What is it and how do I fix it?
Although it might sound like some kind of fancy curtain accessory, Mondor’s cord is actually a fairly common occurrence post breast augmentation. Whilst it usually occurs in the first 6-12 weeks post op, it’s not completely unheard of to develop Mondor’s cord at 9, 12 or 18 months post op.
So what is it?
To break it down, Mondor’s Cord, also known as ‘superficial thrombophlebitis’ is an inflammation in a vein near the breast following surgery or trauma to the breast – such as post breast augmentation surgery.
It’s harmless, but annoying, and can be quite tender.
Interestingly, you can experience trauma to your breast area through other means such as wearing a bra with the band too tight, or a tight fitting sports bra (as this author learned the hard way).
It’s important to be aware of where your garments are sitting and avoid wearing things that rub tightly against your incision site, no matter how many months/years post op you are.
Mondor’s cord will usually present with redness, tenderness and some mild discomfort at the affected site. The vein will appear inflamed and can usually be felt as a firm cord.
Mondor’s cord can be located right under the breast with a crease incision and under the arms with a transaxillary incision. They can range from a few centimetres long or can extend all the way to your abdomen.
You will usually only experience pain or a pulling feeling at the site when you stretch your arms above your head or out to the side.
Treatment of Mondor’s cord is usually limited to managing the symptoms of pain and discomfort. Paracetamol or an anti-inflammatory medication may be recommended by your surgeon or surgeons nurse.
If you develop Mondor’s cord, don’t panic. They resolve on their own in time. However, it is necessary to get in contact with your surgeon or their office so they can assess you.