Many breast augmentation patients at our Albany, NY, practice lead active lifestyles and spend several days every week at the gym. So naturally one of the most common questions patients ask is how soon after surgery can they return to their workouts.
The answer, as you probably expect, isn’t simple. It depends on the type and intensity of workout the patient wants to resume. For example, after surgery, bodybuilders need to be careful about upper body weightlifting, while swimmers will have similar limitations on when they can get back into the pool.
Some general guidelines, though, are helpful for planning post-surgery workouts. Plastic surgeons all have their own instructions for recovery, including recommended timelines for when to resume exercise. On the RealSelf website, you can find hundreds of answers to a single question seeking advice on working out after getting breast implants.
At our Albany, NY, practice, our surgeons offer the following instructions for exercising after breast augmentation:
- Day of Surgery: Even though getting enough rest is important, you should walk around after returning home to help reduce swelling and minimize the risk of complications such as blood clots. Even just walking around your house helps.
- 1 to 3 Weeks Post-Op: Avoid any workouts that use the arms. Continue walking regularly, but don’t start running or jogging. Swimmers should postpone resuming workouts until after the incisions are fully healed. At about 3 weeks is often when patients want to increase their activity levels, but it’s important to resist the temptation to do too much, too soon. You’ve invested money and time into getting breast implants, so we advise patients to err on the side of caution.
- 4 to 6 Weeks Post-Op: Increasing the intensity of workouts is okay but focus on aerobic activities with minimal impact on the body. Runners should use an elliptical machine or stationary bike for cardio exercises, and lower-body exercises should include lunges and squats.
- 7 Weeks Post-Op and Beyond: It’s a good idea to get your surgeon’s okay before resuming strenuous exercises that include high-intensity training, lifting weights, or high-impact cardio workouts. In the majority of cases, breast augmentation patients are cleared for full workouts at the 7-week mark.
Again, these are guidelines, and some patients heal faster than others. It’s important to listen to your body even after you return to the gym. If something doesn’t feel quite right, take off a few days or give our office a call.