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Exercise After Breast Augmentation: Tips for an Active Return

Published by Dr. Brandon Richland, MD

Exercise after a breast augmentation surgery is allowed within certain limitations and following a proper recovery timeline provided by the surgeon. It can help the body to recover quicker while enhancing a patient’s overall mental wellbeing during the recovery period.

Key Takeaways of Exercise After Breast Augmentation

  • Light exercise, such as short walks and yoga stretches, is recommended within seven to fourteen days of breast augmentation recovery.
  • Cardiovascular exercise can gradually be introduced, followed by strengthening exercises like leg presses or squats after four to six weeks.
  • Post-op exercises should focus on the shoulder’s range of motion, strengthening the pectoral muscles, and reducing back pain caused by heavier weight on the chest for optimal benefits.
  • Patients must complete the different recovery phases before returning to a full exercise routine.

Post Surgery Exercise Timeline

Exercise is vital for a smooth recovery after a breast surgery. Starting with light exercise that gradually increases in intensity over time can help the body to heal quicker and make mental stress more manageable.

Light Exercise Regimen

It is recommended that patients should begin with light walking immediately after undergoing surgery. This should be limited to short walks around the room or home every other hour and should not be strenuous. Light walking helps improve circulation and prevents the formation of blood clots.

Light strengthening exercises, such as yoga and low impact pilates, are also excellent exercises that help keep muscles loose while ensuring the outcome of the surgery remains intact.

Keeping a daily light exercise routine as early as the body is allowed can condition the body to ease back into normal activity levels.

Gentle Cardiovascular Exercise

Gentle cardiovascular exercise increases oxygen production in the body, which ultimately helps it heal. Regular light cardiovascular exercises within 14 to 28 days post surgery help promote a strengthened immune system while enhancing blood circulation for faster recovery.

Mild cardiovascular exercise may also be beneficial post surgery if no discomfort is experienced when doing low intensity activities.

Returning to Full Workouts After 6 Weeks

It is considered safe to slowly resume full workouts and upper body weight training six weeks after a breast augmentation. A gradual approach should be observed to allow the body’s tissues to heal properly and avoid complications that could negatively affect long lasting results.

Post-op exercises during this period should focus on helping improve the shoulder’s range of motion, strengthening the chest muscles, and reducing lower back pain that may occur due to the weight increase from augmented breast size.

Swimming is likely allowed between four to six weeks post procedure, with intensity gradually increasing as the doctor or a physical therapist recommends.

Avoiding Exercising Weeks after Surgery

Exercising too soon after breast augmentation surgery can put excessive strain and pressure on the chest area, which may cause discomfort and pain from muscle soreness. This can negatively affect the operation results or, worse, lead to the rupture of breast implants.

Ignoring any subtle signs of discomfort may be detrimental to the breast surgery healing process, especially when an active lifestyle that involves full workout sessions is resumed prematurely. Observing for aches or discomfort is best, as these may suggest lowering exercise intensity levels or taking more time to rest and recover.

Regardless of pain, patients must follow their surgeon’s post-op care guidelines and avoid strenuous activities until they have been cleared to do so.

Image Credit: Khosrork / 123RF.com (Licensed).

Exercises to Avoid After Breast Augmentation

Cardio exercises and strength training must not be attempted during the initial recovery period until the end of the third week. Exercising too soon can lead to deep scarring, bleeding, or displacement of implants.

Exercises that stress the chest, torso, and shoulder muscles must be avoided due to the potential risk of complications that can affect the breast surgery results. Activities with heavy weights or weight lifting apply an unacceptable degree of strain to the breasts and the tissue surrounding the implants, which may delay healing.

Patients must complete the different recovery phases before returning to a full exercise routine. For athletes, it is recommended to avoid sprinting at all costs until 12 weeks post surgery to protect against further weakness and damage within the muscular walls surrounding implants.

Tips for Successful Exercise After Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation patients must start slowly and gradually work their way up to more strenuous activities. After breast augmentation surgery, the body needs time to heal before starting any exercise routines. The best way to ensure success with exercising post breast augmentation is by taking it one step at a time and listening to the body’s feedback.

Begin with light exercises, such as walking, shortly after surgery. When patients can walk around the room without feeling soreness or strain, they can move on to more complicated activities like lunges or squats without weights held in each hand.

A supportive bra designed for this purpose must be worn throughout all activities to provide comfort while allowing movement.

Continuous communication between the patient and doctor will help hit recovery targets accompanied by healthier lifestyle changes.

Image Credit: Vadymvdrobot / 123RF.com (Licensed).

Benefits of Exercising After Breast Augmentation

Exercise after breast augmentation promotes blood flow, which carries vital nutrients to the body’s cells needed for repairing and restoring tissues damaged during the surgical procedure. Improved blood circulation can help reduce swelling and scarring while improving overall immune system function.

Consistent exercising strengthens the chest muscle as scars fade away, resulting in an improved figure or body contour, especially after full recovery.

Regular exercise may also assist a patient from feelings of anxiousness, fatigue, or depression, which are common reactions during the recovery process. Working out releases endorphins, which improve mental wellbeing by decreasing stress levels.

Frequently Asked Questions About Exercise After Breast Augmentation

1. When Can I Start Exercising After Breast Augmentation Surgery?

Waiting at least 4 to 6 weeks before starting any form of exercise following a breast augmentation procedure is recommended. Patients should listen to their doctor’s advice when resuming strenuous physical activities such as lifting or running. Swelling from the surgery could limit flexibility and range of motion within specific exercises, so don’t push yourself too hard.

2. What Exercise to Avoid After Getting Breast Augmentation Surgery?         

Avoid high impact or jarring cardio exercises for at least six weeks, including jumping jacks, tennis, or running on uneven surfaces. Opt for low impact aerobic options like swimming or walking to increase your heart rate and build strength gradually over time, without risking strain on healing areas.

3. Are There Any Special Precautions When Performing Chest Exercises?

Special precautions, such as avoiding increased strain in the chest area, can help decrease the chances of delayed healing times and prolonged soreness. Movements that may further tear the tissues or cause stretch marks must also be avoided to reduce the risk of complications.

4. Is Necessary to Wear Special Garments When Exercising Post Surgery?

A post surgery bra should always be worn when exercising after an operation to provide enough support to the chest and avoid implant displacement.

Image Credit: Leszekglasner / 123RF.com (Licensed).

Conclusion and Summary of Exercise After Breast Augmentation: Tips for an Active Return

Exercise is vital for a smooth recovery after a breast surgery. Starting with light exercise that gradually increases in intensity over time can help the body to heal quicker and make mental stress more manageable.

Following the recommended exercise plan of a surgeon can provide the right amount of physical and mental support, plus achieve the best results from a breast augmentation procedure. Board certified plastic surgeons can determine when their patients are healthy enough to return to physical activities that won’t aggravate any wounds or cause damage to surgery outcomes.

Listening to your body and taking things slow allows your body to heal while avoiding too much strain on newly placed implants, something all breast surgery patients should pay attention to if they want long lasting results.

Please note that this article is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Before making any changes to your treatments, please consult with your healthcare provider to discuss the appropriateness and safety of such changes.

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About the Author

Dr. Brandon Richland, MD is a respected Board Certified Licensed Plastic Surgeon in Orange County / Southern California specializing in cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries.

Driven by his passion for medicine, Dr. Richland obtained his Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) degree from the prestigious program at Saint Louis University (SLU) School of Medicine in 2013. His exceptional skills were recognized when he received the McGraw Hill / Lange Medical Student Academic Achievement Award, and graduated top of his class with Honors. For his undergraduate degree, he attended University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and graduated with Honors in 2009.

To further enhance his surgical expertise, Dr. Richland completed his Residency in Plastic Surgery at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) from 2013 to 2019 earning the Academic Achievement Award twice during this period. A total of 14 years in dedicated schooling and medical residency.

Dr. Richland is actively involved with healthcare and medical societies, as a Diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery, a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, and the California Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Contact Dr. Richland today by visiting RichlandMD.com, scheduling a cosmetic consultation, or by calling 714-241-0646 or 949-945-0025 directly.