Having a mastectomy is a major surgery that can leave you feeling weak, isolated, and defeated. However, with physical therapy, you’ll have a support system that will encourage you every step of the way during your recovery process, until your pain has subsided and you have regained your strength.
At Pelham Physical Medicine, we know how difficult this time can be. We understand how much you’ve gone through, and we want to help you get back to your normal daily life. Contact our Bronx physical therapy office to find out more about post-mastectomy rehabilitation services and how we can help you recover.
How will post-mastectomy rehabilitation benefit me?
According to the American Physical Therapy Association, “Postoperative physical therapy that begins as early as 2 days after surgery significantly improves joint mobility and widely improves the quality of life for women who underwent mastectomies.”
In fact, in a study published by the European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, researchers examined the effects of physical therapy treatments on women scheduled for Madden’s modified radical mastectomy or segmental mastectomy with axillary dissection. These women were divided into two groups, with one group receiving post-mastectomy physical therapy, and a control group that did not.
Women who received the physical therapy rehabilitation treatments began their sessions two days after undergoing surgery. Sessions lasted 40 minutes, 5 days a week, during the duration of the drainage. After the drainage was removed, sessions increased to an hour, and the women completed 20 additional sessions.
Improvement in flexion was reported as early as 5 days after surgery in the treatment group, and progress gradually increased as these women continued their sessions. Results of this study concluded that the treatment group experienced improved joint mobility, reduced pain, and a widely improved quality of life compared to the control group, that had none of those outcomes.
How can I get started?
Physical therapy is an integral part of post-mastectomy recovery. Our Bronx physical therapists are highly trained in helping you regain your range of motion as quickly as possible, so you can avoid any unwanted complications, such as lymphedema. If this condition (or other complications) do happen to occur, our physical therapist will treat you accordingly and help bring you back to your normal function.
At Pelham Physical Medicine, you don’t only receive treatment – you receive a team of supporters to help you out and let you know you’re not alone in your journey. When you arrive for your initial appointment, our physical therapist will conduct a comprehensive exam to determine the best course of treatment for your needs. From there, an individualized treatment plan will be designed especially for you, including targeted stretches, exercises, and any additional modalities our physical therapist may deem fit.
It is likely that our physical therapist will also prescribe gentle stretches for you to do at home, in order to maintain progress and help your recovery period move along quicker. Our physical therapist may also advise slight lifestyle changes during your recovery time, such as using the affected arm (on the side the surgery was performed) to do all daily tasks, such as brushing your hair, eating, and bathing. This will help that arm regain strength while you are healing. However, it is likely that our physical therapist will advise against sleeping on that side of the body, as that may lead to swelling.
Have you recently undergone a mastectomy? At Pelham Physical Medicine, we are here for you during this difficult and trying time. We want to help you get back to your normal life as quickly as possible. Contact us today at Bronx, NY to schedule a consultation and get started on the path toward a speedy recovery.