Hello, I’m Dr. [name]. I’m a board-certified plastic surgeon and the owner of [business name], a cosmetic surgery practice in [city name] and [city name].
It’s been 3 weeks since you had breast augmentation surgery, which means that you’re probably experiencing some pain and tightness in your chest. It’s important for you to keep up with your exercises in order to help speed up the healing process and avoid scar tissue buildup.
If you haven’t already, please take a few minutes to watch this video on how to do breast augmentation exercises. You’ll need a small resistance band, which are sold at most sporting goods stores. It can be any color or thickness, as long as it’s not too big or too small—the ideal length is between 12-24 inches long. The key is to use enough resistance so that you feel a moderate stretch without straining yourself or causing pain.
Here are some general guidelines for doing these exercises:
1) Perform each exercise 10 times (or more if possible) twice per day—once in the morning before eating anything, and once at night after dinner but before bedtime
3 weeks post op || breast augmentation exercise
One of the greatest factors in the success of a cosmetic procedure, such as a breast augmentation, is the patient’s ability to fully recover afterwards.
Following your plastic surgeon’s post-surgical advice is important because it will:
- Allow for a quicker healing process
- Lower your risk of any complications
- Keep you happier and more comfortable during your recovery period
- Ensure safer, more satisfactory results
Remember to keep your post-op visits to your plastic surgeon!
Post-operative care is extremely important after any cosmetic procedure, whether its liposuction or a breast augmentation.
Remember to follow your plastic surgeon’s instructions and keep your post-operative appointments so that they can check your progress and promote safe and effective results.Breast Augmentation Recovery
Physical Activity After a Breast Augmentation
After a breast augmentation, you will look and feel incredible, but it’s important to give your body time to heal and return to normal. You need to be especially careful when it comes to exercising after your surgery to minimize any swelling, infections or stretch marks.
The Recovery Phase
Most plastic surgeons generally recommend 2-3 weeks of COMPLETE REST after your breast augmentation. Some light walking is recommended to promote blood flow, but make sure to avoid any heavy lifting or intense cardiovascular activities.
Exercises to Avoid After Breast Augmentation
The main concern with exercising after a breast augmentation is overusing the pectoral muscles. Since the vast majority of implants are placed underneath the pectoralis major muscle, this will need to heal before any stress is placed on it through resistance training.
For at least 4 weeks after your surgery, you should be careful NOT TO:
- Lift anything heavier than 10 pounds
- Pull/push/carry any heavy objects including car doors and big purses
- Do any weight training
- Do any push ups, pull ups, dips, pilates and certain yoga poses
- Swing a golf club or a tennis racquet
- Avoid all strenuous activity: Strenuous exercise MUST BE AVOIDED after surgery. Sweating and heightened blood pressure can contribute to the swelling of body tissues, which will affect your healing process.
Exercises You May Be Able To Do During Your Breast Augmentation Recovery
Exercises that are typically allowed during those first 4 weeks after your surgery are lower-body specific workouts. These include:
- Lunges/leg presses/squats without weights
- Light-to-moderate cardio such as walking and using a stationary bicycle
- Core specific strengthening exercises IF they are done very carefully
REMEMBER: It is very important to consult your plastic surgeon before resuming any type of exercise or post-op workout program. This will ensure that your health and well-being is protected and you avoid any unwanted risks from your surgery.
Exercise After Plastic Surgery
One of the most important aspects to a patient’s recovery is their ability to return to their workout routines safely. Additionally, exercise should not jeopardize surgical results. Patients generally feel better physically and mentally when they’re able to exercise. When recovering from certain body contouring procedures, a customized workout regimen can dramatically improve results. While every patient is different and every workout program has to be customized to his or her fitness levels and overall health, some basic guidelines may apply to an average patient’s recovery.
The First Few Days After Surgery
Patients should not be overly active for the first 48 hours following their surgery.
The First Few Weeks After Surgery
Patients may gradually increase their activity level as they feel their energy level coming back. Depending on the type of surgery, it may take 1 – 2 weeks to return to normal energy levels throughout the day. For those who are anxious to return to exercise, light cardio activities are ideal. You can start these activities after 2 weeks. These activities may include walking the neighborhood, walking on a very slow setting on a treadmill, or cycling slowly on a stationary bike. The goal is to not elevate the heart rate too high, while still experiencing the psychological effects of exercise.
As patients return to their normal energy levels, a specific exercise regimen will be outlined based on the procedure and fitness level.
Exercise After Breast Augmentation
The main concern with working out after a breast augmentation is overusing the pectoral muscles. The vast majority of breast implants are placed underneath the pectoralis major muscle. Thus, the muscle will need to heal from surgery before resistance training. The reason for this is the scar tissue, or capsule, that lines the pocket that holds the implant. This begins forming immediately after surgery. Every woman who has breast implants has capsules lining the pockets. This is simply our body’s way of protecting us against an object (the implant) that it doesn’t recognize. The goal is to allow the capsule to form in such a way that it is undetectable. Therefore, during the initial four weeks after surgery, breast augmentation patients should avoid overusing their pectoral muscles.
Typically, this means lifting nothing heavier than 10 pounds. No heavy pulling or pushing of objects such as car doors or even heavy purses, and no weight training. This also includes any weight lifting exercises that involve the chest and back (and to some degree, the arms). Patients should avoid push-ups, pull-ups, dips, certain yoga poses and Pilates moves that rely on balancing body weight with the arms, swinging a golf club or tennis racquet, and using certain exercise equipment such as an elliptical trainer with arm attachments.
In the first 4 weeks after surgery, Dr. Williams recommends lower body exercise. Any type of leg exercise including lunges, leg presses, and squats (without weights) are fine. Light to moderate cardio can also be performed, such as walking, stationary cycling, and the elliptical (without the arms). Strive for no bouncing motion like running or jumping. Patients may also carefully complete core strengthening exercises. These types of exercises can usually begin at 2 weeks post-op.
At the four-week post-op visit, the patient’s progress will be reviewed. If all is progressing normal in the recovery, the patient may slowly begin arm workouts followed by chest exercises.
Eventually, every patient regains total strength of their pec muscles and are able to perform any exercise they desire. Dr. Williams has operated upon competitive fitness models and bodybuilders who continue to compete and highlight their pecs after breast augmentation surgery.
Exercise After Liposuction
The first two weeks following liposuction are like any other procedure and the same restrictions as outlined in the general “Exercise After Plastic Surgery” instructions are applied.
By the third week, liposuction patients will be instructed to begin light cardio workouts, such as walking or stationary cycling. During the first four weeks after liposuction, all patients are required to wear a compression garment day and night to help minimize swelling and help guide skin retraction. This garment (or a sport specific garment) should also be worn during exercise. After two weeks of light cardio, the patient may resume more demanding workouts to include weight lifting and running.
The amount of exercise that can be done at four weeks depends on the amount of liposuction performed and how many areas of the body were treated. Also, it’s important to understand that as one exercises after liposuction, the treated areas will experience prolonged swelling, sometimes for up to six months after surgery. This does not jeopardize the results, but it may prolong the final result. However, most patients are willing to wait for the final result if it means they can get back to their workout routine faster.
Exercise After a Tummy Tuck (Abdominoplasty)
The recovery period following a tummy tuck is longer than that of just liposuction. Because of the muscle repair that is involved in a tummy tuck, the body needs a longer time to heal before becoming stressed by any kind of workout.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of sports and training routines rely on activating the core musculature, which includes the rectus muscles. Therefore, patients are instructed to wait four weeks before beginning light cardio exercise. When patients begin this exercise at four weeks following surgery, they have to start very slowly and advance to a more vigorous routine over a span of four additional weeks, which will allow adequate time for the muscles to heal. Once the patient is able to perform moderate cardio exercises, they will be released for light resistance training and then finally core work. It may take 8 – 10 weeks before a patient may perform sit-ups, crunches, or twisting movements. As with liposuction, a compression garment is recommended during the first 6 – 8 weeks following surgery to limit swelling and guide skin retraction. Also, patients will experience prolonged swelling around the waist and above the scar the more they work out in the early post-operative period. This is not harmful; it simply prolongs the final result.
Exercise After Facial Rejuvenation (Facelift, Eyelid Lift, Brow Lift)
Following a facial rejuvenation procedure, patients are recommended to refrain from any activity that will increase their heart rate and/or blood pressure for at least four weeks. This is due to the fact that these procedures involve operating beneath the skin of the face, eyelids, or brow where there are hundreds of tiny blood vessels that can easily bleed after surgery with just a slight increase in blood pressure. If this were to happen, a hematoma, or a collection of blood, could form under the skin resulting in significant complications, including a return trip to the operating room. After the first four weeks, the majority of patients can resume light cardio (walking or slow stationary cycling) and gradually work up to a more vigorous workout over the subsequent two weeks. By six weeks after surgery, most patients can return to various activities, such as hiking, golf, or yoga.
Exercise After A Breast Lift
While it is important for patients to get back to exercise and an active lifestyle following breast lift surgery, it is also extremely important for the body to be given the necessary time to heal. Dr. Williams has experience in working with athletes following surgical procedures and will work with patients to provide specific guidelines that fit their needs. Some general guidelines following a breast lift:
Lower body exercise is recommended and encouraged following a breast lift. Body weight squats and lunges and leg presses are allowed, and light cardio using a stationary bicycle or an elliptical without the arm attachments are good choices in the weeks immediately following surgery. Any type of exercise that involves bouncing type motions or the upper body area should be avoided until the four-week post-op visit, at which time Dr. Williams will evaluate the patient and determine the most appropriate exercise program.
Exercise After a Breast Reduction
Following a breast reduction, many patients are anxious to exercise, as they may have had limitations in exercise due to their previous breast size. While Dr. Williams encourages physical fitness, it’s crucial to let the body sufficiently heal following a breast reduction procedure. While Dr. Williams will work with each patient on an individual basis to determine what their exercise capacity may be following a breast reduction surgery, there are some general guidelines:
Lower body exercise is encouraged in the immediate weeks following a breast reduction surgery. While weights should not be used, body weight lunges and squats are perfectly fine. Low impact cardio is encouraged, and walking, stationary bicycling, and using an elliptical without the arm attachments are all good choices. Any type of exercise involving the upper body should be avoided until clearance from the surgeon. At the four-week post-op appointment, Dr. Williams will evaluate the healing progress and determine if the patient is ready to begin exercise that involves their upper body.
exercise timeline after breast augmentation
Returning to exercise is a common concern for many patients, and all of us at Colorado Plastic Surgery Center certainly support the goals of health and fitness and strive to get patients back to their exercise routines as soon as possible. It is important, however, to allow yourself to heal and to always “listen” very carefully to your body and progress activity a little at a time.
Here is a general timeline that patients find helpful before and after their breast augmentation procedure:
3-5 Days — Return to non-physical work and very light activity. Plan to still have some soreness and know that you will get tired more easily. I do encourage patients to use their arms, so as to maintain full range of motion of the arms.
1 Week Post-Op Visit — If a bra is being worn, we will assess whether to continue its use or discontinue the bra and apply an elastic band (if we are desiring more downward movement of the implant). You will visit with our peri-operative therapist, Pam, for a 1-hour session and she will begin very light lymphatic and breast tissue massage as well as provide instructions on performing self-massage. You can return to light activity, including gentle stretching, increased walking, and sexual relations, as long as these can be done comfortably. Unfortunately, it often takes longer for the breasts to become more comfortable for sexual play.
2 Weeks — Return to moderate activity. Light-impact cardio exercise and some yoga postures and stretching are appropriate. An elliptical trainer or spin bike are a good place to start. Begin to increase light massage to the breasts.
4 Weeks — Begin a gradual return to full lower-body activity. You may start back to running if the breasts are comfortable while wearing a supportive athletic bra.
6-Week Post-Op Visit — We evaluate implant position and relaxation of the breasts and create a plan for you accordingly. Sometimes we are near optimal position and go into a support bra. Other times we need more movement and increase the downward massage of the breasts. We may even recommend another peri-op session with Pam. Begin a gradual return to full activity, including upper body.
6 Months — Okay to discontinue breast massage.
To learn more about a Breast Augmentation procedure and what to expect from consultation to final results, view our Breast Surgery Timeline.