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Post-operative Exercises for Breast Cancer Patients

Background
 
In 2012, Eastern Health awarded a Lighthouse Grant to the Physiotherapy team at St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital, providing funding to develop an educational exercise video for patients who had undergone breast cancer surgery. 
 
Physiotherapists typically see breast cancer patients before they have breast surgery to make an assessment and to provide them with education regarding posture, positioning, exercise and lymphedema prevention.
 
The video
 
The exercises are presented in the order that individuals should progress after surgery. The video begins with postural correction and relaxed breathing followed by a gentle range of motion exercises. It progresses to more advanced stretches and strengthening exercises as well as advice for building stamina.
 
  • Helps patients remember the information provided by their physiotherapist. 
  • Helps breast cancer surgery patients return to full function. 
  • Allows patients to listen to instructions and watch demonstrations of the exercises on their own time and in the comfort of their home.  
  • Does not replace information provided by the patient’s health-care provider and it does not replace visits to the physiotherapist. 
Patients who experience any of the following symptoms should contact their health-care provider immediately:
  • Fever or chills
  • Increasing redness around the incision 
  • Any wound drainage
  • Opening of the wound
  • Signs of infection
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Increased chest or arm pain 
  • Reduced ability of movement 
  • Increased swelling of the neck, arm or chest
Inspiring Stories
 
The video concludes with three inspiring interviews. Cynthia, Shirley, Lisa and their partners share their personal journeys dealing with breast cancer diagnoses, and provide practical suggestions to help others recover.
 
Watching the video
 
Patients may watch from start to finish or in segments.  An outline and time sequence is provided below and at the beginning of the video, so the video may be stopped, started and replayed by clicking on the time line below the video.  
 
 
 
Feedback?
 
We hope viewers find the video helpful and welcome feedback to:
St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital - Physiotherapy  Department
154 LeMarchant Road
St. John’s, NL, Canada
A1C 5B8
 
Other  Resources

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Updated May 27, 2016