Breast Reduction for Very Active People

I am a BIG time backpacker, hiker, canoer, climber, skier etc., 45yrs old. Just had a unilateral breast reduction. 1 lb was removed keyhole incision. Its day 6 now and I am down to 1 vicodin/day. I'm in good shape, no more than 5lbs overweight. How soon can I get back to backpacking? Tried to ask my doc this but I don't think he or the nurse have any clue what MY "usual activities" are. p.s. Is it odd that my doc didnt take a before and after picture? Thanks

Doctor Answers 5

Return to Activity after Breast Reduction?

Thank you for the question.  Congratulations on having undergone the breast reduction procedure; it is one of the most patient pleasing operations we perform.  Despite your previous experience, I still think it is in your best interests to obtain “clearance” for your planned activities from your plastic surgeon. He is in the best position to advise you,  given that he knows exactly how you are healing etc. Keep in mind, that he is ultimately responsible ( as opposed to online consultants) for your care and surgical results.

Best wishes.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Activity after breast reduction

First, on the pre and post op photos: anesthesia can have an amnesiac effect so your doctor may well have taken a preop photo (or took them at the consultation). Many plastic surgeons take postop photos at the 6 week point. As for your activity level, this is something important to share with your doctor before inquiring whether you can resume exercise. I advise my patients to begin mild exercise at 3-4 weeks postop and to step it up by 6-8 weeks. However, you should not be exercising while on Vicodin and should avoid weight bearing activities, such as backpacking, for at least 8 weeks postop.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Breast reduction and activity

Provided that every thing heals well, I usualy allow patients to do aerobic actiivty at 3-4 weeks and heavy lifting by 6-8.  But you shoudl really ask your surgeon.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Activity after breast reduction

There is very litttle the coud go wrong after two weeks, even in a very active individual. Three weeks healing might give you more confidence. Do you really want to walk off to the middle of nowhere on vicodin? Photos are a very good idea for everyone and probably are now just a part of good record keeping.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Breast Reduction - Breast Reduction for Very Active People

I usually advise my patients that there is no exercise for three weeks after surgery.  At that point you can start slowly and then advance as tolerated.  You should, of course, clear all of this with your own PS before you do anything.

I hope that this helps and good luck,

Dr. E

Alan M. Engler, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 125 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.