TRAM Flap Reconstruction And Pilates Exercise


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Strength training

If you have had TRAM flap reconstruction surgery after breast cancer there are some things that you should consider prior to Pilates exercise. You should be aware that there are side effects of TRAM flap surgery such as muscle weakness in the shoulder and back area.

Typically someone who has been through this type of surgery will begin to develop postural issues if they do not concentrate on strengthening the shoulder and back area. Weakness can occur in the abdominal area. This weakness can have the knock on effect of back pain and decreased trunk stability.

There are a few different types of reconstruction surgery. Pilates can be a great form of exercise that can be adapted to the client's needs.

Once you have the okay from your doctor to exercise, you should be stretching your abdominal area while strengthening the back area. Any Pilates resistance training should be started gently.


It is also important to exercise in a very clean Pilates studio or environment. When using an exercise band for assistance, please make sure that it is not tight on your hand of the affected side of the body. Smooth controlled movements are necessary.

I understand that range of motion exercises should be performed every day for the first year. Check with your doctor . Range of motion in the affected arm or arms should be 90% before you begin your exercise regime. If you do not have 90% range of motion seek out a Physical Therapist who can show you the correct exercises to help you restore your range of motion.

Address any postural issues and seek advice to design an exercise program that will help to balance your muscle groups. If you strengthen your upper body it will aid in proper arm function and reduce the risk of injury. If your shoulders are rounded, performing Pilates exercises in this position, is not a benefit to you. Rounded shoulders are quite common after this type of surgery.

Any pain, stop immediately and seek advice from your doctor. Also remember to measure your affected arm with a weighted measure before and after exercise, Swelling could be cause for concern. Lymphedema can occur at any time after breast cancer treatment.

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