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Physiotherapy: a wide-ranging discipline

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Physiotherapy is a broad field which spans a range of different disciplines. From orthopaedics and senology all the way to lymphology and neurology. 

Doctor Chiara Bertocco, physiotherapist specialised in lymphology, senological rehabilitation and Aqua Lymphatic Therapist, primarily works on senological, lymphological and adipose tissue rehabilitation. 

Physiotherapy is important for women suffering from lymphedema. This being a common complication that can impact women, especially those who have undergone surgery to remove a breast tumour, but also gynaecological tumours and melanomas. 

Lymphedema, an accumulation of fluids at the interstitial level, to this day is still the everlasting consequence of certain oncological surgical procedures meant to transfer one or more lymph nodes.

Doctor Chiara Bertocco, physiotherapist specialised in lymphology, senological rehabilitation and Aqua Lymphatic Therapist

« Lymphedema is an abnormal swelling that occurs either after an operation conducted on lymphatic vessels or due to the removal of lymphatic nodes – explains Doctor Bertocco – Through physiotherapy, we achieve the rehabilitation of the limb or limbs with manual techniques, compressive therapy, along with physical exercise, a correct diet and movement. Therefore there are multiple aspects that interact with each other in order to guarantee a better standard of living and quality of life for the patient».

Physiotherapy and tumours

Physiotherapists play a crucial role in helping women who have undergone surgery relating to breast cancer. Their role however is not limited to rehabilitating after the introduction of possible implants or to curing scars, they also work on educating patients on possible future complications. 

«Women who have been operated on for breast cancer present an important impairment. Scar treatment is the first step to take and on which physiotherapists  actively work on the most, teaching patients how to treat it autonomously – continues Doctor Bertocco – Subsequently they work on rehabilitating the shoulder, its movement, muscle strength and regaining daily habits. If the patient has had implants inserted or at the beginning a dilator, they must immobilise it, adjust the tissue to prepare it to receive a foreign entity that will permanently stay within the woman’s body».

Treating scars


Scar treatment must be done correctly in order to avoid tension in the underlying skin tissue. «Scars are new tissues created by the skin to close a wound, said tissue differs compared to normal skin tissue. If not treated, it risks becoming a hard entity, called “keloid”. If the tissue fibres aren’t well organised, they will go on to create tensions to the underlying tissue. In order to avoid this one must manually treat scars with the help of, for example, creams and silicon-based products» concludes Doctor Bertocco.


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