try your method. I had my 2nd fill and I’m in so much PAIN. I literally want to rip these expanders off😞 I have been taking Vicodin and a muscle relaxer as needed. But, I’m still in a lot pain, uncomfortable with an upset stomach from the medication. I told my surgeon of the pain and he said it’s just the process of the skin stretching. He even had me come in every 2 weeks to relieve some of the pain. I will purchase these items today. Thank you
So far, the reports have all been favorable on this method. I am sorry you are in so much pain. I’m convinced that if breast surgeons had to go through this, they wouldn’t be so keen to recommend it to their patients. It’s AWFUL! Wishing you much success with this method, I hope it affords you some relief.
All the best,
My brother who is now 30 was in a motorcycle accident back on Oct 1, 2015. He wasn’t wearing a helmet and completely amputated his nose and upper lip and had a lot of damage from his face smacking and sliding across the pavement (no helmet). After many different attempts at reconstructing a nose they decided to go for the tissue expansion in his head to then use the skin to go over a prosthetic. He has had a few fills since getting the initial surgery to have the tissue expander put in and this last one today was 30cc and left him in so much pain he’s been crying and basically screaming in pain. He has had over 20 surgeries now and has such a high pain tolerance but this is something completely different he says. The pain meds haven’t been helping and I am so glad I found this page! I made the oil for him with the oils I had. Missing a few but just ordered them from amazon because the ones I had made such a difference for him. He is finally sleeping comfortably. At first I wasn’t sure if this would work but we were willing to try anything. Thank you so much!
Thanks for sharing that – my goodness what a time your brother has been through. He’s very lucky to have you there looking out for him. I’m happy to know that the oils helped him. I would just recommend that you make sure to use therapeutic grade oils – and not all of the ones on Amazon are. If you’d like help in sourcing high quality oils, let me know.
Sending blessings for your brother’s continued improvement.
OMG- I went through surgery June 11. My appointment for the 1st fill in on Thursday, and I am afraid…I am so sore, just from the surgery- I cant imagine stretching the skin just yet…….I may delay my first fill one more week…get some supplies, and pre treat the area before my first fill…
Oh, you poor thing. Yes, it’s painful I’m sure. Be sure to try this protocol, I think you’ll find it very helpful. Let me know how you get on!