How soon after a Breast reduction can a person exercise?

Doctor Answers 7

Exercise after breast reduction

Time to return to physical activity is both surgeon and patient specific from breast reduction surgery. Typically it is safe to get the heart rate above 120 at about 2 weeks. Walking is encouraged before this time. In my practice, 3 weeks is the time to start initiating cardio and 6 weeks to heavy lifting. I do use internal sutures to help shape the inner and outer breast in a breast reduction which can make upper extremity exercise sensitive for about 6 weeks.

Austin Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Exercise after Breast Reduction

Breast Reduction, though an outpatient surgery requires some downtime for the wound healing to progress. In the initial few days, swelling and edema limit mobility and comfort. Typically 1 week of limited activities  is advised for post operative recovery.   This obviously has to be tempered by examination by your physician, but certainly some walking or light activity is possible as early as 3 weeks. Incisions have to be healed and stable to prevent wounds from opening, therefore 4-6 weeks should go by before vigorous activity begins. we usually recommend a gradual return to exercise activities. Also, the use of sports bras or non-wire bras will limit Incision breakdown. Expect edema and swelling to be present during exercise activities, but this typically subsides by three months.  Most often the breast shape and final results occur by three months as well. Hope this helps, happy to discuss more in a formal consult.

Sanjay K. Sharma, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

How soon after a Breast reduction can a person exercise?

Congratulations on your decision to proceed with breast reduction surgery; this operation tends to be one of the most patient  pleasing operations we perform. You are also wise in  achieving a long-term stable weight prior to proceeding with this operationEvery patient's  recovery varies after surgical procedures; your plastic surgeon will be in the best position to guide you depending on how well you do and whether or not you experience any complications. Generally speaking, my patients begin walking and/or lower body exercise within one to 2 weeks after breast reduction surgery. More vigorous activity such as heavy lifting or aerobic activity usually begins 4 to 6 weeks postoperatively. I hope this, and the attached link/video, helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,487 reviews

How soon start exercising after a breast reduction?

Thank you for your question. After having a breast reduction going back for exercise will depend first on your evolution and secondly to your surgeons recommendations. After submitting yourself into this surgery contact your surgeon to have his approval before starting it. Following your doctors instructions will depend on the succeed of your surgery. Best of luck!

Rafael Lluberes Freites, MD
Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

How soon after a Breast reduction can a person exercise?

No one one this site can or should be speaking for the surgeon who did your reduction. Call the office for your surgeon's instructions.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews


I appreciate your question. I would recommend that you discuss this question with your surgeon as every surgeon has their own respective post op protocol for his/her patients.  Your surgeon is your best resource as he/she is most familiar with your medical history and how you will be healing following surgery.The best way to assess and give true advice would be an in-person exam. Please see a board-certified plastic surgeon that specializes in aesthetic and restorative plastic surgery. Best of luck! Dr. Schwartz Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Director-Beverly Hills Breast and Body Institute #RealSelf100Surgeon

Jaime S. Schwartz, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 91 reviews

Returning to exercise after a breast reduction

It's always best to check what is your surgeon's protocol. I advise my patients to take it easy for a week after their breast reduction surgery. They may return to the gym at three weeks for lower body weights, running and aerobics. For upper body weights, it's best to wait closer to 6 weeks after surgery. For more information on this and similar topics, I recommend a plastic surgery Q&A book like "The Scoop On Breasts: A Plastic Surgeon Busts the Myths."

Ted Eisenberg, DO, FACOS
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 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.