exercise after breast reconstruction
by Kelik, Feb 19, 2008
What kind of exercises can one due (other than tread mill) after reconstruction surgery?  I have no tummy muscles as I had prior to surgery and am unable to due "tummy exercises".  When I do work at lifting my legs, I feel the muscle tightening just under my rib cage with great difficulty of lifting my legs.  Also, there are times my internal tummy area feels hard as a rock with the sensation of tightening muscles one has just prior to delivery of a baby.  My surgery was in Nov. of 2007 so it has been well over 1 year for healing.
by Cleveland ClinicBlank, Feb 20, 2008
Dear Kelik,  For patients with breast implant reconstructions, exercise can usually be resumed within 2 to 4 weeks. For patients with living tissue reconstructions (e.g. a TRAM flap), most exercise can usually also be resumed within 2 to 4 weeks, however, abdominal exercise should be limited for about two months.  Use caution with exercises that seem to cause you more difficulty or undue discomfort – you may want to discuss these issues with your surgeon.

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Member Comments (3)
by lhughes, Feb 20, 2008
You need to do some stretching exercises, gentle to start with increasing pressure to stretch those muscles out.  I went to the YMCA 4 months after my TRAM to do the strength training they provide (with a trainer).  The overhead pull worked wonders on getting the muscles in my upper torso and arms to stretch back out.

My reconstruction was May 06 and I still cannot do a sit-up or leg lift without cheating, but it IS getting some better.  I don't work at it as much as I should, but I've started back this winter trying to get things to stretch back out.  My back gets tight after the treadmill, so I've started concentrating on those muscles with the abdominals to help trim my waist and get the movement to return.

It takes time, but with guidance and gentle stretching on the muscles and tissues, things will start to feel a little better.  If you don't stretch them, they will get tight on you.

Good luck!
by boobsareoverated, Mar 03, 2008
I had bilateral tram 1 year ago. I couldn't even stand up straight for almost 7 weeks. It all depends on how much muscle was taken, was it bilateral or only 1. I wasn't even allowed to push a vaccuum for almost 4 months and had a weight limit of 5 lbs. Of course I also started chemo 5 weeks after surgery which also slows down your healing as it kills you white counts. There are so many different things that can factor into this. Stretching is a big part of getting started. Maybe see if your dr. will send you for some physical therapy to get your muscles slowly working properly without injury. That is what I did. They taught me what I could do at home so I wouldn't need any special equipment and now I'm able to do so much more.

Good luck.
by stepaheda, Aug 25, 2008
A related discussion, Exercise after a double mastectomy was started.