Wednesday 29 November 2023
Salisbury Foundation Trust

Diet, Smoking and Exercise

In order to have the best results from surgery we advise all ladies to look after themselves. This includes keeping fit, eating a good diet and being prepared for surgery. Breast reconstructive surgery is a big undertaking for ladies, surgeons and is expensive. Before being added to the waiting list, the funding bodies that authorise the procedures (CCG) specify certain guidelines that patients must fit.

Healthy diet and exercise








To be placed on the waiting list for breast reconstruction you will need to maintain a BMI of 32 or below.

You can easily check your BMI by using a BMI Calculator. 

If your BMI is above this range the consultant will advise you are seen by the Breast Reconstruction Team who can help with advice and support to reduce your BMI before being placed on the waiting list. You will also be provided with written information and booklets at the time of or following your consultation. These can be downloaded Below: 

           Macmillan Cancer Support:         Move more, Please click on the icon


Macmillan Cancer Support: Managing weight gain after cancer treatment.


Macmillan Cancer Support: Physical activity and cancer


Weight gain usually occurs as a result of drinking and eating more calories than you burn through normal bodily functions and physical activity. To lose weight you should try to reduce the amount you eat and drink and aim to be more active. provides a number of ideas in which you can take action to reduce your weight and increase your physical activity . You should aim to take part in some form of physical activity every day as part of a healthy lifestyle.

Salisbury Hospital Offer:

  • A Wellbeing programme
  • Cancer patients are offered a free swimming lesson every Friday 2 – 3pm.
  • Our specialist fitness instructor Che Penny can provide you with an exercise programme and fitness regime tailed to you. Please talk to the
  • Breast Reconstruction Team about being referred.

Things Near You:

Salisbury sees patients from Wiltshire, Hampshire and Dorset. Depending where you live each county provides help and support to individuals in reducing their weight and keeping active.

Please see below for a selection of things that are provided where you live.



  • Alternatively if you want online advice the POWeR programme is funded by Hampshire Council and provides 12 months of tools to use each week in maintaining a healthy way of living for individuals with a BMI > 25.


Smoking Cessation

To have breast reconstruction patients need to have given up smoking. Smoking cessation is vital, as smoking, among other unwanted effects, affects the microcirculation therefore reducing the blood flow to the skin and other organs and can result in flap loss, delays in wound healing and respiratory and cardiac complications.

Your GP can help with advice and support in order to help you give up smoking. Please be aware the same applies to the use of nicotine replacement therapy as, although this will reduce the craving for a cigarette, the nicotine will also reduce the ability of the blood to carry enough oxygen to the tissues. For this reason we advise that you do not use nicotine replacement therapies and you should stop smoking completely before any surgery.

Our hospital protocol does not allow surgeons to list patients for breast reconstruction who are smoking. Once you have stopped smoking and are added to the waiting list you should remain completely non-smoking so that once you have a date for surgery you are ready to proceed.

The following websites can offer advice and support in giving up smoking:

Wiltshire - 
Hampshire - 
Dorset - 

Our staff at Salisbury District Hospital have long been well regarded for the quality of care and treatment they provide for our patients and for their innovation, commitment and professionalism. This has been recognised in a wide range of achievements and it is reflected in our award of NHS Foundation Trust status. This is afforded to hospitals that provide the highest standards of care.

Person Centred & Safe





Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, Salisbury District Hospital, Odstock Road, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP2 8BJ
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