What is post-mastectomy exercises?

Post-Mastectomy Exercises
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Exercising after breast cancer surgery: Overview

After breast cancer surgery, you may feel some pain going down your arm. Your shoulder and arm may be stiff and hard to move. You may also have some loss of feeling there.

Take good care of your arm on the side of your surgery. Your doctor or physical therapist can teach you arm exercises that will help you move your arm as you always have. But be careful not to overuse your arm. For example, do not lift anything heavy with your arm until your doctor says it is okay. Some basic exercises, such as shoulder shrugs and elbow circles, will help you start moving your arm.

How can you exercise safely after a mastectomy?

  • Do not start to exercise until your doctor says it is okay. If you are not sure how to do an exercise, don't start it until your doctor or physical therapist shows you exactly how to do it.
  • Stop exercising if your arm or chest area hurts or begins to swell. Talk with your doctor about your symptoms. Also call your doctor if you have problems doing an exercise or it hurts.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing while you do your exercises.
  • Use your arm for your usual activities, such as brushing your teeth and hair.

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