What Could Happen if You Don't Take It Easy After Your Breast Augmentation Like You're Supposed To? (photo)

Hello! I am wondering what could happen if you don't take it easy after your Breast Augmentation like your supposed to? i.e. vacuuming, lifting more than 5-10lbs, someone said bending over??, etc. My husband had to leave me the day after surgery and I had to take care of myself and the dog for two weeks. I also hear other ladies who can't quite stop themselves from doing things after the surgery and so I am wondering how bad could it get? And for what duration? I had sub-pectoral, dual plane

Doctor Answers 30

Recovery from breast augmentation

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Hello and thanks for the question.


Surgeon recommendations will vary widely for recovery from breast augmentation.  Consult with your surgeon for specifics and rationale.  In our practice, we encourage patients to refrain from upper body exercise ( including no lifting greater than 10 lbs) for a period of no less than a month.  Light lower body exercise may be undertaken at 2 weeks time.  The reason ?:  One of the post-operative risks of breast augmentation among a few, is bleeding.  In your case specifically ( that being a dual-plane breast augmentation), the pectoralis muscle is incised and raised off the chest wall.  Muscle in general is a very vascular tissue, meaning it has a lot of blood supply with vessels.  If the muscle is unduly irritated during the early healing process ( i.e. through exercise), bleeding may be a resultant - while this generally isn't life threatening bleeding, the blood, in itself, is thought to be one of the potential culprits of capsular contracture formation.  Hence, we advise that the upper body ( chest ) be rested during the early post-operative period to allow for an ample healing time.


Hope this helps,


Glenn Vallecillos, M.D., F.A.C.S. 

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Activity after Breast Augmentation?

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Thank you for the question and picture. More than likely, no harm has been done with your level of activity after breast augmentation surgery. Generally however patients are asked to “take it easy” after surgery to help avoid complications such as bleeding, undesired implant movement, and/or prolonged discomfort. Again, based on your picture, it does not appear that any harm has been done;  I would suggest continued follow-up with your plastic surgeon. Best wishes.

Too much activity after breast augmentation

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Strenuous activity immediately after any surgery can result in increased discomfort as well as the possibility of stirring up bleeding which could result in a hematoma or blood clot in the breast pocket.  This might lead to another trip to the operating room to clean out the blood clot, find the point of bleeding, and stop it.  I always tell my patients to use common sense.  If you are doing something and it hurts, DON'T DO IT!  After three weeks, your body has gained 60 to 80% of its normal tissue strength and you can challenge it with more strenuous activity at that point.

Edwin C. Pound, III, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

LIfting restrictions after breast augmentation

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"Thank you for your question. You definitely want to follow your own surgeon's post-op activity instructions. This is a general guide I give to my patients as to the recovery
Week 1) Discomfort and tightness level progressively decreases with each day. Swelling decreases a great deal after one week. Most people return to work in some capacity.
Week 2) Unlikely to need any narcotic support except maybe at night. Swelling and tightness continues to improve compared to week 1
Weeks 3-6) May need tylenol or ibuprofen for intermittent discomfort. Swelling completely resolved. Tightness may continue as the implants over an additional few months into their final position.

As far as activity, here is a safe guide:
1) No heavy lifting or strenuous activity for 6 weeks.
2) Resume walking at a leisurely pace right after surgery (e.g. 2 mph)
3) At 2 weeks, you can walk 2 miles at 2mph
4) At 3 weeks, you can walk 3 miles at 3mph
5) At 4 weeks, you can walk 4 miles at 4mph
6) At 5 weeks, you can jog 5 miles at 5mph
7) At 6 weeks, you can resume all activities, but listen to your body and use discomfort or tightness as a guide so you don't over do it.

So although the above is a guide, it doesn't mean you will suffer bad consequences if you don't follow everything. It just means that the risk of something unexpected happening does increase. I would continue to follow up with your plastic surgeon and as well as their instructions.

Why should I take it easy after a breast augmentation?

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Thank you for your question.  Generally speaking, patient are advised to 'take it easy' after surgery in the hopes of avoiding a post-operative complication.  These complications can include implant malposition, bleeding, hematoma formation, seroma formation, capsule formation, breaking of internal sutures, and additional and/or heightened discomfort.  For these reasons I do recommend that my patients refrain from any exercising and/or heavy lifting for four weeks after surgery.  With that said, it is impossible for patients to avoid all necessary daily activities and the expectation that patients avoid carrying all weight is nearly impossible.  I recommend that patients avoid lifting objects more than 15-20 lbs and when it comes to house cleaning, try to take it slow and to avoid exerting yourself.  It may take longer to clean a room but it will help to promote the best cosmetic result.  For any concerns that you might have I would recommend following up with your operating surgeon.  Your surgeon is the most familiar with your specific case and would be best qualified to recommend or restrict certain activities for you.  I hope you find this helpful and best of luck!

Activity after breast augmentation

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Every surgeon has his own post-op routine for breast augmentation patients.  I prefer no heavy lifting (over 10 lbs.) and no strenuous activity, especially anything high impact (jogging, aerobics), for about 4 weeks post-op.  Early on this is to prevent bleeding or implant displacement; the last couple of weeks it is to prevent implant displacement until the capsule is well-developed. 

Breast augmentation and post op instructions

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Thank you for your question. The reason why there are specific instructions for each surgical procedure is to avoid complication. The complication after breast augmentation can be bleeding, capsular contracture and implant malposition. Remember prevention is the best cure.

Moneer Jaibaji, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Take it Easy after Breast Augmentation

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If you don't take it easy after breast augmentation, you are more likely to have complications. Hematoma can occur which is bleeding inside the breast implant pocket. This would require a trip back to the operating room to stop the bleeding and remove blood clots. Implant displacement or tearing of the muscle can occur and you may then have the implant shifted too far to the side or too far down (bottoming out). Tears in the incision can also occur with too much activity. It's best to be safe than sorry. 

Stanley Castor, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 129 reviews

Return to activity after breast augmentation

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Eery surgeon is a bit different, but I prefer patients avoiding strenuous exercise for 3-4 weeks and heavy lifitng for about 6-8 weeiks afte rmost major surgery. I am most concerned with acitivities that can cause an elevation in blood pressure and result in a hematoma. You shold discuss this with your surgeon.

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

Re: Activity after breast augmentation

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You should use common sense following any surgical procedure and avoid strain. You don't want to jeopardize your results by returning to strenuous activity too soon. We recommend that our patients limit their activity to lifting under 20 lbs for the first week and walking around the block. By 2 weeks, patients can begin to power walk and by 3 weeks most patients can return to the gym and engage in low-impact cardio. By 4-6 weeks, most patients are lifting light weights. 

Brett E. Stompro, MD
Bay Area Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 15 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.