When Can I Return to my Active Job After Having Breast Augmentation?

I don't have the usual desk job. I'm a bartender at a busy bar/restaurant, and my normal shift is anywhere from 10-15 hours long, all of which are spent on my feet. I'm a healthy, non-smoking 28-year old, about 5'2 and 115 lbs, 32B, looking to get implants. I understand not being able to lift anything heavy for a while, but will I have to spend an extended period of time out of work (longer than 1-2 weeks)?

Doctor Answers 26

Return to Active Job after Breast Augmentation Usually 10-14 days

Thank you for your question.

I agree with others that you need to follow the advice of your surgeon.

However, that said, I recommend to my patients that they plan two weeks before vigorous physical activity after Breast Augmentation.

Return to work is more difficult after Submuscular Breast Augmentation than after Subglandular Breast Augmentation.

Your job sound very vigorous. My guess is you will need at least a week and perhaps two if the implants are placed under the muscle

You can return to work early

Most of my patients return to even very active jobs by a week after breast augmentation. You may be a little sore but you will not hurt anything.

John Squires, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Going Back to Work in 1 to 2 Weeks after Breast Augmentation

   Unless you are running all over the place at your job getting your heart rate up or straining yourself, going back to work in 1 to 2 weeks should be fine.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

When an I return to my active job after having breast augmentation?

Thank you for your question! The "rapid recovery" breast augmentation is a newer philosophy with many surgeons to expedite activity and expedite recovery following the breast augmentation procedure. In my practice, utilizing the fast track technique after breast augmentations, women are readily able and doing most things virtually immediately after this procedure. It is the similar techniques as described and is really gaining popularity. She is even recommended to go out for dinner that evening. Pain is minimal and you will likely be on a scheduled antiinflammatory regimen/pain control along with early exercises/range of motion techniques immediately. However, follow your surgeon's instructions for postoperative care and restrictions, but it is common for most women to resume many of the preoperative activities and duties within a week. I typically restrict heavy lifting and vigorous exercise for approximately 4-6 weeks Swelling and settling of the implant typically occurs over a 6-12 week period along with placement in a compression-type bra for the same time period, while your incisions commonly resolve to its final appearance in up to a year. Hope that this helps! Best wishes for a great result!hen an I return to my active job 

Lewis Albert Andres, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Recovery After Breast Augmentation

Thank you for your question. I have included some typical expectations of breast surgery recovery and signs to watch for following breast augmentation:

  • Stiffness, swelling and bruising in the chest region: These are normal experiences as the skin, muscles and tissue heal. Pain medication and muscle relaxants will help you cope with any discomfort. Consistent sharp pain should be reported to your board-certified surgeon.
  • Hypersensitivity of nipples or lack of sensitivity: This is normal and will gradually resolve over time.
  • A mild to severe itchy feeling of the breasts is possible as healing progresses. An antihistamine like Benadryl can help to alleviate severe, constant itchiness. If the skin becomes red and hot to the touch, contact your board-certified surgeon immediately.
  • Asymmetry, the breasts look different, or heal differently: Breasts may look or feel quite different from one another in the days following surgery. This is normal. No two breasts in nature or following surgery are perfectly symmetrical.
  • Discuss returning to work with your board-certified surgeon, in our office it is typically 3-5 days post-surgery but you may not overexert yourself or do any heavy lifting.
  • You may resume exercise and your normal routine at six weeks unless your surgeon advises otherwise.
Remember, every patient recovers differently and each breast heals at its own rate. As long as you are not doing any heavy lifting, you should be able to return to work 5-7 days post surgery. I suggest consulting with a board-certified plastic surgeon. Best of luck!

Brian Coan, MD, FACS
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Ask your surgeon

5-7 days is usually advised for a desk job. For your job, you may need to take about 3-6 weeks off, although this can vary from person to person. Do not lift anything heavy until about 6 weeks after surgery. Please ask your surgeon for their advice as they may have different guidelines.

Time off Work for Bartender

Each surgeon has his or her own guidelines for recovery. Typically, patients can return to light activity after 5 to 7 days. More strenuous activity may take 3 to 6 weeks. Consult with your board certified surgeon as he or she will understand the scope of the surgery and the specifics of you.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Return to work after a breast augmentation

The only activities I would restrict a patient to after a breast augmentation would be not to lift greater than 20 pounds and avoid activities where the breasts bounce up and down for 6 weeks. Atlanta Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Z

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

Return to Active Physical Activity After Breast Augmentation

If your implants are placed under the muscle I usually advise my patients to wait at least 4 weeks before resuming any active physical activity. 

Breast Augmentation - Return to work guidelines

I don't recommended working at the job you're describing before 10 days if you required to do heavy lifting.  If you don't have to lift, but still work hard, then take off at least a week.    Best wishes!

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.