A woman may experience the Phantom Breast Syndrome after mastectomy. This may be associated with significant pain in some patients. Similar sensations may be seen in patients after limb amputation (phantom limb) or organ removal.


The Phantom Breast Syndrome is defined as the sensation of persistence of the breast after surgical removal.



(1) non-painful

(2) painful (phantom breast pain), which may be intermittent or fairly constant


Pain may be experienced as involving either:

(1) nipple only

(2) entire breast


Types of pain:

(1) exteroceptive: knifelike, sticking, shooting, pricking

(2) proprioceptive: squeezing, throbbing, burning, pressing, crushing

(3) mixed (both exteroceptive and proprioceptive)


Some patients may notice that the symptoms can be precipitated or relieved by activities such as:

(1) emotional stress

(2) exercise

(3) change in weather

(4) heat

(5) pressure

(6) clothing (rubbing or pressure)

(7) other


In addition, some patients had pain associated with the surgical scar (cicatrix or cicatricial pain).


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