Tightness after physical activity?

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Question from Betsy: I had a saline implant after a mastectomy 1-1/2 years ago. When I go kayaking, do yard work or anything that uses the chest muscles, I feel the implant is getting pushed into my armpit. Afterwards, I have a tightness in the chest muscles on the mastectomy side. Can I do any exercises before or after kayaking, gardening, etc., to reduce this discomfort?
Answers - Maurice Nahabedian That's a difficult question to answer, because it may be that the implant is firmly adherent to the chest wall muscle because of the capsule or scar tissue that has formed. The motion of the implant with that chest wall motion may be responsible for this discomfort and the positional changes that may be occurring. In order for me to fully understand why this is occurring, I would have to do a physical examination.
Marisa Weiss, M.D. When the surgeon places the implant into position, is there a way to fasten the implant in place or not? To keep it from migrating?
Maurice Nahabedian When the implant is inserted, it's important to create a pocket underneath the chest wall muscle that is of sufficient size to accommodate the implant. I generally do not create a pocket that is too large or too small, in order to allow for optimal implant positioning and appearance.

The Ask-the-Expert Online Conference called Breast Reconstruction featured Maurice Nahabedian, M.D. and Marisa Weiss, M.D. answering your questions about different techniques in breast reconstruction, the pros and cons of implants and body tissue transfers, when you might want to reconstruct, and many more issues related to rebuilding your breast/s after breast cancer surgery.

Editor's Note: This conference took place in November 2003.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of Breastcancer.org. A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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