Can I still play tennis!!!!!? (Post lat dorsi op)

Can I still play tennis??? (Post lat dorsi op)

Can I still play tennis??? (Post lat dorsi op) I had breast reconstruction 2 years ago using an implant under the skin which I was very pleased with. However after radiotherapy the skin has thinned on the side where my implant is, and it is has got to the stage where it is showing through my skin. My surgeon now recommends the latimus dorsi muscle op, with new implant (taking skin and muscle from my right shoulder). As I am right handed and love playing tennis, I am really concerned that it will affect my ability to play. Is there anyone out there who has had this op and found that they are still able to do things like play sport etc. I really want the hope that I will still be able to serve post op!

Also, what is the scar like?

It would be so helpful to hear from anyone who has been through the same op. This is my first time using this forum, but it seems very helpful and supportive.


Hi Elaine Hi Elaine,

I had the operation 7 weeks ago and so still recovering. I started exercising - stretches - two weeks ago and am getting mobility back in my affected side. I do about 40 minutes of various stretches daily. I can only do strength exercises after twelve weeks. I am using a book I bought - it is American - which is very useful as it sets out exercises specifically for the type of surgery you have had and according to that with enough progressive exercise and time, you can get back to doing things that you used to do prior to the operation - I am not there yet. I have read that with the right exercises at the right pace the other muscles can compensate for the lost LD muscle - I don’t know yet - so can’t help you too much as it is early days - but I am encouraged by the improvements I have made in my arm and movement since I started exercising. You may want to speak to your surgeon or BCN. Good luck with it.

The scar on my back is quite long and it is below my bra line it is fading fast but it is still long. The scar on the breast itself is a patch of skin - the patch is darker as my back is darker than my chest - and as I had a lumpectomy before - quite a large patch to replace skin that was lost by first surgery - you may be different. With clothes on - although the reconstructed breast is larger - you can’t tell unless closely inspected. It is not perfect but I am still glad I had it done. Good luck.

Hi Elaine patricia

when I was told I needed a recon I asked the doctor what I could do as I dance and horse ride, he said are you going skiing or mountaineereing/rock climbing I said No he said well there is your answer, I have read posts onsite that people have been weight lifting so I should think you can play tennis

love Lucy

activity after reconstruction Sorry I’m going to be no help but would like to ask you something. Was tennis ok after you implant and was it on that side?? I’ve been trying to find out about climbing and implants. I know that LD flaps and climbing are a problem.

Chloe, thanks and which book are you using? Hi Chloe

Thanks for taking the time to respond, I found what you wrote really helpful. Would you mind telling me the name of the book you are using? I would definitely like to look it up.

I hope things continue to go well for you, and your healing is quick.

I would be really interested to hear how you get on over the next couple of months, it really gives me hope that this op is not going to mean an end to some of my favourite pleasures in life.

Take care and thanks again

Hope for an active life still! Hi Lucy

Thanks for your response. It is really nice just to have some hope that I don’t have to give up the things I love, post op.

Hope you are well

Climbing? Hi Blonde

I have been able to play tennis following my implant and it was on the side that I use to serve. I am not a Wimbledon pro though with a blistering serve - I play for pleasure at a more sedate pace! I am just hoping that I am able to still play in this way if I go for this next op.

Climbing does seem to be one of the activities that may be affected, just from the research I have done, and the doctors I have spoken to, but I suppose everyone is different and has their own experiences post op. Other responses to my intital question (see Chloesinclair) seem to give hope that you can do excercises to help build other muscles, strengthen what you have got etc.

Good luck with everything

Best Wishes

Hi Elaine

I would just say once you have had the op the road to recovery does take a little time and it is a bit frustrating as i am a person who likes to be doing things and at the moment it’s not always possible…

It’s easy to get upset when things don’t go as quickly as we would like, just take it as it comes if you are a positive thinker then that’s a good thing to be.

I hope to be able to return to helping my teacher out in her latin and ballroom dance class and horse riding as well eventually, I just can’t wait for the whole scenario to be finished and back to some sort of normality…

good luck

Hi Elaine Hi Elaine,

I asked my surgeon if the LD reconstruction would stop me doing anything.

She answered that the only difference would be that I would never be an Olympic cross-country skier.

Best wishes,


For Elaine Hi Elaine,

this is the book:

The Breast Cancer Survivor’s Fitness Plan: A Doctor-approved Workout Plan for a Strong Body and Lifesaving Results (Harvard Medical School Guides)
Carolyn M. Kaelin; Paperback; £7.25

I got it off Amazon it has good instructions and pictures for exercises and a section on each type of breast surgery in simple language - the exercise section is the best. I have used it for nearly three weeks now and it has given me structure to follow. I got it off Amazon. Good luck with the surgery and everything. I’ll keep you posted on how I get on. Keep us posted on your progress too,


Thanks Chloe I’m off to order the book now. Sounds good. Keep in touch.