The influence of the initiation of an exercise programme on seroma formation and dehiscence following breast cancer surgery

Authors

  • Eliana L Petito PhD in Sciences,

    Physiotherapist
    1. Escola Paulista de Enfermagem, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
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  • Marcella T Esteves RN,

    Nurse, Specialist in Oncology Nursing, Corresponding author
    1. Escola Paulista de Enfermagem, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
    • Correspondence: Marcella T Esteves, Nurse, Specialist in Oncology Nursing, Escola Paulista de Enfermagem, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, Rua Napoleão de Barros, 754 Sala 212, São Paulo, São Paulo, Zip Code: 04024-002, Brazil. Telephone: +55 11 5576 4430 ext. 1638.

      E-mail: marcellatardeli@yahoo.com.br

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  • Simone Elias PhD in Radiology,

    Physician
    1. Gynecology Department, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
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  • Gil Facina MD, PhD,

    Physician, Adjunct Professor
    1. Gynecology Department, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
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  • Afonso CP Nazário MD, PhD,

    Physician, Adjunct Professor
    1. Gynecology Department, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
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  • Maria GR Gutiérrez Phd, RN

    Nurse, Associate Professor
    1. Escola Paulista de Enfermagem, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
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Abstract

Aims and objectives

To verify whether early (first post-operative day) or late initiation (after removal of the continuous suction drain) of a functional rehabilitation exercise programme influences the incidence of seroma formation and dehiscence for women after breast cancer surgery.

Background

Benefits of early implementation of an exercise programme initiated with women in the first days following breast cancer surgery are widely known. However, the safe initiation of the exercises is still a controversial issue and some authors correlate early initiation of the exercises with an increase in seroma formation.

Design

A prospective, randomised, controlled clinical trial.

Methods

Seventy-seven women were randomly assigned to initiate the programme on post-operative day 1 (early group = 40) or after removal of the drain (late group = 37) and were monitored until the 45th post-operative day. Patients in the early group were instructed to perform the exercises daily at home, beginning on post-operative day 1, while those of the late group began the exercises after the drain was removed. The assessment for seroma formation and dehiscence was performed on post-operative days 7 and 45.

Results

There was no statistically significant difference regard to seroma formation between early group and late group. Also there was no association between the presence of dehiscence and early exercises.

Conclusion

The early initiation of the exercises for women, following breast cancer surgery, constitutes a safe practice for the rehabilitation. However, these findings need to be further explored and confirmed in a larger sample.

Relevance to clinical practice

Studies showing evidence that early functional rehabilitation process is a safe practice for women having surgery for breast cancer, as well as the present research, are of interest to health professionals who care for these patients and contribute to the wider global clinical community.

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