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As part of the Breast Therapy Service offered here at King Edward VII’s Hospital, our breast Physiotherapist will aim to see you for a pre-operative session either face to face or via zoom. This will ensure you have all the information you require prior to your surgery as well as allowing us to assess your baseline function.
Following your breast surgery it’s possible that you may experience tightness of the muscles and/or connective tissue, reduced range of motion and joint mobility in the area of surgery, scarring and scar adhesions, changes in posture and fatigue and general deconditioning.
All breast surgery patients will be offered a follow-up appointment with our breast Physiotherapist around 2 weeks post-surgery. At this appointment we will assess:
• your incision (scar) for healing
• your mobility and range of motion in your shoulder and surrounding joints
• your posture
• any physical side effects of treatment
• your risk factors for lymphedema
• your general fitness
Our specialist breast Physiotherapist can help to manage these issues and support you through your on-going treatment. Here at King Edward VII’s we can help you with the following issues:
• Shoulder range of motion – your Physiotherapist can use a range of manual and soft tissue techniques to ensure you regain your full shoulder movement.
• Scar tissue mobilisation – your physiotherapist will use specific massage techniques and teach you how to do these at home to improve scar tissue management.
• Reduced muscle strength – following surgery, you may experience decreased muscle strength and core control. Your Physiotherapist will work with you to create an individualised exercise programme. You may also benefit from gentle Pilates and eventually progressing to 1:1 reformer Pilates with our trained Physiotherapist.
• General deconditioning – depending on the type of treatment you have undergone, you may experience general body weakness, particularly after a cycle of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Physiotherapy can get you back to your normal routine and sporting activities by prescribing a tailor-based exercise program for you. We also have a Hydrotherapy pool which can use used at certain stages in treatment.
• Cording (Axillary web syndrome) – cording is caused by inflammation, scarring, and eventually hardening of the lymphatic and vascular vessels. This can restrict your shoulder range of motion. Your Physiotherapist can use a range of specialist techniques to reduce the cording and restore you full range of motion.
• Lymphoedema – following surgery or radiotherapy to the armpit, you are at a higher risk of developing lymphoedema. Your risk of Lymphoedema will depend on the type of axillary surgery that you have had. Your Breast CNS can talk you through your risks of developing Lymphoedema with personalised preventative advice. Our Physiotherapist can help manage Lymphoedema if you develop it.
At King Edward VII’s Hospital we have a specialist MSK Physiotherapist trained in the assessment, management and treatment of Lymphoedema. Lymphoedema is a swelling that develops as a result of an impaired lymphatic system. The lymphatic system is a network of vessels and lymph nodes that help drain lymph fluid and plays an important role in supporting your body’s immune system. Damage to the lymphatic’s can cause swelling and an increased risk of infection. It can affect any part of the body but is most commonly seen in an arm or a leg. Here at King Edward’s we most commonly see patients following breast surgery and/or radiation therapy or post orthopaedic surgery. There’s no cure for lymphoedema, but it’s usually possible to control the main symptoms using techniques to minimise fluid build-up and stimulate the flow of fluid through the lymphatic system.
Our specialist Physiotherapist can offer the following treatments for Lymphoedema:
• Manual lymphatic drainage (MLD) is a very gentle skin stretching technique or massage designed to move the skin in specific directions based on the underlying structure and physiology of the lymphatic system. The stretching and massage techniques are designed to stimulate the lymphatic vessels which carry substances vital to the body’s defences and remove waste products. The aim of MLD is to move fluid to an area where it can flow more freely.
• Personalised exercise programmes
If compression garments are required we can measure the patient and arrange for provision of the garments through the patients GP
There is a reason why over 98% of our patients would recommend King Edward VII’s Hospital to family and friends.
Book your consultation today: Call 020 7467 4344