Fitness Trainer Magazine

Fitness Trainer September/October

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Page 23 of 45

fter her bilateral prophylactic mastectomy and re- constructive surgery, Sarah longed for normalcy. Previously active with kickboxing, running, and lifting, she'd gained weight and lost muscle and conditioning during her recovery. In addition to the physical challenges her surgeries caused, Sarah was no longer happy with her body's appearance or per- formance. She had lost confidence in herself, was frustrated, and depressed on and off. "I've been active all my life," Sarah said. "But this past year I've had trouble losing the extra weight, and that's never been the case before. I used to strength train, do boot camps, and kickbox, but I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to do those things like I used to." With three young children and a history of breast cancer in her family, Sarah made the decision to have a double mastec- tomy when she learned she had the BRCA1 gene mutation. She chose the immediate-delayed procedure for breast recon- struction, in which surgeons place tissue expanders under the pectoral muscles during the mastectomy to make room for breast implants. Over the next few weeks, the plastic surgeon adds saline through a port to slowly stretch the tissue. After the tissue recovers from the mastectomies, there is a second, smaller surgery to exchange the expanders for long-term breast implants. A From Surgery to Fit Reconstructing a fitness program for mastectomy clients By Suzanne Digre

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