St. Joseph Hospital of Orange
1100 West Stewart Dr, Orange, CA 92868714.633.9111
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Breast Cancer Rehabilitation Program

The Breast Cancer Rehabilitation program is uniquely designed to assist you in your recovery following breast surgery. The program offers a complete selection of physical therapy services in a supportive environment. In collaboration with your physician, a specialized program is designed to meet your individual needs at various times during your treatment stages.

There are two phases to the program designed to maximize function, and to prevent and limit permanent disabilities.

Pre-operative phase (done approximately one week before your surgery):

  • Lymphedema assessment: a baseline assessment including limb volume measurement using a bioimpedence device and circumferential measurement, that will help detect early signs of lymphedema. Lymphedema is the abnormal accumulation of protein rich fluid. Areas that may be affected are the arm and the breast
  • Shoulder function assessment
  • Education: including lymphedema precautions and post-operative range of motion exercises.

Post-operative phase (four - six weeks):

  • Assessment for pain, stiffness, limited range of motion, surgical site scar tightness, detection of any early signs of lymphedema and general functional activity level changes.
  • Exercises for cancer-related fatigue and specific shoulder tightness
  • Education
  • Surgical-site massage
  • Physical therapy is available on an ongoing basis as needed for more involved shoulder dysfunction or lymphedema.
  • The Lymphedema Program provides Complete Decongestive Therapy (CDT) that consists of directional lymphatic massage, compression bandaging and garments, therapeutic exercise and skin care.

In addition, a general exercise/fitness program is encouraged and designed for you. Studies show that participation in aerobic exercise can improve self-esteem, physical fitness, energy level, body composition and chemotherapy completion rate. Our goal is to help you return to your prior level of function and improve your overall physical and psychosocial quality of life.

For more information or to make an appointment, please call 714-542-8002 or 714-771-8222. Or, fax your prescription to 714-744-8554.