What Activities Are Restricted After Breast Reduction Surgery?

Isn't it good to have some mobility after breast reduction surgery, or any surgery? What would be a good routine to start during the second week of recovery? mild stretching?

Doctor Answers 11

Healing after #BreastReduction: activity

Healing after #BreastReduction: activity
Most patients resume normal activity by two weeks however full activity, lifting, sports, and no restrictions is safer at 6 weeks.
I have my patients moving their arms the night of surgery


Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 50 reviews

Allow 6 Weeks For Complete Recovery

Breast reduction is a commonly performed operation that’s associated with excellent clinical results and high levels of patient satisfaction.Patients frequently note alleviation of their symptoms and improved quality of life with this procedure.
It’s important to remember that recovery varies from patient to patient.We generally recommend that patients take a week off from work or school following this procedure, but many patients are able to return sooner.Strenuous activities such as athletics, running, heavy lifting and aggressive workouts should be avoided for four to six weeks following surgery.
Patients are required to wear a specialized support bra for three weeks and a sports bra for an additional three months.It’s important to remember that complete wound healing takes at least a year.

Activity after breast reduction surgery

Every surgeon is different with their recommendations for post-op activity.  Ask your doctor what he or she recommends. It also depends on the patient and whatever risk factors they might have, so i individualize all my instructions.  In general, you will want to take it easy for a few days to a week.  After that walking is good and light activity.  Most can exercise 3-4 weeks after surgery, refraining from heavy upper body activity, heavy lifting or running until 5-6 weeks.

Marialyn Sardo, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Activities after breast reduction surgery

Ultimately, you need to follow the regimen that is recommended to you by your plastic surgeon (if you have one). In general, it is important to ambulate immediately after surgery particularly in order to minimize the risk of clots in the leg. You can engage in non-exertional activities as tolerated. I usually recommend that my patients don't engage in very strenuous activities for approximately 3 weeks. Mild stretching can be done beforehand but should not impact the incisions or breasts in any way.

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Activity after breast reduction

To reduce the risk of forming blood clots, I ask patients to walk the evening of surgery.  It is important to move around a bit and go for slow walks the first week, but avoid lifting more than 10 pounds or so and aerobic activity for 2 weeks.   Usually activity is gradually increased from 2-6 weeks, and at 6 weeks patients are back to full activity.   I ask patients to listen to their bodies - if it hurts, back off! 

Recovery time after breast reduction

Hello dear thanks for your post. You will need to take at least one week off from work or school for breast reduction surgery. Some people need two weeks, but each situation varies. Your surgeon will instruct you on follow-up appointments for removing bandages and stitches.

While you recover, you'll need to stop physical activities for at least one month after surgery.

After breast reduction surgery, you should expect to feel tired and to have breast pain. This is normal. Your surgeon will give you an oral painkiller to ease you through the first few days after surgery. You should also avoid heavy lifting.

Some people have an emotional reaction, such as feeling depressed, after the surgery. That can be normal, but make sure you tell your doctor about all your concerns.


Good luck :)

Tania Medina de Garcia, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 199 reviews

Postop activity after breast reduction

It is advisable not to exercise upper body for several weeks after surgery. After the first week, walking is fine and patients may resume lower body exercises once the sutures are removed. I recommend that my patients refrain from aerobic exercise and jogging for four weeks postoperatively and to avoid lifting heavy objects. Generally, patients with symptomatic macromastia have experienced exercise intolerance due to the weight of the breasts and the resultant pain pattern so, as for anyone beginning an exercise regimen, they should start slowly and gradually increase activity as they recover and adapt to a change in lifestyle.

Robert L. Kraft, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Breast Reduction and postoperative activity?

Thank you for the question.

Yes it is important to be "mobile" (ambulate)  after surgery. I encourage patients to walk and practice deep breathing the day of surgery. Mild stretching  is not a problem.  During the second week of recovery patients are encouraged to walk longer distances or use a stationary bike  If they feel up to it.

I asked my patients to avoid heavy lifting and exercises that involve the upper extremities for the first  4 weeks after surgery.

I hope this helps.

Activities after breast reduction

You will probably need to take it easy for about a week, then go back to work in one to two weeks if it's a desk job. You won't be able to go to the gym for about 4-6 weeks, depending on the extent of correction involved.

Restricted Activities After Breast Reduction

Periods of various restrictions after breast reductions will vary somewhat among surgeons.  I do encourage my patients to be active soon after surgery in ways that will not adversely affect their result (walking, etc.).  I discourage any activities, on the other hand, that will stress the incisions, etc. for 3-4 weeks.  Very strenuous activities, such as heavy lifting, are discouraged for up to six weeks.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 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.