Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive form of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, chest, abdomen, or heart. Surgery is often one of the first treatment options for mesothelioma, particularly for patients with early-stage disease. After mesothelioma surgery, it is important to engage in safe and effective exercise to promote healing and improve overall health and well-being.
The type and intensity of exercise that is safe after mesothelioma surgery will depend on various factors, including the extent of the surgery, the patient’s overall health and fitness level, and the specific recommendations of their healthcare team. In general, however, there are several types of exercise that are often considered safe and beneficial for mesothelioma patients after surgery.
Walking: Walking is a low-impact exercise that can help improve circulation, promote healing, and prevent blood clots. Depending on the extent of the surgery, patients may need to start with short walks and gradually increase their distance and intensity over time. It is important to follow the guidance of the healthcare team regarding when it is safe to start walking after surgery and how much activity is appropriate.
Stretching: Gentle stretching can help prevent stiffness and improve range of motion after surgery. Patients should work with a physical therapist or other healthcare professional to develop a stretching routine that is safe and appropriate for their individual needs.
Breathing exercises: After mesothelioma surgery, patients may experience shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. Breathing exercises can help improve lung function and reduce these symptoms. Patients should work with a respiratory therapist or other healthcare professional to develop a breathing exercise routine that is safe and effective.
Resistance training: Resistance training, such as lifting weights or using resistance bands, can help promote muscle strength and prevent muscle loss after surgery. However, it is important to start with light weights and gradually increase the intensity over time. Patients should work with a physical therapist or other healthcare professional to develop a resistance training routine that is safe and appropriate for their individual needs.
Swimming: Swimming is a low-impact exercise that can help improve cardiovascular health, promote healing, and reduce stress on the joints. However, patients should wait until their surgical incisions have fully healed before swimming, and should avoid swimming in chlorinated pools or other bodies of water that may increase the risk of infection.
It is important for mesothelioma patients to discuss their exercise plans with their healthcare team before starting any new exercise program. In some cases, patients may need to modify their exercise routine or avoid certain types of exercise altogether. Patients should also listen to their bodies and avoid pushing themselves too hard, particularly in the first few weeks after surgery.
In conclusion, mesothelioma surgery can be a difficult and challenging experience, but safe and effective exercise can help promote healing and improve overall health and well-being. Walking, stretching, breathing exercises, resistance training, and swimming are all examples of exercises that may be safe for mesothelioma patients after surgery. Patients should work with their healthcare team to develop a personalized exercise plan that is safe and appropriate for their individual needs.