Which activity modifications are required for patients undergoing axillary dissection?

Updated: Mar 11, 2019
  • Author: Hemant Singhal, MD, MBBS, MBA, FRCS, FRCS(Edin), FRCSC; Chief Editor: Erik D Schraga, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

The patient can be taught a full range of shoulder exercises preoperatively. The range of shoulder movement should be assessed preoperatively.

Postoperatively, the same exercises are encouraged to ensure full mobility. Patients are generally advised to avoid any heavy lifting with the arm on the side of the cancer, which will potentially reduce risk of lymphedema and also avoid any unnecessary trauma, including iatrogenic intervention on that arm to reduce risk of infection.


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