Does Exercising Too Soon Increase the Risk of Capsular Contracture? Am I Doing Damage?

I am 4 weeks post op. I received Mentor 500cc HP Round Silicon Implants placed over the muscle. My PS has cleared me for most activity, but I don't want to do anything that would increase the odds of complications arising. I started working out this week - much lighter than I had previously been doing. I am doing 45 minutes of cardio with 3lb hand held weights. My chest muscles are surprisingly sore, even though no other areas seem to even notice that I've done anything.

Doctor Answers 3

Physical activity one month after breast implants over the muscle should not contribute to capsular contraction

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Thank you for your question. Of course you should check with your plastic surgeon before increasing your activity. However at 1 month after a breast augmentation I would expect that you could resume your normal workouts as long as you're healing has been normal. In fact in my opinion more activity lessens the likelihood of capsular contraction rather than contributing to it.

Exercise Does Not Cause Capsular Contracture

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Exercising should not increase the risk of capsular contracture. Capsular contracture likely results from some mechanism leading to excess scarring, or as the result of subclinical infection (which may ultimately lead to scarring as a result of prolonged inflammation).

Many surgeons recommend implant displacement exercises (for smooth surface implants) as a way to potentially reduce the risk for capsular contracture -- even though implant displacement has never been shown to produce a statistically significant decrease in capsular contracture. Implant displacement is viewed as a way to potentially stretch the capsule and keep the pocket enlarged.

There is a general consensus that subpectoral implants have a lower rate of capsular contracture than subglandular implants. Perhaps the muscle contraction works in a way that massages the implant, keeping the capsule stretched and pliable. One could imagine that upper body exercise might then be potentially beneficial in reducing the risk of capsular contracture for women with subpectoral implants.

You should be able to return to physical activities as tolerated, using how your body feels as a guide to your recovery. If you have smooth surfaced implants, since your implants are subglandular, I would recommend implant displacement exercises as a way to do something to try to reduce the risk of capsular contracture in this space.

Best wishes, Ken Dembny

Kenneth Dembny, II, MD
Milwaukee Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Exercise and capsule contracture

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Exercising should not cause capsule contracture.  Some surgeons believe that shifting the tissue around the implants actually decreases the chance of capsule contracture as this helped to keep the pocket open around smooth walled implants.

Leonard T. Yu, MD
Maui Plastic Surgeon

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.