If you are seeking to improve the appearance of your breasts, you most likely take pride in the shape of the rest of your body and overall health. One question that Lexington Plastic Surgery receives is, “How soon can I return to exercising after my breast augmentation?” The short answer is one month, but keep reading for a breakdown of what this will look like. This is an important question, as the answer may be more complex than you would think.
When it comes to exercise after an augmentation, caution is key.
The Ins and Outs of Breast Augmentation Surgery
In a breast augmentation operation, a small incision is made on or near each breast for the placement of silicone gel implants, fat transfer, or saline injection. Patients are placed under anesthesia during the procedure, which may take between one to three hours. Augmentation may also be combined with a breast lift to treat sagging breasts and a loss of volume. It is helpful to think of the surgery site as a sports injury and to treat it with patience and care.
Your Recovery Timeline
1-5 days post-op:
This time is vital to successful recovery, and you’ll need plenty of rest. However, as incredible as a week of Netflix in bed might sound, complete bed rest is not recommended. Light movement, such as walking around the house every couple of hours, will help promote circulation and prevent blood clotting (thrombosis). You may wish to use over-the-counter pain medication to make yourself more comfortable.
Keep in mind before you reach for your favorite pair of sneakers that this is not the time for long walks or jogs. You’ll also need to avoid heavy lifting, pushing, pulling, or anything else that might strain your upper body.
Take a walk around the block and implement light stretching, but avoid anything that might strain the pectoral muscles.
2-3 weeks post-op:
Once your surgeon has given you the go-ahead, you’re ready to begin easing back into your daily routine, including returning to work and exercising. Your body is still recovering. Though you might be feeling more yourself again, you’re still in the healing process. So, take it slow. Don’t go from 0 to 60 overnight. Keep your workouts short, sweet, and safe.
This is a great time to implement more intense cardio, such as walking uphill or jumping back on the Peloton, but keep in mind that at this stage, high-impact and upper-body workouts will only hinder your recovery process.
4-5 weeks post-op:
You’re in the home stretch! By four weeks post-operation, you should be able to return to your regular fitness routine, except for heavy lifting. It’s also important to avoid exercises such as planks, push-ups, and bench presses, which can put too much pressure on your implants.
6 weeks post-op:
At this point, your breast augmentation surgery team will want to evaluate your progress. In most cases, you’ll be given the green light to return to more strenuous activities, such as weight lifting or swimming. However, they might still caution you about jumping into anything overly strenuous for a while. Talk to your surgeon about your fitness goals before adding to your workout routine.
Listening carefully to your body is crucial as you move closer to your fitness goals. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t push it. Red flags include feelings of heaviness or pain around your breasts. If you experience these symptoms, consult your surgeon immediately about this before returning to your workout routine. When in doubt, wait it out.
Additional Tips for Post-Op Exercising
Drinking plenty of water is one of the best ways to prevent inflammation and support healing.
Wear a Supportive Sports Bra
A supportive sports bra can keep movement to a minimum and protect the surgical site from damage.
Why it’s Important to Take it Slow
We understand that, for many women, fitness is a top priority. This can make it difficult to put the brakes on such an active lifestyle for an extended period. However, our Lexington breast augmentation surgery team knows that rest is best. Though taking it easy may be contrary to your typical habits, the benefits far outweigh the risks of pushing your body too hard, too quickly.
These risks include the possibility of reopening incisions, displacing sutures, implant shift (which can cause disfigurement), prolonged healing time, nerve damage, muscle damage, prolonged swelling, and implant rupture. You may also need additional corrective procedures.
The most important thing to keep in mind when returning to daily activities and pursuing your fitness goals is to take it slow and steady. Your breasts will thank you for taking baby steps when implementing more strenuous activities. Listen to your body, and keep yourself from pushing past what is comfortable.