I'm a waitress who would like a breast lift with augmentation and concerned about time off for recovery.

I do not lift more than 7lbs at a time. My shifts are 3-4 hours, but one task is vacuuming prior to a shift. I'm 125 lbs and 48 years old. What would your recommended time off be? Would it be possible to return to work 8-10 days if all goes well or am I just wishing? Thanks

Doctor Answers 14


Hello dear, thanks for your question and provided information as well.. The breasts may lose their elasticity and firmness which can be caused by different factors such as pregnancy, massive weight loss, lactation and aging. To reaffirm the breasts and restore the natural look your surgeon can perform a mastopexy or breast lift. I will recommend 6 to 10 days resting at home, and 30 days without lifting or pushing..

Dominican Republic Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 418 reviews

Breast Augmentation - Back to Work

With any surgery, the first 3 days you will experience a higher intensity of recovery followed by another week of mild to medium soreness and with rapid return after that. On average, I recommend to my breast augmentation patients that they can return to work based on the following: 
  • Above the muscle 
    • 3-4 days
  • Below the muscle 
    • 4-10 days, average 7 days

It is recommended to not perform any strenuous exercise or heavy lifting that may cause impact the chest muscle (pectoralis) for 4 to 6 weeks.

Jay Burns, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Breast lift with augmentation and time of work

Thank you for the question.  After breast augmentation, we usually recommend patients to lay off work or activities involving lifting up until 3-4 weeks post operation.  It would be best to get approval from your surgeon with regards to going back to work.  Best of luck. Dr. Michael Omidi.

Michael M. Omidi, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Time off

Since your job requires you to lift things, I would suggest taking off at least 2 weeks. But speak with your surgeon as he or she knows your case best -- Dr. Nazarian

Sheila S. Nazarian, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Recovery for breast augmentation with lift

More than 90 percent of my patients go back to work on the fifth day after surgery if they work in an office setting. Women who must use their arms to lift, push or pull (such as nurses, hairstylists or waitresses) normally return to work toward the end of the second week, around the 14th day after surgery. Although they may experience a little discomfort, they manage.

Housework counts as work, too. If your household activities include lifting laundry baskets and pushing a heavy vacuum, you should put off these chores until the 14th day as well. My preference is for women to wait until the 21st day to resume activities like running, aerobics and lower body weights. At this point, most soreness is gone. On average, it's best to wait six weeks before using upper body weights.

If your ptosis (droopiness) is moderate to severe, you might want to ask your plastic surgeon if he or she does the I.D.E.A.L. Breast Lift technique.

Ted Eisenberg, DO, FACOS
Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Work and activities after breast augmentation and lift

Hi, wlm105.

As you will see on this site, there is no one consensus regarding post-op protocols.
However, being careful and avoiding strenuous activities/exercises are recommended for at least 4 weeks.
I ask my patients to limit lifting 10-15 lbs for the first 1-2 weeks and to avoid lifting/pulling/pushing for 4-6 weeks.
Please check with your plastic surgeon for his/her recommendation.
Please be careful and allow your body the time to recover.
Best regards.

Sugene Kim, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

It all depends on how much is done at surgery

We love to ask patients to take off as much time as possible after surgery and recommend timeframes like 4-6 weeks prior to doing anything strenuous.  Unfortunately, that just isn't realistic for a lot of our patients.  I think answering this question depends on finding out what you need surgically to achieve the results you want.  Best to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon that can get you beautiful, natural results and understands your situation.

J. Garrett Harper, MD
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Breast lift and work

During the early post-op period,  I recommend not doing significant exertion or heavy lifting for several weeks. Elevating your blood pressure or heart rate too much may lead to a hematoma.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews


The main concern is causing bleeding in the space around the implant from too much straining. In my practice, if the surgery and recovery are going well, I would feel more comfortable waiting at least 10-12 days to keep the risk very small. Every surgeon knows their patients' experiences best, so I recommend you follow your surgeon's advice on this.

Robert H. Hunsaker, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

I'm a waitress who would like a breast lift with augmentation and concerned about time off for recovery.

There are variables that make each case unique. In your particular case, the size of the implant, the type of breast lift that you might require, and your post-operative course all play a part in determining your outcome. If you only need a minimal lift, then your recovery will be much quicker. I suggest that you consult with a board certified Plastic Surgeon (ABPS) and go from there. Good luck.

Steven M. Gitt, MD, FACS (in memoriam)
Phoenix Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 36 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.