The role of the physiotherapy in the plastic surgery patients after oncological breast surgery

Luiz Felipe Nevola Teixeira, Fabio Sandrin


Introduction: Breast cancer is the disease which causes the greatest concern among women worldwide, with an estimated 1,152,161 new cases each year. The improvement of surgical techniques, neoadjuvant and adjuvant treatment enhance the survival time and recovery of these patients. As surgery is the first choice for the treatment of breast neoplasms reconstructive surgery has become an important procedure helping to reconstruct the mutilation after radical or conservative breast surgery. The objective of this article is to review the scientific literature and examine the available data regarding the role of physiotherapy in patients who undergo plastic reconstruction after oncological breast surgery, including suggestions on how physiotherapy could be applied in that population.
Materials and methods: Our review was obtained by searching the PubMed (National Library of Medicine, USA) and LILACS (Latin American and Caribbean Health Sciences) databases. Terms applied concerned physiotherapy and breast reconstructive surgery. The time of limit for our search was from 1995 until the present date.
Results: Fourteen articles were included in our review that matched our search criteria.
Conclusions: Physiotherapy is a field that still needs evidence based on daily routine and studies in the oncological physiotherapy field. Evaluation should be standardized and rehabilitation techniques used are empirical and should be researched in patients who undergo plastic reconstruction after breast surgery. The lack of post-surgery exercise protocols makes it difficult to analyse the patient’s evolution and makes it a challenge to investigate the true role of physiotherapy in this population.