I have had a number of yoga students over the years that have been through that. It seems to be very helpful, as it is a discipline that is about slowing down and moving in accordance with your abilities and needs… and being present to what those are. It also has that component about self acceptance, of loving the self as it is. And the breath, physical work, and meditation together are good for natural anxieties as well as for the physical work. And it can be done in a way that is helpful for lymphatic flow.
I can see that Pilates as well would have some great benefits. I know people who have done core work as well as yoga, although I am not up on the research in this area as much. I would think the strength work without heavy weights, and strengthening from the center, and learning how to relearn balance after surgery would all be very helpful.
I have always encouraged clients to try different forms of exercise. And Pilates has always been among these. I have known and know some truly great Pilates instructors. It is a serious form of exercise and movement. And the best instructors spend years learning this programming (ie. not a weekend). Pilates is based in fundamental human movement, which is something that I advocate as a prerequisite for any exercise program. Pilates, like yoga and aquatic exercise, is highly under utilized and adaptable to any fitness level.
And yes, many of my past clients who were post surgical intervention and some throughout their course of treatment, benefited from participation in Pilates. I do not teach Pilates as I feel more suited and committed to other forms of exercise. And strongly feel that you should follow your strengths and passions in order to acheive your fullest potential. I am very thankful to have great Pilates instructors in my network of fitness professionals for me to refer clients for intstruction.