One of the most frequently asked questions by patients considering breast augmentation surgery is: “How soon can I exercise again after having breast surgery?” Having breast surgery can put a halt to physical activity and exercise throughout your recovery period.
Many of us are keen to keep up the momentum of our previous active lifestyles or get our fitness back on track following surgery. However, your previous choices of exercise may not be possible in the space of time following surgery such as breast implant surgery. Let’s discuss how soon you can exercise after breast surgery,
Breast Implant Surgery and Exercise
You need to give your body time to recover properly after having cosmetic surgery or plastic surgery. Every patient is different, and each breast implant surgery is customised for the individual patient. This means you should listen to the specific information that your breast augmentation or breast reduction surgeon provides to you.
Most patients find it is best to wait before resuming exercising after breast surgery. However, the recommended recovery time might be approximately six weeks before you should engage in high-intensity exercise or high-intensity interval training (HIIT) following your breast augmentation surgery or other cosmetic breast surgery.
The Golden Rule about Exercise After Breast Surgery
It is important that you follow all post-op instructions carefully. You should always consult your plastic surgeon before returning to any form of exercise. This is especially true for the first few weeks and months after your surgery. It’s also important to “listen to your body.”
Your plastic surgeon has specific knowledge of your unique medical and surgical history. They will give you the most accurate, patient-specific advice.
4 Tips for returning to exercise after Surgery
- First, wait for the right time. Whilst maintaining an active lifestyle is an important part of a long and healthy life you need to know when to engage in exercise and when to cut it short. It is vital that after any surgical procedure you give your body the rest it needs so you can not only heal but ensure optimal results. Forcing yourself to do strenuous activities before your body is ready can have a detrimental effect. Not only can it cause suboptimal results but you can even cause bleeding, pain, breast asymmetry and other discomforts.
- Wear supportive clothing. This is especially important if you have had breast surgery. Wearing a supportive bra when you run or do other high-intensity exercises not only protects your new breasts but also helps them maintain their position.
- Plan getting back to exercise. With the help of your surgeon, you can create a timeline detailing the types of exercise you can do and when. It’s important to note that your increase in exercise will depend on your skin healing as well as your overall recovery.
- Listen to your body and be aware of any discomfort. No matter how much you want to get back into exercise if you push yourself to soon you will set yourself back. don’t ignore the pain or discomfort. If you do you could end up jeopardizing your results and could even need to undergo revision surgery.
Placement of the Breast Implants
When implants are placed beneath the pectoral muscle, the muscle can usually support the extra weight. However, if the implant is placed in front of the muscle, you will need to take additional precautions to avoid stretching the skin as this can cause stretch marks.
Exercise After Breast Surgery and Recommendations: High-Intensity Activities
Some activities are naturally more intense than others, especially exercises that involve the use of large muscle groups. High-intensity exercise is known to help burn more calories, save time with shorter workouts and increase your general fitness level.
Examples of high-intensity exercise include:
- Horseback Riding
- HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training)
- Step aerobics
- Climbing stairs
- Plyometric exercise
Risks of High-Intensity Exercise After Getting Breast Implants
After breast augmentation, the tissue around the breasts needs to heal so that capsules can form. The constant up or down motion from running or fast movements can be quite strenuous on the upper body, exercising too soon or too aggressively after surgery can not only slow down the recovery process but can also affect long-term results.
For some patients, strenuous exercise too soon after their surgery can cause the scar tissue to constrict the implant capsule, causing pressure and hardening. Further, some types of breast implants may shift out of their intended location, giving an unbalanced or distorted appearance. This occurs if healing hasn’t occurred properly or if the patient is not wearing a supportive, high-quality sports bra or other recommended post-op garments.
Recommended Recovery Time after Breast Implants and Before Exercising
A minimum of 6 weeks after breast augmentation surgery is recommended before returning to this kind of activity.
However, it is best to consult with your surgeon before returning to high-intensity exercise and wearing the right type of bra may be crucial in maintaining a long-term result.
Exercise After Breast Surgery and Recommendations: Low-Intensity Exercise and Other Activities
Low-intensity exercise has become increasingly popular, with many women enjoying the likes of yoga and Pilates to help maintain a toned and sculpted physique.
Examples of Low-Intensity Exercise include:
- Pilates or Physio-Pilates
- Gentle Stretching
Risks of Low-Intensity Exercise after Getting Breast Implant Surgery
Any type of movement post-surgery and during your recovery will involve you needing to make modifications. Be sure to not go beyond your comfort level as this can harm your post-surgery recovery.
Yoga and Pilates, although very relaxing, can in fact become quite strenuous when focusing on the core and upper body. Be sure to monitor yourself carefully for any pain or soreness. Always speak to your surgeon first and tell your coach or instructor that you need to make modifications due to your need to heal post-surgery.
Recommended Recovery Time after Breast Implant Surgery Before Yoga and Other Low-Intensity Exercises
A minimum of 3 weeks of total recovery following your surgery is recommended before returning to these types of activities. Again, consult with your plastic surgeon before returning to any form of exercise following your surgery.
What about other types of activity?
If your job includes a fair amount of movement, you should consult with your doctor to see if you need some additional time off.
Some careers may be quite strenuous and may require special attention or longer periods of reduced working hours. This helps ensure you are not causing any damage to your post-surgery body. Remember, allowing yourself proper healing time is always best and even if you feel fantastic after your breast augmentation surgery, it’s best to not rush into normal activities too soon.
Jobs that may need additional recovery time:
- Hairdresser or stylist
- Relocation or postal deliveries
- Warehouse stockists or other work requiring heavy lifting
- Police or armed forces
- Warehouse or factory work that is not sedentary
- Cleaning, painting or window washing
- Work that involves climbing
- Hospitality work that involves lots of lifting or rapid movement and carrying heavy objects
- Child care (or parenting or grand-parenting or foster caring) that involves lifting children
Tips for Exercise After Breast Surgery
You might want to consider lighter work duties in the first month following your surgery. Hold off on high-intensity exercise for at least 6 weeks or longer, depending on your surgeon’s advice. Prevention is always better than a cure when it comes to healing-related injuries.
Don’t harm your healing. Do it slowly and correctly for the best possible results that you can have. Don’t forget your breasts will need more support than you might have been accustomed to. So a great sports bra (or special medical bandage in the early stages of healing) will be needed.
If you are considering breast enhancement surgery contact us for a consultation and to find out more about exercise after breast surgery.
Please contact Dr Rubinstein’s office to book a consultation or enquire about further information regarding plastic surgery procedures.
Dr Craig Rubinstein’s affiliations include:
About Dr Craig Rubinstein
Dr Craig Rubinstein FRACS (Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons) is an experienced Melbourne Specialist Plastic Surgeon for breast and abdominoplasty surgery.
Dr Rubinstein offers women personalised abdominoplasty surgery and all forms of cosmetic breast surgery.
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Next Steps in Your Surgical Journey
Want more information about your Procedure?
- Download a Free Procedure Guide on your chosen surgery.
- Visit the FAQs and read patient reviews to learn more about your intended procedure.
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About Your First Consultation
- Dr Rubinstein’s Consultation fee is $300.
- A referral from your GP or specialist is essential.
- A referral helps when claiming Medicare or Private Health Insurance coverage.
- Please contact the Patient Care Team at Coco Ruby Plastic Surgery to book your consultation.
What to Bring to Your Consultation
- You are more than welcome to bring a friend or relative to help discuss the information and your choices.
- Ensure you also take a lot of notes and thoroughly examine the documents provided.
- Please be aware you may need to undress for a physical exam so wear simple clothes.