After Breast SurgeryDr. Howard Liss treats disorders that cause pain and disability by providing consultative services and soft tissue and joint injections when needed. When medically appropriate, he makes specific referrals for diagnostic testing (lab work, imaging, electrodiagnosis), physical and occupational therapy, interventional procedures (epidurals and facet joint injections), and surgery.
Whether breast surgery is elective or reconstructive in nature or may follow cancer or radiation treatments (mastectomy and lumpectomy), soft tissues in the shoulder, chest wall and arm are easily irritated and disturbed. With scarring, changes in sensation and feelings of tightness in the skin, many women find that they avoid movements or compensate due to pain or pulling. Yet, impaired mobility can result in more pain, as well as inflammation and stiffness in the shoulder. Due to circumstances surrounding breast surgery, some women suffer emotionally and psychologically, as the impact of surgery becomes all the more real.
Rehabilitation Following Mastectomy, Lumpectomy and Reconstructive Breast Surgery
With comprehensive, interventional rehabilitation that is personalized and attentive to the needs of women following breast surgery, Dr. Liss proposes treatment to empower women in their recovery.
Without question, rest, along with reducing pain and inflammation, take priority in early treatment. This is important as lymphatic vessels reconnect and healing from incisions takes place. Yet, when pain and inflammation are managed and the acute recovery period has passed, there is power in effective therapy and rehabilitation in improving long-term recovery, function, circulation and perceived quality of life. In addition, for those having received chemotherapy, physical therapy often reduces the effects of fatigue and nausea that linger following cancer treatment.
Specific physical therapy protocols vary from patient to patient, and may change slightly following a mastectomy, lumpectomy or breast reconstruction. Even so, physical therapy proves to help address the following:
- Postural imbalances
Under the direction of the physiatrist, concentrated efforts are made to enhance the mobility of the shoulder joint, girdle and core. Massage may be incorporated to target scarring, as well as desensitization techniques to address tightness and impaired movements. In turn, women may engage in selective lumbar strengthening exercises to improve posture and positioning. While this regimen proves to strengthen back and core muscles, correct posture promotes long-term pain relief and injury prevention.
At the Howard Liss, M.D. Rehabilitation Institute, patients can rely on Dr. Liss to put together the right treatment, therapy and rehabilitation plan to ensure the most optimal outcome. Dr. Liss works closely with other specialists required to rehabilitate patients suffering from chronic pain or serious injuries, and Dr. Liss will refer patients as needed to ensure appropriate treatment. With extensive education and exposure to a variety of conditions that affect the cervical and lumbar spine, bones, nerves, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, brain, and spinal cord, Dr. Liss is uniquely positioned to help patients manage their pain and maximize their functioning.
If you have undergone breast surgery and are experiencing pain or impaired mobility, Dr. Liss welcomes you to contact the Howard Liss, M.D. Rehabilitation Institute today.