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Help After Surgery

The national Pink Ribbon Program focuses on stretching and strengthening muscles affected by surgery — in the shoulder, chest, back, and abdomen.


Pink Ribbon

“Following surgery, a lot of women feel it's normal to have physical limitations and pain afterward, but that doesn't have to be the case,” says Anna De Waay, a Physical Therapist with The Iowa Clinic trained to offer the Pink Ribbon Program. The national Pink Ribbon Program focuses on stretching and strengthening muscles affected by surgery — in the shoulder, chest, back, and abdomen.

Because DeWaay has completed additional education in after-surgery care for breast cancer patients, she expands upon the national standard by offering a broad spectrum of individualized care and support. “Every patient I see is very different,” says DeWaay. “Our program begins with a thorough evaluation of the patient, from which we personalize a treatment plan that blends manual therapies with a more comprehensive plan. The goal is to help women have less pain and let them get back to doing what they normally do,” she says.

For breast cancer survivor Susan Warner, “The Pink Ribbon Program has been of great benefit.”Warner had eight lymph nodes (a couple of which were cancerous) under her left arm removed during her bilateral mastectomy in 2012. Without these lymph nodes, her body struggles to remove lymphatic fluids, causing her arm to swell and limiting her range of motion. But as the result of working with DeWaay, she has had significant relief.

Warner says, “Anna is a certified lymphedema therapist. She's excellent and understands what breast cancer survivors experience physically and emotionally.”

To learn more about The Pink Ribbon program, contact The Iowa Clinic Physical Therapy Department at (515) 875-9706.

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