Julie’s Physical Therapy After Masectomy Experience

Julie Eichholz discusses her experience with the physical therapists at Memorial's Orthopedic and Neurosciences Center after her double mastectomy.


Why do women need physical therapy after mastectomy?

They set up an entire care plan for physical therapy. Initially, it's hard to lift your arms. You can't dress yourself. You can't do any of that because everything is compromised. Your muscles are compromised, and it can be very painful. The physical therapy process is teaching you how to lift your arms, how to recover some of your muscle, and how to regain some of your mobility. They set you up with exercises you can do at home. Going through this particular type of care, it's a very intimate experience. I think a lot of people probably are not prepared for that. You really have to develop a level of trust with your physical therapists, because they are manipulating your muscles on your chest, and really it's a very humbling experience.

Talk about the physical therapy team at Memorial.

I went into physical therapy with some of the most amazing physical therapists here at Memorial. Kelley McClinton and Peggy Hice were phenomenal. They were willing to come in early to accommodate my work schedule. I saw them two to three times a week, and they really nursed me back to health. The level of their compassionate care is exceptional. They really, truly care about your well-being and your healing.