How do I strengthen my arms after a mastectomy?

Raise your arms up to shoulder height, or whatever height you can without pulling on your drains, and lower them again a few times. Repeat this 3 or 4 times a day. These exercises help move lymph fluid out of your arm and help restore movement. You can exercise your affected arm while it’s raised.

What kind of exercise can I do after mastectomy?

In many cases, your surgeon may want you to start doing gentle stretching exercises, such as shoulder rolls or arm circles 2 or 3 days after surgery. Until you have your surgeon’s OK, don’t do any strenuous exercise such as high-impact aerobics, jogging, swimming, or lifting weights.

How do you prevent cording after a mastectomy?


  1. Stretching exercises. The key to recovery is consistently doing special exercises that stretch the cords and allow you to move your arm more freely and with less pain.
  2. Pain medication. The exercises can be uncomfortable.
  3. Swimming.
  4. Laser therapy.
  5. Manual therapy.

How long after mastectomy can you raise your arms?

You may return to low-impact exercises after surgery once your pain is controlled and you feel comfortable. If you have breast reconstruction: You should not lift your arm above shoulder level until cleared by your plastic surgeon. You may return to low-impact exercises four weeks after surgery.

What are the post-operative exercises?

Post-Operative Exercises

  • Ankle Range-of-Motion.
  • Knee Extension.
  • Straight Leg Raise.
  • Knee Flexion–Seated.
  • Heel Raises.
  • Hip Abduction.
  • Hip Extension.

How long after mastectomy can you lift your arms?

You should avoid repetitive motions with the arm on the surgical side, such as vacuuming, for two weeks after surgery. Avoid heavy lifting for 4 weeks.

How long sleep on back after mastectomy?

Sleep Positions After Breast Surgery Our board-certified plastic surgeons advise breast reconstruction patients to sleep on their backs for the first two weeks after surgery. Many women choose to sleep in a recliner during this time.

What does cording look like in arm?

Over a period of weeks, it gradually thickens and becomes palpable and visible, looking like a tight cord under the skin. It may be a thin cord, or there can be more than one cord, creating a thick web of hardened tissue in the axilla.