Dr. Susan Maltser is Director of Cancer Rehabilitation and oversees the comprehensive Cancer Rehabilitation program for Northwell health. She is a practicing physiatrist and an assistant professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Zucker School of Medicine. She also serves as Chief, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Long Island Jewish Hospital. A graduate of the New York College of Osteopathic medicine, her residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation was completed at the Rusk Institute at NYU Langone Medical Center. She is a fellow of the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and holds membership in both the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and the National Cancer Rehabilitation Physician Consortium.
This interview is a two-part series. In Part 1, Dr. Maltser discusses: what cancer rehabilitation is and some conditions that commonly are treated in breast cancer patients; measures employed to assess patients who have undergone breast surgery regarding the scope of rehabilitation interventions to pursue; the adverse effect of reconstructive surgery for breast cancer on shoulder function and the kinds of rehabilitation that prove effective in dealing with this problem; debilitating side effects, such as difficulty sleeping and fatigue, associated with breast cancer surgery; the risk of developing lymphedema after undergoing surgery for breast cancer; the role of self-care in treating lymphedema; and the role that physical exercise might play and when it should occur pre- and post-surgery.