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Arm Stretches after Mastectomy or Breast Reconstruction

Medically reviewed by Last updated on May 6, 2024.


Arm stretches

can prevent arm and shoulder stiffness. You may need to wait until after your drains or stitches are removed to begin stretching. You may need to see a physical therapist. A physical therapist teaches you exercises to help improve movement and strength, and to decrease pain. You may be able to start stretching exercises 3 to 7 days after surgery. This may depend on the type of surgery you have had. Do not stretch until your healthcare provider says it is okay. It may help to take a warm shower or pain medicine before you stretch.

Arm stretches from a lying position:

Arm stretches from a sitting position:

Arm stretches from a standing position:

Follow up with your doctor as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.