Physical therapist Laryssa Buoneto of Memorial Sloan-Kettering describes an exercise regimen for women who have had breast surgery with reconstruction using a tissue expander. These exercises are designed to help you regain range of motion in the arm on the side where you had surgery. This means you will be able to move your arm above your head, out to your side, behind your neck, and to the middle of your back. Exaggerated deep breathing can help you relax and ease discomfort or tightness as you perform these exercises.
Women who have had breast reconstruction may be instructed to limit their range of motion when beginning these exercises. Your surgeon will increase this limit after your first follow-up visit.
Continuing these exercises after you regain full range of motion will help to prevent scar tissue from forming in your armpit and shoulder.