What is the absolute soonest I would be able to run after my breast reduction surgery?

I am a collegiate cross country and track runner and I am planning on getting a breast reduction at the beginning of this coming summer. My training plan really only allows for about 2 weeks off, will a be able to run 2 weeks post surgery?

Doctor Answers 8

What is the absolute soonest I would be able to run after my breast reduction surgery?

Hi. I would recommend 4 weeks. This will vary with each surgeon that you speak with. There are no set rules. Good luck

Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 232 reviews

Running post reduction

This is a trimely question since I recently did a breast reduction on a runner who decided to begin running about 3 weeks post op.She came in the next day with active bleeding and a hematoma or blood collection that required a return to the OR so now I say 4 weeks minimum.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Breast Reduction and Running

Thank you for your question.

With good support you should be able to run 3-4 weeks after breast reduction.

To be sure, see two or more experienced, board-certified Plastic Surgeons for a complete evaluation to make sure you are a good candidate and that it is safe for you to have surgery.

I hope this helps.

J. Jason Wendel, MD, FACS
Nashville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 182 reviews

What is the absolute soonest I would be able to run after my breast reduction surgery?

This answer will depend on how well and fast you heal, and only your PS can determine that after your surgery. Typically, I would not recommend running, or heavy weight lifting for at least 4 weeks. But again, this question is best addressed with you surgeon after surgery. With good breast support at 2 weeks- you should be able to maintain your conditioning on a treadmill. Hope this helps

Thomas Trevisani, Sr., MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

How soon can I run after breast reduction

Every plastic surgeon has their own guidelines and specifications regarding their postoperative instructions, including when it is acceptable to return to certain activities.  A consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon will help to determine when it would be ok for you to run after surgery, as it also depends on your rate of healing.  Best wishes. 

Josef Hadeed, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews


Congratulations on your decision to proceed with breast reduction surgery; this operation tends to be one of the most patient pleasing operations were performed. You will find that your plastic surgeon will be your best resource when it comes returning to specific activities, including running. He/she will know exactly how you are doing and whether or not you have experienced any complications. In my practice, I would advise you against running, or any other type of strenuous exercise for at least one month after the procedure was performed. Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

What is the absolute soonest I would be able to run after my breast reduction surgery?

The absolute soonest is when your chosen surgeon OKs the return to running. we can not offer you any time frame since we do not know for medical.surgical history...

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 reviews

What is the absolute soonest I would be able to run after my breast reduction surgery?

This is an excellent question.  It is important to remember that every single Plastic Surgeon will have their own specific postoperative instructions as well as restrictions.  So my answer will probably be different than others, but I find myself not too liberal and not too conservative on the issue.

Breast reduction surgery is a big surgery in terms of incisions, tissue removed, the need for drains, and the need for ideal wound healing conditions.  The short answer from me is absolutely not, you cannot start cross country running and training at 2 weeks after a breast reduction.  For the first week I don't want my patient doing anything physical.  At week 2 they can go for a walk and be a bit more active.  At week 3, provided I have seen them in the office and everything is healing nicely, they can walk on a treadmill or elliptical.  From that point they can slowly ramp up their activity.  I do not clear them for full activity until 6 weeks AND after an examination.  If it is extreme activity I will wait a full 8 weeks.

The reason running is out of the question at 2 weeks is that your breasts need time to heal.  The incisions and all the cuts on the inside of the breasts are not strong enough to withstand the running and the impact and and the bouncing they would experience on a run.  You would risk opening of the incisions, bad scarring, and possible bleeding inside the breasts.  Not to mention you cannot get extremely sweaty and dirty -- that is a huge risk for wound infection.  Plus, if your surgeon uses drains (most of us do for breast reductions), you might still have drains in place (although they usually come out at about day 5-7).

I find that when timing is an issue, you as the patient must find an ideal point in your life when you can follow my postoperative instructions.  If that cannot be done, I will not operate because the whole point of a breast reduction (or any Plastic Surgery) is to have the best cosmetic outcome possible.  It may be best for you to complete your cross country career before your breast reduction, or find an acceptable period of time right when the season ends to have the surgery.  Speak with your Plastic Surgeon in detail about your concerns and make sure he or she is aware of your request -- do not start running 2 weeks after a reduction without your surgeon telling you it is ok.  Best of luck!

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.