These surgeries include wide local excisions (lumpectomy), mastectomies, axillary dissections and all reconstructive procedures.
THE ROLE OF PHYSIOTHERAPY
- Maintain shoulder and arm function and movement
- Explain that shoulder use is an important part of breast surgery
- Prepare shoulder for further treatment (radiotherapy / chemotherapy)
- Educate regarding lymphoedema
- Promote better surgical recovery—movement and exercise is good
- Physiotherapy prior to breast reconstruction is important, particularly for those having a TRAM flap (tummy muscle) or latissimus dorsi (back muscle) reconstruction
- Breast reconstructions are a major operation and can involve a 3-7 day stay in hospital
- The aim of physiotherapy is to work with the surgeon and nurses to ensure optimal movement in line with post surgical requirements
- Further information booklets are available regarding breast reconstruction surgery. These will be given to patients at the pre surgery appointment
- The physiotherapist will usually see you in hospital following your surgery if you stay overnight
- There are different types of surgeries and these include wide local excisions, axillary dissections, mastectomy and breast reconstructions
- Early post surgical mobilisation promotes blood flow, ensures good air entry to the lungs and reduces shoulder stiffness
- Physiotherapy exercises include early shoulder movement, deep breathing techniques, lymph flow advice and postural exercises
- Your physiotherapist will want you to move!
- The physiotherapist will arrange follow up care with you upon discharge from hospital. This may involve a phone call initially and then treatment in our rooms. Your physiotherapist will liaise with your surgeon and oncology team to ensure thorough communication. You may be advised to join the Breast cancer exercise class.
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