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Physical Therapy for Women
              Following Breast Cancer Surgery
                               Breast Reconstruction Surgery

The Road to recovery after Breast Cancer Surgery

Unfortunately, many women devote so much time, energy and courage to simply getting through breast cancer surgery that they often neglect their recovery plan. A proper recovery plan requires attention to psychological mental and physical healing. If women are able to regain control of their physical recovery, it will indirectly affect the other components in the recovery plan. In addition to lymphedema, various other physical problems may arise after breast cancer surgery. these problems will vary depending upon the woman, the specific type of surgery and the reconstruction efforts. Through the aid of a specially trained physical therapist, woman should be able to recognize, treat and control these different physical problems and allow them to take control of their physical recovery.

What causes pain and how can a physical therapist help me?

The incision site itself may certainly cause a great deal of pain. scar tissue can adhere to nerve cells causing a variety of sensations including plan. A physical therapist can address the scar and tight tissue surrounding the incision through manual techniques such as scar and soft tissue mobilization. Scar mobilization techniques can also be taught to the patient. Muscle guarding and spasm is a normal response to any injury including surgery. This guarding is not only painful, but it can lead to a particularly debilitation "frozen shoulder". Specific exercises can help stretch this tissue and prevent further tightening of the affected arm.

Should I wait until all my treatments are completed before seeking physical therapy?

Not necessarily. This would certainly need to be discussed with your physical first, but physical therapy can be beneficial both before and during certain treatments. during radiation therapy, a patient must lie very still with her arm extended overhead. This position can be very uncomfortable if arm tightness or pain persist after breast surgery. addressing the tightness and pain through specific exercises and modalities can make radiation treatments more comfortable for patients.

Some woman choose reconstruction with an implanted prosthesis. In this case, an expander is placed and periodically filled with saline to stretch the muscle and skin. As a result , the pectoralis muscle will respond by involuntary contraction or spasms. These spasms can be controlled through both manual stretching and exercises.

What Should I expect at Physical Therapy

At your initial evaluation with the physical therapist, it is important for her to know what type of surgical procedures was performed (simple mastectomy, modified mastectomy, etc), if any cosmetic procedures were done at the time of surgery (breast reconstruction, implants, or expanders), and if you are having any concurrent chemotherapy, radiation therapy. The therapist will also assess the range of motion of your arms and neck, strength of your arms and trunk, and evaluate your posture. Soft tissue Mobility of your scars and surrounding tissue will also be addressed. After evaluating your strengths and weaknesses, your therapist will design an individualized treatment plan. The ultimate goal is to become independent with a complete home exercise program designed to address your specific needs.

2 Locations to Better serve you

4237 13th street
St. Cloud Florida 34769
(407) 957-6290

901 N. Central Avenue
Kissimmee, Florida 34741

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