Breast Augmentation and Reduction. How Long Should I Take Off?

I am planning on getting a breast reduction on one side and a silicone implant on the other. Right now I work at a very physical place where I bend over, lift 25 pounds +, and I am on my feet 8 hours a day. How long should I take off since I am getting two different things done. The less time, the better.

Doctor Answers (11)

Returning to work after breast surgery.


 After breast surgery returning to work may depend on the type of work that you perform. Patients who have sedentary jobs such as office workers generally return to work in 7 to 10 days. Patients with more active jobs such as warehouse, housekeeping and more strenuous activities may require additional time. The important thing to remember is that you should avoid any heavy lifting pushing or pulling for approximately 6 weeks after surgery. We define heavy as being anything over 10 pounds in my practice or the weight of a gallon of water. Recovery, times will vary from patient to patient and you should discuss this with your plastic surgeon at the time of your consultation.

Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Cosmetic Surgery is an Art and a Science


Thank you for the question. Typically patients take a week off to recover from breast surgery. Sometimes limited return to work can be advised if you have to lift too much. Discuss this with your surgeon before surgery so you can better plan. Best Wishes  Thomas Narsete, M.D. Austin, Texas

Thomas A. Narsete, MD
Greenwood Village Plastic Surgeon

Return to work after breast surgery


You should discuss this question in detail with your surgeon.  I generally ask my patients to refrain from heavy work for 6 weeks.  Patients can return to desk work or light duty within a few days.

Naveen Setty, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

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Breast Augmentation and Breast Reduction and Time Off Work


Following a breast augmentation and breast reduction, a patient should avoid lifting 25 lbs or greater for at least three weeks.  Although patients recover at different rates, most patients can return to a desk type of job in 7 to 10 days.  Best wishes.

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
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Return to Work after Breast Surgery?


Your plastic surgeon will be your best resource when it comes to returning to specific activities. Remember, that your plastic surgeon knows exactly what was done, how you are progressing ( with or without complications),  knows more precisely what you are planning on doing when it comes to activities, and is ultimately responsible for your care.
 Receiving advice online in this regard may be confusing or worse.
 Best wishes; hopefully you'll be very pleased with the outcome of surgery.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
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Breast Augmentation and Reduction. How Long Should I Take Off?


About four weeks  seems reasonable given your description of your work. If there is a possibility of light duty, a week would be sufficient. 

As always your surgeon is a superior resource for questions like this!

All the best. 

Jourdan Gottlieb, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Breast augmentation


In my practice patients are instructed to limit aerobic activity for 3-4 weeks and heavy exertion for 6-8 weeks. They can go back to desk type work after a few days in most cases.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
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Breast Augmentation and Reduction and Lifting at the Job


   I would recommend at least 4 weeks, if not six, depending upon the exact nature of the surgery and your postoperative course.  With a more strenuous job, I would ask to do something less strenuous for the first few weeks of recovery.  In a sedentary job, you could probably go back in 7 days or so.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 193 reviews

Take Time to Recover


Hopefully, you have discussed this with your Plastic Surgeon.  You should avoid heavy lifting for 4 to 6 weeks.  Consider asking your employer if you can have light duty during the healing time.  Most patients go back to work in 1 to 2 weeks, depending on their job duties.

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews



You are hopefully only going to have the procedures performed once so, TAKE SOME TIME OFF. Normally, after such procedures heavy activity and exertion as you are describing would not be suggested for 4 to 6 weeks after your surgery. Employers often allow this time off in reconstructive surgery cases. But, please address your concerns with your surgeon.  Best,



Gary R Culbertson, MD, FACS

Gary R. Culbertson, MD
Columbia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.