Desk job return; is this too ambitious?

I am scheduled for a BL/BA next Friday. I am an attorney and currently trying to schedule my workload and time off. I have only shifted things for three days, but plan on only doing light work (emails and phone conferences) in the immediate period this too ambitious?

Doctor Answers 10

Back to work

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Thanks for your inquiry, it can be done but check with your surgeon.  I have had attorney patients do exactly what you are planning and I have had patients try--and just not be ready!  Make sure the work is not super important because our brains take a few days to be right after surgery and our judgment may be off from pain, medications, anesthesia, and disturbed sleep patterns, etc.  Good Luck with surgery.  

Breast lift with implants: Returning to a desk job after surgery

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It's always best to check with your surgeon about his or her protocol. I tell my patients that discomfort eases up a lot by the fourth day, and over 90% of my patients are back to work in an office situation by the fifth day after surgery. Hope this information is helpful. Good luck. 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
4.9 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

Returning to Work after Breast Augmentation and Breast Lift

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Many patients would be okay to return to a desk-type job three days out from a breast augmentation and lift, but I think many others would feel not ready. It is smart that you have lightened your work load, but it is always a good idea to have a contingency plan should you not feel ready after your three days. Every patient heals differently and experiences pain in different ways. While many of my patients need almost no pain medications after a day or so, others need it for over a week. If you are still taking pain medications, be aware that it can cloud your memory and judgement. You don't want to be making business phone calls only to have no recollection of what you said.

Talk to your plastic surgeon and see what he/she recommends. 

Best of luck!

Ashley B. Robey, MD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Returning to work after surgery

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Thank you for your question. It can be done although the best would be to wait at least a week before returning to work. Pain medications, antibiotics and not resting well can make your judgement not be the best and affect work. It is always best to check with your specific surgeon and make sure he or she agrees with you returning to work aftyer just a few days from surgery. Good luck! 

Tumescence will increase your chances

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Thank you for question.  Is it ambitious? Yes. Too ambitious? Not necessarily.  Scheduling a light workload is smart; particularly if it is work that you can reschedule if you are not feeling up to it.  I strongly recommend being off of all narcotics prior to any form of work or driving.  I have heard many storied of patients who can't remember what they did while under the influence of the drugs and regretted it.  If your surgeon uses tumescent fluid with long acting local anesthetic with your surgery, you have a better chance of a quick recovery. Be sure that your surgeon is board certified and experienced in BL/BA. Good luck. 

James McMahan, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Work after surgery

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Every patient is different, and the procedures vary. In general, many patients can do light duty like you describe within 3-5 days after most routine breast augs and lift.  Best to review with your surgeon.

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

Return to work after BA/BL

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I do not think this is too ambitious so long as you can work from home in the early days following surgery.  Being married to a lawyer, I know how demanding your profession is and how difficult it is to disengage for a longer period of time. Best wishes.

Desk job return; is this too ambitious?

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My advice to patients is to plan for a week off. If you feel better after a few days, it's ok to do some emails and things from home. But if you don't feel up to it, you planned for the full week so you're fine. Just don't want to get into a situation where people are counting on you to do things and it's too stressful and you feel obligated and end up doing too much. This can result in bleeding or a complication that could cost you way more than a week of recovery. Better safe than sorry. 

Hope that helps!


Christopher D. Knotts, MD, FACS
Reston Plastic Surgeon

Breast augmentation and lift return to work.

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Thanks for your question. Of your combination, it is usually the BA that will cause the discomfort as implants are placed under the muscle. I find that patients tend to be more sore if they choose larger implants or are more muscular. Each patient is different and many will be able to do light work even in a few days. Be sure to listen to the activity directions from your PS. You don't want to overdo and cause bleeding or healing issues, and of course you don't want to drive while on narcotics.

Best wishes.

Adam Tattelbaum, MD
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 115 reviews

Desk job return aafter breast implants with left; is this too ambitious?

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Thank you for your question.   Honestly I think you are underestimating the time he will need to feel comfortable going back to work.   He will still have significant discomfort at 3 days.  In addition you will be tired and there will be residual effects of your anesthesia for the first week to 10 days.  I generally recommend that my patients takeoff 10-14 days even with light desk duty.  We need to be able to rest and recover and not have stress  or demands placed on you during the first couple of weeks.   Of course follow your plastic surgeon's advice.

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.