I am wanting a breast reduction and I play tennis regularly. How long will my downtime be before I could resume normal play?

Doctor Answers 7

I am wanting a breast reduction and I play tennis regularly.

Thank you for the question and congratulations on your decision to proceed with breast reduction surgery; this operation tends to be one of the most patient pleasing operations we perform.

Your plastic surgeon will be your best resource when it comes to returning to your specific line of work. He/she will know how you are progressing and whether or not you have experienced any complications. Generally, most patients are able to return to the “desk job” within 5 to 7 days. More strenuous work, for example involving lifting or extensive upper body movement, will require more time off. Tennis, given the strenuous nature of the sport,  would require a longer period of time off (in my practice I would recommend 6 to 8 weeks away.  Generally, I ask patients to ease back into activity slowly and "listen to their bodies" as they do so. Best wishes.

Playing tennis after a breast reduction

It's always best to check with your surgeon about his or her protocol. I advise my patients that they are usually able to return to full upper body activities, like tennis and weight training, at about 6 weeks after surgery, and are comfortable at that time. 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 59 reviews

Breast reduction and exercise

hello and thank you for the question. All surgery require a certain degree of healing time before you may resume some exercise. The degree and intensity of exercise will determine how much time you need off to recover. Patience is always the key. It is better to be slow then try and exercise too early and enjoy yourself or cause a postoperative complications. As a rule of thumb a typical breast reduction patient needs about a week off of work before resuming a desk type job. It is about a month before you may resume light non-impact non intense cardio exercises. Time off of tennis really depends on how intense of a player you are. Do you know what your NTRP rating is? Generally for someone who plays competitively I would recommend at least two months  of rest and Recovery before resuming active play.  furthermore when you resume I would start very lightly and work your way up.  it is common for patients to overdo their exercises and not realize that they push themselves too hard until the day after.You should see several in-person consultations with board certified plastic surgeons in your area before making any final decisions.
As always it is best to be healthy, no smoking, and to make sure any health care concerns you have are managed by your primary care doctor. Best to you

Bennett Yang, MD
Rockville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Return to activities after breast reduction.

Thank you for your question.Time to resumption of strenuous activities will vary widely between patients.  From the standpoint of healing I would caution activities such as tennis no sooner than 3 weeks given the incisions will not be particularly mature.  More time certainly is better and significant support like a sports bra with a full cup would be recommended.  Ultimately, the time will depend on your own healing and will be monitored by your plastic surgeon.  It is common with breast reduction to have some small areas along the scar that take a little longer to heal and if this happens the time away from tennis might need to be longer.  Best Dr. L

Andre Levesque, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Breast reduction and activity

For something like tennis, I normally have patients wait about 6-8 weeks after surgery before allowing them to go back to vigorous activity.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Down time with breast reduction

In our practice, we asked patient to have breast reduction to wait 2-3 weeks before they return to full physical activities.  In some cases more time is required depending on how the healing is going to.  Of course we evaluate the patient's once every week or so to make sure when they are ready.

When can I resume activity after breast reduction.

Thanks for your question. Your surgeon will be able to give you his or her recommendation. In my own practice I generally begin a gradual return to activity as tolerated after 3 weeks. By 3 weeks the wounds are usually strong enough and the risk of bleeding is low.hope this helps.

Adam Tattelbaum, MD
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 90 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.