How Much Time off from Work As a Hospital Nurse Will I Need After Submuscular Breast Augmentation?

I work 12 hour nursing shifts in a hospital and my job includes activities like turning and pulling sedated patients up in their beds using lift sheets, doing CPR, and supporting patients as they get out of bed. Because I am very thin, I anticipate needing submuscular implants. I want to try to plan enough time off of work to recover enough to perform my duties without impairing my recovery, my patients' safety, and without telling my bosses I am having breast enlargement. This is no desk job!

Doctor Answers 19

How much time off for a breast augment

For a submuscular breast augmentation, 2 weeks would be optimal. You will still be sore but should be able to do the duties you describe. We would all like to see the patient have 4 weeks off, but in reality few can take this much time. I have only seen 1 complication in a post op submuscular implant that is related to the muscle. A patient 1 week out reached for something behind her and pulled the pectorals muscle resulting in a hematoma.

Cincinnati Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Time of after breast augmentation

I advise patients to take 3-4 weeks off from this type of physical work.

All the best,


James Southwell-Keely, MD, FRACS
Sydney Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Time off of work after Breast Augmentation

Thanks for your question. Typically, we tell people they can (usually) return to work on Monday if the procedure was done on Thursday. However, you are describing a very physical job, that would require significant stresses on the upper body (CPR, lifting patients). If you were trying to keep this a complete secret from your coworkers, the SAFEST thing would be to allow three weeks. If you felt good enough prior to that to return, you could, but certainly not before 2 weeks. A lot will have to do with the size implant you go with-- the larger the implant, the longer your recovery will be (prolonged soreness, etc.)  Good luck!

Matthew Concannon MD

Matthew Concannon, MD
Columbia Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Activities after BA

Vigorous use of the Pectoralis muscles may cause significant bleeding with hematoma for up to 4 weeks after BA. Be advised.

Dennis Hurwitz, MD, FACS
Pittsburgh Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Recovery after breast augmentation

Following a breast augmentation, most women are back to work within 5-7 days.  However, most surgeons will want you to avoid strenuous physical activity for about two weeks.  Since your job does involve heavy lifting, I would definitely plan on at least two weeks unless you would be able to return to work and not have to lift or move patients.  Once you first start back at work, do expect to be sore after a long day.  And once you choose a surgeon, be sure to discuss your work and anticipated recovery with him or her.  Good luck!

Anureet K. Bajaj, MD
Oklahoma City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Time off of work for a breast augmentation

After a breast augmentation you can expect to need at least 5  - 7 days before you are fully back to activities of daily living.  For a vigorous and physical job it may be  3 - 4 weeks before you can work with out any pain.  In between 1 week and 3 weeks post op you can still work but try to be careful. 

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Time off for a nurse after breast augmentation

The key will be how much time you can get. Our patients most often need to be well in a week and we take measures to get them there. With work today it can very difficult to get a week or more. You should be able to be back to things within a week without affecting your result, though chest muscles will indeed be sore.

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

Breast Augmentation Recovery

Thank you for your question.  I generally advise no heavy lifting or strenuous activity for 3-4 weeks.    Please talk to your plastic surgeon as he/she is the best person to answer your question.  Best of luck.

Dr. Basu

Houston, TX

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 209 reviews

Two weeks off for a hospital nurse after breast augmentation.

A sub muscular prosthesis requires a longer convalescence and sub glandular. After two weeks most patients with sub muscular prostheses are doing well. I would request that for an additional two weeks vigorous use of the arms is avoided. When

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Time Off Work For Nurse

Based on your job duties, I would plan 2 weeks off work.  The majority of patients take off a week, but you describe difficult physical labor, plus you want to keep the surgery confidential. Best wishes!

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 60 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.