If you’re undergoing breast augmentation surgery, it’s clear that you care about your body and want to look your best — so it makes sense that, like so many of our augmentation patients, you are also passionate about your health and fitness. Whether you already have a workout routine or you’re hoping to use your augmentation to kickstart your motivation, you might have questions about how your surgery will impact your ability to exercise. Though the recovery period of a breast augmentation is relatively short (about two to six weeks), it’s important to treat yourself with extra care during your weeks of healing and to avoid activities that might cause injury to your new breasts. Our post-augmentation exercise guide can help you understand what to expect from breast augmentation recovery. To learn more or to ask questions about your personal exercise routine, be sure to talk to your surgeon about your typical level of activity during your consultation.
During the first week or two of your recovery, you’ll want to rest and let your body start to heal from your surgery. But resting doesn’t have to mean bed rest. In fact, it’s important to keep moving with light activities like short, frequent walks or stretches. Sitting or lying down for too long can cause your blood to flow more slowly and even pool. When this happens, you’re at a heightened risk for blood clots including deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. To keep your risk low, surgeons always recommend getting up and gently moving around whenever you feel able during the first two weeks of your recovery. Improving blood flow can also speed up healing as your blood carries essential nutrients and immune cells to your breast area.
Be especially gentle with your arm mobility in the first two weeks after surgery. You will be asked to move your arms in the full range of motion. You should be carefully doing your acts of daily living, including washing your hair and combing it, or reaching for a cup. You will need to allow comfort to be your guide. You will be on pain medication, but it’s important that you do not “overdo it” in the first two weeks post op, to avoid complications such as bleeding at the surgical site. You should, however, make sure that you put your arms gently through a full range of motion to prevent any shoulder stiffness. Talking to your surgeon about your activity levels at your follow-up appointments is a great way to know when you are clear to resume actions like cardio and lifting heavy weights.
After your first two to three weeks, you’ll be able to start exercising and getting your heart rate up. Light cardio, such as easy stationary biking or walking on an inclined treadmill, is a great option to get your body moving again. You should continue to avoid strenuous upper-body activities like weightlifting, swimming or push-ups, but your range of movement will begin to become more comfortable and you’ll have more energy to put into your workout. You should also avoid high-impact workouts that might result in excessive breast movement. Be mindful of your limits and don’t try to push them before you are ready; even though you might be eager to get back into shape to show off your new body, it’s best to take things slow to ensure your safety and long-lasting results. Patients who have their implants placed above the muscle are allowed to perform upper body exercises starting around 2 weeks. Patients who have their implants placed below the muscle should wait until both implants have settled into the desired position before doing any exercises that involve the chest (pectoralis) muscles.
If you’re looking forward to using your breast augmentation to motivate you to take better care of your new body, this stage of your recovery is the perfect opportunity to start building a fitness routine. You can ease your way into regular, more intensive exercise as you recover, and you’ll see dual benefits: you’ll be keeping your body in top shape for healing as well as working your way up to a fit and toned physique.
Between four and six weeks post-op, you should be cleared to resume most, if not all, physical activity, including regular cardio, yoga, pilates, swimming, and weightlifting. You should not, however, assume that the one-month mark gives you permission to hit the gym — it’s important to wait until your surgeon clears you for strenuous exercise, which she or he will do at one of your follow-up appointments. They may also ask that you limit certain types of exercises that put extra strain on your breasts or pectoral muscles for a little while longer.
And, even after you’re given the go-ahead, be sure to listen to your body. If at any time you feel unusual pain or discomfort around your breasts, take a break and avoid that type of movement until you can confirm that you are not risking injury. If at any point you are unsure of the risks associated with a particular exercise, you can always contact your surgeon’s office to ask.
There are a few factors that might impact any long-term limitations on your exercise. These factors may include your new breast size, the amount of natural breast tissue you had before your augmentation, the type, and placement of your implants and your current fitness level. If, for example, your implants are placed below the pectoral muscle, you may be advised to limit intensive chest exercises like push-ups or pull-ups. Excessive contraction of these muscles can cause the implant to migrate downward and/or outward over time, resulting in a lower-sitting appearance of the breasts than desired.
You should always discuss your lifestyle, including your typical workout regimen, with your surgeon during your initial consultation. One of the ways we work to determine whether breast augmentation above or below the muscle is right for you is by evaluating the kinds of exercise you enjoy and ensuring that your implants won’t limit you. Your surgeon can help you understand any long-term effects that certain types or sizes of implants might have for your body.
For expert breast augmentations and cosmetic surgery guidance in Banff, Alberta, make the team at Banff Plastic Surgery your first choice. Our esteemed plastic surgeon, Dr. Elizabeth Hall-Findlay, offers years of expertise performing breast surgeries and is always happy to help a new patient achieve their aesthetic goals. We focus on creating beautiful, natural results that build your confidence and fit seamlessly into your life, fitness routine included. Contact us today at 403-762-2055 to learn more.