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“I would love to have a breast augmentation, but I’m worried about the impact it will have on my daily exercise routine, and the muscle tone loss or weight gain I will experience during the downtime.

How soon after surgery can I return to working out, and are there any restrictions?”

– patient

Breast and abdominal surgery
Dr David Sharp, plastic surgeon in Brisbane, profile image

Dr Sharp:

It’s great to hear you are thinking about these factors before your augmentation surgery, as they are important pre operative considerations.

After breast augmentation surgery you will spend about one week not doing much – you will be able to do basic tasks like showering, getting a drink or chilling on the couch, but not much more than that! During the following week, you’ll return to tasks like making your bed, going for light walks, cooking a meal or driving a car.

Pictured: before and after breast augmentation, mastopexy (lift) and abdominoplasty surgery performed by Dr Sharp 

The most challenging restriction for many of my breast augmentation patients is the requirement to not lift anything over 2kg for at least 6 weeks after surgery. And that doesn’t mean returning to bench pressing 10kg or lifting a toddler at 6 weeks and 1 day post op!

Even at the 6-8 week post operative mark, it’s important to ease back into your exercise routine and tasks like shopping, cleaning and lifting small children.

Listen to your body and if you experience pain, discomfort or swelling, cease the activity for another 2 weeks and ease back into it.

Upper body workouts or things like rock climbing or ergo work will need to wait much longer than 6 weeks, but in the interim there’s other activities you can do to retain your fitness. We work with an experienced personal trainer to create customised workouts during the months after surgery, so talk to us if you’d like to discuss the options available to you, with a carefully selected workout routine.

It is important to emphasise that it’s still possible to do damage during this period, placing strain on the supporting structures and new scar tissue in your breast, which can have long term impact on your results! So the short term frustration of ‘taking it easy’ is worth it in the long run – and something worth committing to prior to undergoing breast augmentation surgery.

If you use exercise to manage your mental wellbeing, it’s important to discuss this openly with your surgeon prior to surgery, so s/he can discuss the impact that your recovery period could have, and weight up the challenges you might encounter.

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