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J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2012 Sep;65(9):1199-203. doi: 10.1016/j.bjps.2012.04.003. Epub 2012 Apr 26.

Intercostal neuroma as a source of pain after aesthetic and reconstructive breast implant surgery.

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Department of Surgery, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, 110 Francis Street, Suite 5A, Boston, MA 02215, USA.


The development of persistent post-operative pain after implant placement for aesthetic or reconstructive breast surgery can lead to significant patient morbidity. Although there are many etiologies for post-operative pain, the diagnosis of an intercostal neuroma is important as this can be treated surgically. We describe three cases of an intercostal neuroma in patients with breast implants. A Tinel's sign can be elicited along the lateral chest wall and a local anesthetic block temporarily alleviates this pain. Surgical management with identification and clipping of the intercostal neuroma and burying into the underlying muscle significantly decreases post-operative pain long term. In patients with persistent pain after breast implant placement, plastic surgeons must be aware of this treatable cause of pain.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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