How Long Do You Have to Wait Before You Can Start Exercising Again After a Breast Reduction?

It seems that I'd be a good candidate for a reduction & still working to lose that last bit of weight. I've been working out for over a year now. I enjoy it even though I can't run because it seems like duct tape would be the only thing to work in reducing movement. If it helps, I don't smoke & I'm mentally & emotionally stable. How long would it be before a person could workout after a reduction? Why might you have to wait a month before you start exercising again?

Doctor Answers 15

Exercise after breast reduction

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I generally recommend that patients refrain from working out for at least a month after surgery. You need to give yourself time for the wounds to heal and to recover from the effects of anesthesia. You can begin walking for exercise once the sutures are removed and gradually build up to a higher level of activities but I would caution against weight lifting, contact sports and strenuous upper body exercise for at least three months.

Recovery after breast reduction in Los Angeles

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Recovery after breast reduction varies depending on the patients age and health. But most women can do fast walking in about 10 day. In 21 days after breast reduction you can do more vigerous exercising, and in about 3 months you don't have any restrictions.

Sean Younai, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Exercise after breast reduction

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I recommend aggressive non-impact aerobics without arm exercise right away with good walks to begin the day after surgery. The more you are up and about and staying cardio-fit the better you will be.  Your chest will be sore so you won't be breathing very well; walking a lot helps inflate the lungs and speeds recovery (it will also help return normal bowel function).  You can phase in arm exercise after the swelling subsides and the discomfort eases, usually after two-three weeks.

Exercise post reduction

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I tell my patients to wait three months before beginning vigorous exercise.You could do soem light exercise/cardio after 2 weeks but no heavy weights etc  till 3-4 weeks post op.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 69 reviews

Returning to Exercise after Breast Reduction?

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Congratulations on your decision to proceed with breast reduction surgery; this operation tends to be one of the most patient  pleasing operations we perform. You are also wise in  achieving a long-term stable weight prior to proceeding with this operation. Every patient's  recovery varies after surgical procedures; your plastic surgeon will be in the best position to guide you depending on how well you do and whether or not you experience any complications.  Generally speaking, my patients begin walking and/or lower body exercise within one to 2 weeks after breast reduction surgery. More vigorous activity such as heavy lifting or aerobic activity usually begins 4 to 6 weeks postoperatively.  I hope this helps.

You can exercise freely 3 weeks after breast reduction.

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You sound like such a good candidate.  The other point to make is that you don't have to be at your ideal weight to benefit by a breast reduction.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon

Exercising after breast reduction surgery

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Every surgeon will have his or her own preference as to when a patient can start exercising after surgery.  So definitely discuss this issue with your surgeon before surgery!  Usually, most surgeons will have you take anywhere from 2-4 weeks after surgery to prevent problems such as bleeding, hematoma, or wound breakdown.  I usually have my patient start with light walking soon after surgery -- it helps decrease risks of blood clots in the legs, and I truly believe that being active helps you feel better.  My patients are able to gradually resume strenuous activities or their normal workout routines gradually after 2 weeks.  Anyway, definitely discuss this issue with your surgeon and good luck!

Anureet K. Bajaj, MD
Oklahoma City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Exercise after breast reduction

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The answer to this question will vary from surgeon to surgeon.  In our practice we allow patients to begin light cardio at 2 weeks, full cardio at 3-4 weeks, and upper body strengthening 4-6 weeks after surgery.  Every patient is different but your plastic surgeon will be there to guide you through the whole process.  The most important things is that all of the incisions are healing well. I hope this helps you.

Kindest regards,

Neil J Zemmel 

Working Out After Breast Reduction Surgery

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Recommendations for recovery time after breast reduction can vary from surgeon to surgeon. Generally, to minimize the chance of post-op bleeding and incision separation, you should avoid strenous activites for a minimum of 3 to 6 weeks after surgery.

Of course there are different levels of "excercise", so follow your surgeon's advice to minimize complications.

Thanks for your question.


Stephen M. Lazarus, MD
Knoxville Plastic Surgeon

Exercise following breast reduction surgery

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Because a breast reduction involves multiple incisions it is necessary to give these areas time to heal before exercising.   If you start too early it is possible that you could separate portions of your incisions and increase the degree of scarring.  Every plastic surgeon has their own method of determining when it is time to get back regular activities.   In general you can expect to build up to regular exercise and activities gradually over a 3 to 6 week period of time.  Follow your plastic surgeons advice and you should accomplish all of your goals.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 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.