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Day 4 → Day 7

  • Stay hydrated
  • Continue tracking medications and emptying drains
  • Continue to brush teeth 3-4x/day
  • Sponge bathing only


  • No lifting anything greater than 5 pounds!
  • Consider compression socks during exercise if you have help to put them on.

Italics indicate what's different from Day 1 -3 exercises

GOAL (REST and listen to your body when it is telling you to stop! If you don’t do everything here, don’t stress!)Day 4Day 5Day 6Day 7
Breathing exercises: 360º / diaphragmatic breathing (slowly) 10-15x every (waking) hour
Walk around the house or down the street; should be max 15-30 min (keep heart rate low); no huffing/no sweating!!____min____min____min____min
Shoulder active range of motion: Limit arm movements to shoulder height or lower (T rex arms for approx 1 more week!); can do gentle shoulder rolls, scapular squeezes, shoulder external rotation (be careful), shoulder circles, shoulder shrugs, and shoulder flexion and abduction to tolerance under 90º (NO WEIGHTS)
Neck active range of motion (to tolerance): Rotation, Flexion, Extension
Elbow, wrist and finger flexion/extension to tolerance, consider functional exercise: light dishes, folding laundry (not sheets or large items), wipe counters, massage your caregiver’s feet ;)
Manual Lymphatic Drainage (neck, shoulders, back and arms, NO CHEST)

360 Breathing

Manual Lymphatic Drainage

Please remember that every body is unique. This is a GENERAL guideline. It is best to seek guidance from a rehab professional (OT/PT who specializes in top surgery rehab) and listen to your own body. If any recommendations are painful or cause negative symptoms, STOP! Discuss these guidelines with your surgeon as surgical protocols may vary.