Lifting Arms After Breast Augmentation.

I am a Dental Hygienist at a pediatric office. I know I will not be able to lift, push, pull, ect for weeks following my surgery, but I was wondering what the usual protocol is for lifting your arms above your head. I will be out of work for approximately 10 days, that's including the weekend, but when I return I will be lifting my arms. I also lift my arms to straighten my hair, or pull it up if I am unable to straighten it. Thank you for your time.

Doctor Answers 22

Lifting protocols following breast augmentation.

As with most postoperative routines, it is surgeon dependent and you should follow the instructions given to you by your surgeon. In my practice, for women having subglandular (on top of the muscle), the restrictions are usually minimal. For submuscular placement, I prefer no heavy lifting (greater than 10lbs) for 2 weeks and the use of a post-augmentation bra. I do not restrict patients from normal, daily activities requiring overhead lifting of the arms (hair washing, etc.). However, request your information from your surgeon prior to surgery so that you can fully comply with their recommendations.

Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Discuss all post-operative restrictions with your surgeon.

It’s not unusual for patients to be concerned about resumption of normal activity following breast augmentation surgery.These patients want to know when they can resume normal activities without restrictions.
In the post-operative period, we tell patients not to lift their elbows over their head for at least 3 weeks following surgery.This minimizes the potential for secondary complications such as bleeding, hematoma and implant malposition.
In addition, we also recommend that patients not lift more than 10 lbs. for at least 4 to 6 weeks following surgery. Again, we feel this minimizes the potential for secondary complications.
It’s important to realize that no 2 patients are every exactly alike.It’s also important to realize that every surgeon has his own post-operative routine.For this reason, it’s important to discuss these issues with your surgeon.No one is in a better position to make a post-operative recommendation than the person who will be performing your surgery.

Activities after a breast augmentaiton

Normal activities will most likely have not long term effects on your breasts.  Just be careful and avoid activities that make the breasts bounce up and down.  Moderation of activities is the key after breast surgery.  It is the repetitive bouncing up and down that you want to avoid.  Also it helps to wear a well fitting bra.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Lifting arms after breast augmentation

There's no problem with lifting your arms after breast augmentation surgery. I advise my patients to avoid strenuous exercise and heavy activity for about a month after surgery, but lifting your arms shouldn't be a problem. In fact, it may help to reduce swelling in the hands which can sometimes happen after surgery. 

Arm lifting after Breast Augmentation

Thank you for your questions.

Yes, you can lift your arms up to do your hair within a day after breast augmentation. Most people will return to work within 7-10 days when you are off pain medication.

It will be important for you to ease back into it and not do too much too soon. You may want to make the first day a half day.

The main thing is no heavy lifting with your arms (no more than 5 lbs) for the first 4 weeks after breast augmentation.  Gentle range of motion without weights is okay.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Armlifting After Breast Augmentation

There is really no significant problems with lifting your arms after a breast augmentation within hours. In fact, I encourage my patients to move their arms and elevate them above their head within hours post procedure.  However, I encourage my patients to keep their blood pressure below 100 and avoid aggressive physical exercise for 2-3 weeks.


Rod J. Rohrich, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Restrictions on your activity after breast augmentation will vary with your surgeon

Hi there-

Because only your surgeon understands the details of the technique performed on you, you should ask, and then carefully follow, the instructions given to you by him/her.

Deviating from those instructions (even if a well-meaning one of us on this site advocates it) will compromise your outcome and possible your safety.

Stick with your surgeon's recommendations

Arm motion after breast augmentation

I tell my patients not to lift more than 10 lbs for 2 weeks following breast enhancement; however, I let them shower the next day, wash their own hair, and I am not strict about "overhead lifting" of their arms. I have a number of patients in your same profession and they are able to go back to work and do usual duties within several days as long as they are not doing heavy lifting.  Each doctor has their own "protocol" and I would recommend following your board certified plastic surgeon's post op instructions. I hope this helps!


James F. Boynton, M.D., F.A.C.S.

There is no protocol


There is no specific protocol for breast augmentation activity since every plastic surgeon has his/her own preference and every patient has different requirements.  If you breast augmentation is performed under the muscle you will certainly feel sore and stiff when you raise your arms but there is no specific harm that you can do when you do so.  The most important physical limitation is really not to lift to heavy or do vigorous activity as this will increase your blood pressure and may result in increased swelling or a late hematoma.

All the best,

Dr Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 130 reviews

Arm motion after Augmentation

Please contact your PS for instructions on arm motion after the procedure, as everyone's protocol is different.  You should be able to resume your job in 10 days barring any post operative problems.  The basic rule of thumb is:  "if it hurts, stop doing it!"

David Finkle, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 62 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.