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I Was Extremely Physically Active Before the Surgery, but Did I Return to Exercise Too Soon?

I had 300cc saline Nov. 3. On Nov 9, my Dr removed sutures & (I thought) said I could resume my elliptical & high heartrate wasnt a problem. Before surgery, I did about 2 hours of cardio every day & weights every other day. I did elliptical 45 min on day 10 and then again on day 12 felt good, but then I read I could cause cc that way b/c of blood in the pockets. My Dr says not to stress b/c its not proven, but he does usually suggest waiting 2 wks. Is the damage done? Can I start now at 4 weeks?

Doctor Answers (10)

Breast Augmentation, Exercise, and Recovery

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Exercise is a vital part of any healing for the body.  However, your doctor will have his or her preferences as to when and how often you can exercise after surgery.

I for one believe strongly in a quick recovery technique known as Flash Recovery Breast AugmentationTM which promotes quick healing.  Many patients can actually return to their normal activities within 24 hours. The only caveat is that the exercise regimen which includes arm raises just hours after your breast augmentation,  is prescribed by me.  Full Gym exercise and cardio etc is usually safe at 4 weeks but can come sooner and rarely later depending on your circumstance. Not everyone is a candidate for the Flash Recovery Breast Augmentation and this really will all be determined at your consultation.

Good luck and remember the gentler the surgeon on your breast tissue, the quicker your recovery and return to  your normal activities.


Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Exercise after breast augmentation

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Every surgeon has his or her preference regarding the time to return to activity.  If you were going to have a problem, you almost certainly would have noticed it by now.  If your surgeon has cleared you to return to exercise, you should be fine at this time.  Best wishes, /nsn.

Nina S. Naidu, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

When to exercise after breast augmentation?

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I generally ask my patients to refrain from any strenuous chest exercises (push-ups, chest presses, etc) for about 6 weeks after augmentation.  However, other exercise that doesn't use the pectoralis muscles as aggressively is encouraged much sooner.  If you feel okay doing it, it's probably okay. 

Regarding your specific concern, I wouldn't worry about a hematoma causing capsular contracture at this point.  If you had a hematoma during or after exercise, you'd know it. 

Carmen Kavali, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

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Exercise Routine Should Be Fine

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I generally let my patients resume activity/exercise at the one week mark.   Iask them to avoid high impact things, but an elliptical is usually fine.  As long as nothing hurt and you felt fine, then i would not worry about it at all.  If you had any sort of bleeding, you would have seen some new bruising as an indication.  As long ad you do not feel uncomfortable/pain, then it is fine.  I hope this helps.

Christopher V. Pelletiere, MD
Barrington Plastic Surgeon
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Returning to exercise, cardio and running after breast implant augmentation surgery

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Generally speaking, I would allow my paitents to return to acitivity (other than avoiding strenous use of the pectoralis muscle) at 3-4 weeks with the use of a supportive jog bra.  

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Postoperative routines are variable between surgeons...

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The postoperative instructions after surgery are highly variable between surgeons. In effect, the goals are to allow for the inflammatory process to subside and not to induce bleeding which could lead to further complications. Light cardio workouts and elliptical are often acceptable at 7-10 days following surgery. A supportive bra is important to limit tension and pulling on incisions. More intense workouts are usually delayed for 3 to 4 weeks, including any weight-training or repetitive lifting. Significant bleeding is usually obvious with unilateral breast swelling. To ease your concerns, gradually increase your activity level until you are more comfortable.

David Bogue, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Exercise following implants

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Every physician has different advice with regards to implant recovery.  I generally suggest patients of mine may return to the elliptical in about 10 days.  The risk of hematoma (blood in the pockets) is generally an issue in the immediate post operative period.  I think it is safe to "listen to your body".  I usually advise working out as tolerated.  There is no study with evidence suggesting a date to return to the gym.  If it hurts, stop it.  If not, go for it.  If you are an avid fitness person, you are probably missing the exercise induced endorphins.

Jason R. Hess, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Low stress cardio workouts are usually not a problem after breast augmentation.

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Low stress cardio workouts are usually not a problem after breast augmentation. I tell my patients that they can get back on an elliptical with a target heart rate under 110 the first week after augmentation.

That is my practice guideline because I know my patients and exactly what I do in the operating room, but every doctor has their own philosophy.

Richard H. Fryer, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 79 reviews

Breast augmentation, breast implants, cosmetic surgery

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I tyically have patients do cardio in the form of walking including a treadmill the first couple of weeks.  I also have had patients use a recumbent bik as well.  After a few weeks it is usually fine to return to a more normal aerobic activity routine.

Robert Whitfield, MD, FACS
Austin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Working out after surgery

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Every surgeon has a different philosophy, but I usually allow patients to start aerobic activity about 3-4 weeks after surgery provided that the post-op course was smooth.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 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.