Good Shepherd Penn Partners: Virtual visits help patient recovery post-surgery

As the COVID-19 pandemic was starting to make its way across the United States, 44-year-old Rina Walton had just completed a successful double-mastectomy surgery with Penn Medicine.


During her follow-up appointment, Rina’s doctor noticed she still had a lot of post-surgical swelling. Unable to lift her arms at all, Rina’s doctor prescribed physical therapy to aid with her recovery.


With Penn Therapy & Fitness outpatient locations closed temporarily due to COVID-19, Rina was concerned she would not be able to get the physical therapy she needed. 


However, Rina had another option to start her physical therapy: a virtual visit. She quickly agreed to telehealth appointments, but she was skeptical. Rina couldn’t imagine how not being in-person with the treating therapist would give the same results. 


Despite her initial doubts, Rina set up a “zen den” in her Springfield, Pennsylvania, house and began her sessions with Lisa Sator, PT, DPT, WCS, CLT, of Penn Therapy & Fitness Pennsylvania Hospital - Outpatient. Immediately, Rina noticed improvements with her range of motion — and that was the moment she knew she would stick with telehealth because it was working.


“After having a double mastectomy, it is a huge change and you depend so much on others,” says Rina. “Having this option where I don’t have to inconvenience anyone else and can start to take care of myself again physically is absolutely invaluable.”


Rina and her therapist continue to work together and have even come up with a care plan following her upcoming surgery. 


“Having the option for telehealth has been absolutely amazing,” Rina says. “I can focus better because there are no other distractions, and it is so easy.”


Telehealth visits are available at Good Shepherd Penn Partners for physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. Request your virtual or in-person appointment online or call 877.969.7342. Once a telehealth appointment is set, Good Shepherd Penn Partners will provide you with videoconferencing login information.