How Long After Breast Reduction Will I Need off from my Waitressing Job?

I've been trying to figure this out, but I'm hearing everything from 2 weeks to 6-8 weeks or more! I can switch to hosting (for quite a pay cut) for a while to virtually eliminate lifting and reaching, but it's still 4-6 hours on my feet walking around the whole time. I wouldn't think that would be a problem, but I'm reading that women are very easily fatigued for at least a few months. I'm 28, don't smoke, no other medical conditions, and generally pretty strong for a girl. Any estimates?

Doctor Answers 4

Recovery post breast reduction surgery

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Recovery can vary between patients depending on the severity and complexity of each case. After breast reduction surgery, it is important to prevent any complications during the healing process. I would recommend that you refrain from any heavy lifting and strenuous activity involved in waitressing for at least 4-6 weeks. Consult your surgeon with any concerns prior to returning to work.

Working after breast reduction

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Recovery after breast reduction is a 'bell shaped' curve as some recover very quickly, and others not so. Most of our younger patients will be out and about or working after a week, perhaps two. There are no muscles involved, and soreness and lifting is not a big issue. Also the short scar technique has also sped the recovery. If you believe you can do it you are most of the way there.

Best of luck,


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

Time off work after breast reduction

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Two weeks will be more than enough time to take off from work to recover from a breast reduction. The surgery does not involve dissection of your pectoral muscle therefore the recovery is not that involved. Even working as a waitress should be ok after two weeks.

Best wishes,


William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 412 reviews

Breast Reduction Recovery Time

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I tell all patients to avoid strenuous activities using their upper arms at the shoulder level for six weeks after the breast reduction.  Also I caution them to avoid bouncing, jogging, horse-back riding and any other high-impact type activities for six weeks after their surgery.  Most of our breast reduction patients return to desk-type job activities (in your case, hosting) at seven to fourteen days after the surgery, barring any unforseen healing complications that might slow their recovery.  My patients, for the most part, seem back to be back at full strength and vitality when I see them for their six-week post-op visit.  At that time I tell them they can return to full unrestricted activities safely.  Over the past twenties years I have encountered no problems in my patients with this policy.  I hope this helps.  Best wishes to you in your surgery and your post-op recovery.  I am sure you will get a great result.  All of our breast reduction patients tell us, almost immediately after their surgery, that they feel much better. 

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.