Exercise After Breast Surgery

Exercise Promotes Healing After Breast Surgery

Breast surgery involves cutting the tissue of or closing a previously sustained wound in the tissue of a patient’s breast. This kind of surgery can be related to breast reduction, mammoplasty augmentation, mastectomy, lumpectomy, matopexy, breast conservation, incisions for drainage of a breast abscess, excision of lactiferous ducts, microdochectomy, an implant, and a number of other procedures. After surgery, patients are advised to stay away from vigorous exercise like running, jumping, and heavy lifting for 4 to 6 weeks to prevent the breast from suffering physical trauma while healing.
Exercise After Breast Surgery

However, failing to consistently exercise after breast surgery can prolong the healing process. Discuss with your surgeon how soon you can begin doing light exercise. The best thing you can do is consult with your surgeon after the surgery is over. He or she will give you a post-operational guidebook that will explain in detail what you must do to recover. Once you’ve been cleared to begin exercising, there are stretches you can do which promote healing and help patients regain their strength, flexibility, and range of motion. Your local breast clinic can help you find a skilled physical or occupational therapist to create an exercise program designed to meet your specific needs. One of the first steps towards recovery is to begin using the arm on the side the surgery was performed. Use it to eat, bathe, style your hair, and get dressed. Next, try laying down and raising the arm near the surgical site to shoulder level for a minute or two. Do it 2 to 3 times each day. With your arm at shoulder level open and close your hand between 15 and 25 times. Next, try bending and straightening your elbow. Do this about 3 or 4 times a day.Doing deep diaphragmatic breathing exercises 6 or more times a day can also help people heal from breast surgery. Begin by lying on your back and taking slow, deep breaths. Take in as much air as possible while expanding your abdomen and chest. Hold it for a few seconds then relax and breathe out. Do this about 4 or 5 times. This exercise will make it easier on your lungs and help you maintain normal chest movement. You should do these and other deep breathing exercises as often as possible. They can help promote healing.Stretching is one of the most important exercises after breast surgery. A breast clinic can provide guidance on using stretching to enhance healing. Some of the most popular stretching exercises include:

Wand exercise

Wand exercise
Lie on your back with your knees and hips bent and your feet on the floor.
Hold a broom handle across your stomach with both hands. With palms facing up, lift the broom as far over your head as you can. Hold that position for 5 seconds. Lower your arms. Do this exercise between 5 and 7 times. It helps increase range of motion.

Elbow winging

Lie on the floor. Join your hands behind your neck. Point your elbows towards the ceiling. Move your elbows apart gently and push them down towards the floor. When you’ve gone as far as you can, hold that position for 5 seconds. Repeat this exercise between 5 and 7 times. This helps increase range of motion in the chest and shoulder.

Shoulder stretch

To increase shoulder mobility, stand facing a wall with your feet 8 to 10 inches from it. Place both hands on the wall. Using your fingers, move your hands up the wall. Keep going until your arms are stretched as far as they can go without causing pain. You can also do this.

Chest wall stretch

The chest wall stretch is another great exercise that’s easy to do. You begin facing the corner of the room. With your toes about 10 inches from the wall, put your forearms on the walls on both side of the corner at about shoulder height. Slowly ease your chest as far as you can go into the corner while keeping your feet and forearms in place. Keep your shoulders down and away from your ears. Push back to the starting position slowly. Do this 5 to 7 times. This stretches your chest and shoulders.

Towel Stretch

While standing straight, drape a long bath towel over your right shoulder. Grab the front of the towel with your right hand. With your left hand grab the end of the towel that’s behind your back. Gently pull the towel downward with your right hand. When you feel the left arm stretch and the shoulder rotate, hold it for 30 seconds and then relax. Do 3 towel stretches on the right then switch and do 3 on the other side. Do this twice a day. It improves range of motion and the internal rotation of the shoulder joint.


Taking a warm shower is a great way to relax your muscles before exercising. Do all movements slowly. When you feel begin to feel your muscles stretching gently, hold the position for about 5 seconds. This helps to stretch the skin and muscles the surgery may have shortened. Focus on doing the exercises correctly. Taking deep breaths as you do the exercises is also important. Never bounce or do jerky movements while exercising. Do only gentle stretching. If you feel pain, stop immediately. If the pain persists, call your doctor.

It’s important to do regular exercises after breast surgery. Work with your surgeon to develop a time table for your readiness to begin doing some type of exercise. Whether you had augmentation, an implant, heart disease, or trauma, breast surgery is tough and scary, and dangerous. Fortunately with deep breathing, stretching, and strength training under the supervision of a skilled professional, healing is possible. Studies show the earlier people start doing exercises after breast surgery, the better their chances for a full recovery.

Still, recovery takes time. Take two weeks after your surgery to assess your health. Get all the information you can. Work to create an exercise program that helps to heal you and improve tour overall health. You can live a full life after breast surgery by gradually working your self back to good health. Just create and consistently follow a good exercise program.

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