Healing After Augmentation: Consequences to Not Taking Required Downtime?

What are the consequences of not taking the recommended time to heal after a breast augmentation? I had surgery 3 weeks ago, by week one I wasn't in a lot of pain and was back to minimal house work and taking care of small children.

At week two I had no pain and was doing practically everything I have done in the past except for lifting heavy objects. Will there be any consequences for not following guidelines? Should I be concerned?

Doctor Answers 7

Doing too much too soon can cause problems after breast augmentation surgery!

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Good surgery causes minimal discomfort and makes it hard to have patients keep their activities low so they don't bleed and form capsular contracture, or require re-operation for hematoma evacuation! Some surgeons even "market" their breast augmentation "special techniques" as enabling their patients to go dancing the night after surgery! WOW, that must be some great surgeon!

The reality is that tissues need to heal, and assuming you do not have some metabolic or basic healing deficiency, we all heal at about the same rate. "You're a poor healer" is most often an excuse for something else, and "I'm a good healer" is often another excuse to do something you shouldn't. Collagen synthesis and blood vessel metabolism don't "follow" these excuses or "sayings," they just proceed along their normal pace and duration. So why risk a problem just because you have "gotten away with" doing more than your doctor has recommended.

My partner and I do several hundred breast augmentations per year. Not one patient EXPECTS to bleed or INTENTIONALLY misbehaves! But every year we have two or three patients who were doing something that "seemed" perfectly fine . . . until that blood vessel popped, the breast filled up with blood, and re-operation ruined the evening for about half a dozen people who have to come in and re-operate to evacuate the hematoma and (hopefully) avoid the increased risk of capsular contracture.

BEHAVE YOURSELF! You have been lucky so far--who knows if it will hold out? Best wishes! Dr. Tholen

Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Healing after breast augmentation, how much time off

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Healing after breast augmentation will vary, and generally we ask individuals to rest about a week and then return to work and play. This works for most, though some need more time. If you feel well and are pain free great, and there is little harm your day to day activity will do. Stop at the point of soreness, and avoid upper body exercise six weeks. After one week it unlikely that you can cause bleeding, and your activity should have nothing to do with capsular contracture.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Healing after breast augmentation

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The better patients feel after surgery, the harder it is to get them to follow activity restrictions.  While restrictions may vary from surgeon to surgeon based upon their experience, remember that your surgeon has presented you with restrictions in an attempt to maximize your chances for the best long term outcome.  Following them as closely as possible is always the best advice.

Good luck.

My response to your question/post does not represent formal medical advice or constitute a doctor patient relationship. You should continue to follow-up with your plastic surgeon in order to receive formal evaluations and maintain your doctor patient relationship.

Craig S. Rock, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Healing after augmentation

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Most of the restrictions we give you after augmentation are to prevent bleeding and implant malposition.  Even small amounts of bleeding can increase your risk of capsular contracture.  It is difficult when you have young children, but take it easy.  Remember, you did this surgery for you and you deserve some down time so that you get the best results.

Nia Banks, MD, PhD
Washington Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Required downtime

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Thank you for the question.  Patients do need time to relax and let their bodies heal after a surgery.  Light activities are permitted up until 3-4 weeks of activity.  As long as there are no lifting or strenuous activities involved, you should be fine.  Make sure to gain approval from your surgeon first before embarking on hard activities to prevent complications. Best of luck. Dr. Michael Omidi.

An in-person exam with a board-certified plastic surgeon is the best way to assess your needs and provide true medical advice.

Michael M. Omidi, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 120 reviews

Once the implant is adherent and skin healed, the consequences are low

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Once your implant is adherent and skin healed the consequences are low.  The following points will should be considered:
  1. Usually the skin is sealed by 5 days (can shower) but it takes 6 weeks for it to be durable for load (ie exercise)
  2. Easier to recover from subglandular than submuscular as muscle dissection painful and slightly higher risk of fluid collection around implant.
  3. Too much activity early after surgery causes implant movement and prevents adherence and increases risk of fluid collections or bleeding.

Chen Lee, MD
Montreal Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Breast augmentation

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The amount of activity whill frequently depend on such factors as your body shape, implant location and the exact activity you are doing. You should follow your surgeons recommendations

David L. Abramson, MD
New York 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.