9- Keeping the Ball Rolling: More rehab after post-mastectomy reconstructive breast surgery?

Road Map to Recovery
  1. Mastectomy
  2. 6 weeks of tissue healing
  3. Rehab to normalize shoulder mobility and core strength –> Return to function
  4. Reconstructive breast surgery
  5. Rehab to continue shoulder strengthening and activity specific –> Return to activity/sport/work

This is up to you but we always recommend some sort of rehab after more surgery. This rehab duration maybe shorter than before because the reconstructive surgery is not as invasive as the initial mastectomy procedure. 

However, gaining and maintaining full shoulder ROM and core strength is very important to prevent future injuries. 

Without full range of motion, your body may start performing compensatory motions, which can later affect a different body part.  Your body is very good at finding ways to compensate without you realizing it! You may also feel weak from multiple surgeries and weeks of limited activity.  Carrying a load of laundry or picking up your child may be difficult if your core strength isn’t what it used to be. 

Also, if you want to return to a specific sport or manually intensive job, it is good to continue rehab and perform those movements with a trained specialist before hopping back into what you normally did before.

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!

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