My doctor cleared me to return to my part-time serving job, which requires carrying up to 40 lbs of food with one arm at 3 weeks post-breast augmentation. I am excited to get back to work, but I'm also nervous that lifting or carrying things around with this much weight will cause problems due to my recent augmentation. Would other doctors agree that I can return to this type of work at 3 weeks post-op?
Lifting After Breast Augmentation
Doctor Answers 40
Limit Lifting to No More Than 15lbs for 4-6 Weeks Following Breast Augmentation
Heavy lifting and strenuous activity following breast augmentation can result in post-operative complications. In some cases, heavy lifting can cause bleeding and resultant hematoma formation. In other cases, heavy lifting can result in implant displacement with resultant implant malposition.
For these reasons, limitations are often placed on lifting in the post-operative period. We generally limit lifting to no more than fifteen pounds for four to six weeks following breast augmentation. In addition, we stress that patients not lift their elbows above their shoulders and that they avoid repetitive arm movements.
In the short term, it may be necessary to make slight modifications in your life style to avoid complications. Make sure you discuss this issue with your surgeon prior to proceeding with breast augmentation surgery.
Waitressing at three weeks
Heavy lifting restrictions after breast implant augmentation surgery
If implants were placed over the muscle I don't see any reason why you could not return to heavy lifting. If placed under the muscle I would consider a 6 week restriction for heavy lifting.
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Back to work questions
Congratulations on your surgery and your new look.
Back to work questions can be complicated. There's no strict formula for when it is ok to go back to work. Determinations are made based on some of the following factors:
1. Type of operation
2. Complications post-op
3. Your pain tolerance and narcotic pain medication needs
4. Your job
In my San Francisco area practice people are typically back to work after one or two weeks (usually closer to one week). Because this can be a complex issue make sure you've communicated with your surgeon the type of work you do and what your post-op concerns might be.
I hope this helps!
Lifting After a Breast Augmentation
Returning to heavy lifting after breast augmentation
However, this is based on my patients having implants placed in a submuscular pocket. The key reasons why a surgeon wants patients to restrict heavy lifting etc is because you want the wounds to heal without excessive forces/strain and you don't want to compromise the implant pocket in any way. If the implant is under the muscle then it is subject to more force and strain with upper body heavy manual handling tasks compared to an implant placed on top of the muscle. At 4 weeks post-op in a submuscular pocket I'm happy that things have healed well enough internally to then return to normal activities.
With this in mind, returning to heavy lifting at 3 weeks (slightly earlier than my usual recommendation based on a submuscular implant placement) would be fine assuming you have implants placed on top of your muscle (subglandular placement).