The influence of the initiation of an exercise programme on seroma formation and dehiscence following breast cancer surgery
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.
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.
A prospective, randomised, controlled clinical trial.
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.
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.
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.