I am an ICU nurse- I was wondering how long I would need to be off after breast implants, considering how physical my job is?

Doctor Answers 10

6 weeks minimum

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I usually recommend my patients take about 5-7 days off of work. Do not lift anything heavy until about 6 weeks after surgery. Please ask your surgeon for their advice as they may have different guidelines.


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I don't allow my patients to do any heavy lifting for 6 weeks.  From a pain point of view, you should be ok after a week.  You should discuss this with your PS.

Asif Pirani, MD, FRCS(C)
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Return to Work after Breast Augmentation

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Three factors important to consider when contemplating your return to work are: pain, stamina, and risk of complications. Pain is not bad after most breast augmentations and 3-4 days should work. How much stamina you need for your job is important. Obviously a 10-12 hour shift will require more time off work. The likelihood of physical damage to yourself is another consideration. The problem with nursing positions is that you will very likely to have to do more than  what you anticipate. If a fellow worker doesn't show up or is at lunch, and a patient has problems, you could be in a difficult position. I think in your situation, three weeks is a safe answer. 

William H. Huffaker, MD
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Return to Active Work Situation Following Breast Augmentation

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While most patients with sedentary jobs can return in a few days to a week, I usually ask that my patients who have very physical jobs wait at least 2 weeks before getting back to upper body activities and particularly lifting. Some are able to return to work, but do so with restrictions on lifting. Nursing can be very physical and activity levels should be consdered carefully. Those in the military, or athletes looking to return to training also need to heed advice on taking enough time off to heal. You want to minimize complications such as hematoma, which would be a real risk in an active environment like an ICU floor. I would be sure to check with your surgeon and follow their recommendations.

Robert N. Young, MD, FACS
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 73 reviews

Work after breast augmentation

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Most of my patients will return to a desk job in 3 days.  I ask for no lifting over 20 pounds for 3 weeks.  If you could get by with no heavy lifting just hanging IV's etc. I think you could possibly go back in a week.  Otherwise I would say three weeks off.

Gary Hall,MD

Gary Hall, MD (retired)
Kansas City Plastic Surgeon

Time off after surgery

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Many pts return to work in3-4 days if you lift with your arms close and flexed at the elbow then you can do most things after two weeks you should be fine

James R. Cullington, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon

How long after Breast Augmentation should you wait before returning to physical job.

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Patients who have physical jobs such as nurses or fitness instructors should wait 4 to 6 weeks before returning to their jobs if the implants are placed under the muscle.  Overuse or over stretching of the muscle can cause bleeding in the first month.

Breast Augmentation Recovery Time

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  Dear tsr88, In my practice we suggest that women with very physical jobs ( I would consider an ICU nurse to have a very physical job) to wait at least 2 weeks and sometimes longer before getting back to very active upper body stress movements. We fell that this can help minimize complications such as hematoma. I would ask your surgeon what their protocol is and be sure to let them know how active your job is...most of us know this already having worked in ICU's during our residencies. Good luck. Dr. Gervais

Douglas L. Gervais, MD
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 178 reviews

Breast Augmentation post surgery recommendations

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Hello!! You asked a very good question. I personally give my patients pre and post surgery instructions to help them understand how to prepare and how to heal after surgery. In my professional opinion, it is important not to lift anything heavy or exercise for one month post surgery to allow the implant to settle and for the incisions and internal tissue to heal accordingly. It is better to be safe than sorry. I wish you a quick recovery!!

Alfonso Gonzalez Cepeda, MD
Mexico Plastic Surgeon

Breast Augment

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One week given that there are no complications would be ok, you would be sore though but I would be comfortable having you go back at a week

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