The journey to recovery is long once diagnosed with breast cancer or when making a preventative decision. It can be physically and emotionally draining with so many doctors appointments, therapy sessions, and procedures.
How do you navigate this journey?
Road Map to Recovery
- 6 weeks of tissue healing
- Rehab to normalize shoulder mobility and core strength –> Return to function
- Reconstructive breast surgery
- Rehab to continue shoulder strengthening and activity specific –> Return to activity/sport/work
What is a mastectomy?
A mastectomy is a surgical procedure that removes a part of or the entire breast.
Types of mastectomy:
Total Mastectomy: The entire breast is removed.
Radical Mastectomy: The entire breast is removed and the axillary lymph node is also dissected
Partial Mastectomy or Lumpectomy: Only the cancerous portion of the breast tissue is removed
Nipple-sparing Mastectomy: All the breast tissue is removed except for the nipple
Some women decide to have their breast reconstruction during the same operation as the mastectomy. Others wait some time to get the breast rebuilt. Some don’t get it rebuilt at all because they don’t want to deal with things “weighing them down.”
Pros to Mastectomy Plus Reconstruction
- 2 in 1 procedure.
- Wake up and still have breasts.
- Help your breasts look natural under clothing.
Cons to Mastectomy Plus Reconstruction
- Needs to heal before chemotherapy so it delays treatment.
- Involves other surgical procedures such as liposuction or a tummy tuck which can be painful simultaneous to the chest incisions.
Please see our “New Boobs” blog post for more info on types of breast reconstruction!
If you have more questions, please book an appointment with Dr. Ann DeGrey, PT, DPT, SCS or Dr. Lei Lee, PT, DPT for more information and to develop a plan!