Postoperatively, when lymph nodes have been removed (mastectomy and/or lumpectomy with sentinel lymph node biopsy), it is very important to regain confidence and the ability to move your arm freely. Most of our cancer patients will see a physical therapist when they are seen at the Multidisciplinary Conference. This visit serves as a baseline, in case range of motion should be limited in the future. It is extremely important to be sure that patients regain their range of motion quickly following surgery.
Here are some relatively easy exercises that can be instituted within one week of most surgical procedures. Certainly, they should be gradually implemented. You may have some discomfort while performing these ‘moves’, however, if you have pain, you should stop.