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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes heart palpitations, tightness in upper stomach after modified radical mastectomy?

Answered by
Dr. Rakesh Madhyastha


Practicing since :2009

Answered : 4360 Questions

Posted on Sat, 29 Nov 2014 in Heart Rate and Rhythm Disorders
Question: I am a 40 years old married female with no children. I have a history of breast cancer in 2010 and underwent modified radical mastectomy , chemo and radiation. now I am on tamoxifen and baby aspirin.
My complains are as follows:
1. Ever since 2010 I have been complaining from palpitations and rapid heart beat. I did a holter in 2012 and came normal. As well I did 100s of EKGs and 10 ECHO and all are normal. I wake up at night because of strong -pounding heart beat. I as well feel electric vibes in my chest, and buzzing sensation too. It happens only at night during my sleep. My resting heart rate is high 80s and high 90s
I am thin 42 kg and 167 cm tall I did not lose weight.
I have a history of GAD, OCD, Panic disorder and IBS
I have acidity and I feel tightness in my upper stomach. My blood pressure is always low 90/60 and this is my normal. I wake up deprived of energy, and feel tired all day. I feel pain in my muscles, especially my legs. I get tired fast when climbing the stairs or doing moderate activity. I use to exercise and walk half an hour, but after 20 min of walking I start to feel stabbing pain in my right side of chest where surgery is, so I quit.
I feel pain in my chest muscles and sometimes stabbing pain like needles in my chest and back.
I did chest x-ray came back normal, blood work normal and ultra-sound normal. I as well complain from inability to hold my urine, and despite the fact that I rush to the toilet yet I make a few drops. I also have hemorroids as the doctor said 3 degree, but I do not have any pain, I also don't feel anything apart from a small baloon that comes and goes.
Answered by Dr. Rakesh Madhyastha 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Beta blockers

Detailed Answer:

Thanks for the query

Many patients have reported similar issues where they have a pounding heart especially at night. These are most often reported in post chemo/ post surgical resection of the tumour patients . I have seen good response to two drugs in such patients
1. Beta blockers line propranolol, where resting heart beat is reduced and also some amount of sympathetic activity also decreases
2. tab amitryptaline taken at night also alleviates this sensation of pounding of the heart. It is also a mild sedative

I hope I was of help, if you have any further queries please get back to me

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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