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  • Carol Michaels

Some Women Opt Out of Breast Reconstruction

Why do some women opt out of breast reconstruction following mastectomy?

There are numerous physiological implications of breast reconstruction. Fortunately, proper exercises can decrease the risk of debilitating impairments.

There is a good chance that patients undergoing reconstruction will be at increased risk of suffering from pain, tightness, loss of range of motion and frozen shoulder. Some patients might want to opt out because they are aware of these potential side effects and understand the risks involved in long and multiple surgeries and other potential problems like necrosis and infection.

The discomfort from the pain and tightness due to breast reconstruction can cause poor posture. As a result, rather than try to correct poor posture, sufferers will adopt a form of protective, but incorrect posture such as a head forward position (not in line with the body) and shoulders that are hunched or rounded forward. Radiation can shorten and stiffen the pectoral muscles.

Reconstruction can exacerbate upper cross syndrome, which is a muscle imbalance that can lead to head, neck and back pain. It alters your posture and creates a whole set of additional problems. It is necessary for the patient to stretch the tight muscles and strengthen the weak muscles. These include stretches that loosen the pectorals and neck area and exercises that strengthen the rhomboids and lower traps. The goal is to regain range of motion and then strengthen the weakened muscles.

In future articles, I will discuss some of the reconstructive surgeries and the exercises that are necessary to decrease the risk of debilitating impairments.

If you are suffering from the side effects of surgery and treatments call Carol at 973-379-4779 or email to

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