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Mondor's Cord

Mondor’s Cord is not really a complication, however it is something that some patients do experience anywhere from 1 to 4 weeks after the surgery.  It is considered a benign occurrence of a superficial vein inflammation (thrombophlebitis) of the chest wall and mammary region.   Mondor’s Cord was named after Henri Modor (1885-1992), a famous French surgeon who originally described them.

Mondor's Cord appear with firm “cord-like” bands that form just under the skin near the breast.  Mondor’s Cord appears when the veins near the site of surgery (the breast) have been traumatized during the procedure. It is the result of an inflamed or hardened blood vessel or vein. 

 

                                        

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The condition of Mondor’s Cord appears as one or more raised ridge or “cord like” veins noticeable under the skin, near the site of the surgical procedure. The cord like veins begins at the breast and extends down onto the abdominal area. The veins appear swollen, and there can be some pain associated with this complication, however, typically they are just more a nuisance.  Mondor’s Cord can either show up in single formation or sometimes appear in a multiple pattern.  These cord-like structures are temporary and they do go away with time. The inflamed vein poses no danger of systemic embolization.

Usually over the counter medications such as ibuprofen or a prescription anti-inflammatory will take away the pain, and also applying a warm washcloth over the area will help reduce the inflammation.  The most common cause is basically having any incision near or around the breast, and can occur with breast reconstruction, breast augmentation, breast reduction, breast lift (mastopexy) and biopsies.  These cords can appear in the upper outer area of either breast, below the crease line or in the underarm.  The raised veins will feel firm and tight and can even feel slightly warm to the touch.

 

 

Typically Mondor’s Cord will almost always resolve itself without any special care. Mondor’s Cord can be treated with anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen, indomethacin, and aspirin if there is pain associated with this condition.  Hot wet compresses help tremendously and can help with the swelling.  Most of the time, Mondor’s Cord resolves itself within 2 weeks to 2 months.  Mondor's cord is not dangerous, requires no surgical intervention, and will not adversely affect the results of breast augmentation, a breast lift, breast reduction or breast reconstruction. 

This condition is a rare occurrence, with only 1 to 2 percent of breast surgery patients. 

 

 

 

 

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