Breast Lift and Augmentation Recovery for Serious Contact Sport Athlete? When Can I Start Training Fully Again?

I am a 32 year old competitive athlete. I am in excellent shape (15% body fat). I train jiu jitsu (picute MMA without punching - like wrestling with armlocks and chokes) 30 hours per week. I am planning to have an anchor lift with 300cc implants to correct sagging breasts and am wondering the following: When will I be able to train (wrestle with people larger than me competitively) again? When can I start lower body powerlifting again? (Squats, dead lifts, lunges at max weight)

Doctor Answers 9

Athletes and Breast augmentation

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I hate to tell you this, but I would be VERY WARY of breast augmentation as a competitive athlete. The pectoral muscle attached to the ribs must be either disconnected or split if the implant is placed submuscularly. This leaves the sternal head of the muscle, and for most athletes this really cuts the power of the muscle. Push ups, bench press, throwing and punching are all affected. If you aren't going under the muscle, you may not have these problems, but you are more likely to get capsular contracture. Make sure you really inform yourself of these options prior to having surgery, so you know how it may affect your athletic performance. I attached a video where I explain more about submusculary implant placement. 

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Breast Augmentation/Breast Lift Recovery Instructions for Athletes

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The following is what I personally recommend to my patients who are athletes like you:  

For a competitive martial artist I would recommend multiple repetition low resistance exercises not using your upper extremities for the first 3 weeks. From week 3-6 I would start with 5 pound (light weights) for upper extremities with multiple repetitions  slowly increasing the resistance over the next 3 weeks and unlimited lower extremity resistance. From 6-8 weeks I would recommend unrestricted non contact exercise. At 8 weeks you should be ready for contact sports. You of course can be injured with or without breast implants so take care.

It is extremely important that you go to a board certified plastic surgeon that has experience operating on athletes especially those that require upper body/arm strength. For example, the pectoralis  major muscle should not be injured or manipulated in a way that would decrease your strength. My experience is that when performed well, it will not diminish your strength or ability. 

Breast augment and contact sports

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Each plastic surgeon has his own postop regimen. Everyone handles surgery differently and patients take pain medication for varying lengths of time. I typically advise my patients to resume lower body exercise 2-3 weeks postop but very few are in your athletic category. For th activities you describe, I would hold off for weeks and ask you to refrain from training for 8 weeks because of the intensity of what you have described.

Breast lift and augmentation recovery

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Recovery from a combination lift and augmentation is dictated primarily by the healing of the chest muscle. It is generally accepted that the muscle has adequately healed by 6 weeks to allow for the resumption of strenuous activity. By 2 weeks you can resume lower body exercise if you are feeling up to it. In my experience it is about 6 weeks before your pre operative energy and sense of well being return. Discuss this with your surgeon as each of have our own programs we like to follow.Good luck with your surgery and I hope this was helpful.



Robert W. Kessler, MD, FACS
Corona Del Mar Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 130 reviews

Breast lift, sports

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Generally strenuous lower body exercise can be done about 3-4 weeks after surgery.  A good upper body workout can be resumed typically within 6-8 weeks depending on your healing from surgery.  This is the general recommendation for most weekend athletes. I  would recommend a bit longer for a competitive athlete like yourself to get back to full activity (wrestling, etc).  It sounds like you put a lot of stress and demands on your body for peak performance and just like recovering from an injury you need to make sure you are fully recovered before pushing yourself. In that regard, I would say training hard at 2 months and competitive sports a little closer to 3 months to be safe.  

Andrew Smith, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Returning to Competitive Athletics after Breast Augmentation and Lift

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If a patient particpates in competitve athletics prior to surgery, my goal is to have them return to their normal activities- and feel up to 90% of those normal activities- by week 8.  At three weeks, I have most of my patients begin to test their endurance and strength.  The key word here is "test."  It is a gradual process to build up endurance and strength again after surgery.  Some gals feel great by 4-6 weeks.  Some don't feel great for 3 months.  My recommendation is to refrain from committing yourself to true competition for at least 8 weeks.  Another thing to remember is that wounds are in the process of healing for 6 months.  This is not the time to sit in jacuzzis and hot tubs to sooth aching muscles from activity as wound can easily open and possibly become infected.  Your "investment" in your postoperative period will carry you through to a great result for the next 10 years.  Remain patient and prudent.

Work out

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In our practice we like to tell our patients to wait 6-8 weeks to be able to do contact sports, work our hard and heavy lifting. After 3 weeks you’re able to do lower body activities, walking and treadmill. If you want the best results you should listen to your plastic surgeon and wait till he give you’re the clearance



Stuart B. Kincaid, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Strenuous Activity after Breast Augmentation/Lifting?

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Your plastic surgeon will be providing you with  guidance regarding returning to activities. This guidance will likely depend on how well you progress after surgery and whether or not you experience any complications. My general suggestion to you would be to plan at least 2 months away from the strenuous upper body activities you participate in.  You should consider the possibility of breast implant movement that can occur with sub muscular (dual plane) breast implant positioning  and strenuous activity.  You will likely be able to return to lower body workouts much sooner.

Best wishes with your upcoming surgery. 

Weight lifting after a breast lift

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You should ask your surgeon, but I usually ahve patients wait 6-8 weeks before performing strenuous activity after this type of surgery.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 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.