- Cancer Information
- Managing side effects
- Breast prostheses and reconstruction
- Looking after yourself
- Being active
You will probably find it helpful to stay active and to exercise or move about regularly if you can. Light exercise after surgery, such as walking, can help people recover and improve their energy levels. Some women like to join a walking group or walk with friends so that exercise becomes a social event.
The amount and type of exercise you do will depend on what you are used to, how well you feel and what your doctor advises.
If you have a breast reconstruction, it will be a while before you can return to vigorous exercise and you may need to modify the exercise that you do. For example, if you have an abdominal flap reconstruction, you will need to take care and be gentle with tummy-based exercises. Talk to your doctor about the best exercise program for you.
Arm exercises after breast reconstruction
After surgery, you can slowly begin to exercise your arm on the advice of your treatment team. This will help the area feel better and recover faster.
For a guide to arm exercises you can do after breast surgery see Exercises After Breast Surgery now, or call Cancer Council 13 11 20 to check whether a printed copy is available.
A/Prof Elisabeth Elder, Specialist Breast Surgeon, Westmead Breast Cancer Institute and Clinical Associate Professor, University of Sydney, NSW; Jo Cockwill, Consumer;
Suzanne Elliott, Consumer; Bronwyn Flanagan, Breast Care Nurse, Brightways, Cabrini Hospital, VIC; Maina Gordon, Consumer; Gillian Horton, Owner and Corsetry Specialist, Colleen’s Post-Mastectomy Connection, ACT; Kerry Nash, Sales and Marketing Manager, Amoena Australia, NSW; A/Prof Kerry Sherman, Macquarie University and Westmead Breast Cancer Institute, NSW. We are grateful to Amoena Australia Pty Ltd for supplying the breast form images, which appear in this section. The breast reconstruction images have been reproduced with permission from Breast Cancer: Taking Control, breastcancertakingcontrol.com © Boycare Publishing 2010.
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