There is patient variation that cannot be predicted to an exact day, as every patient heals differently. On average a full recovery from a breast augmentation is 6 weeks long and any heavy lifting is restricted. Anytime the muscles are involved with releasing their attachments or putting sutures in, there is more soreness and more time is needed to heal. Be sure to discuss how these limitations may affect your plans for surgery with your board-certified plastic surgeon.
Return to work
Hello and thanks. For your particular occupation you may need to be out of work for 4-6 weeks. Oftentimes this is an impractical request. You may be able to return to work if you can modify your activities or get additional assistance.
Returning to work as that requires heavy lifting breast implant surgery
It's always best to check with your surgeon's protocol. In general, I tell my patients that they can return to work in an office setting by the 5th day after surgery. My patients who use their arms a lot, like nurses pulling patients into bed, policewoman, hair stylists, bartenders, etc., return to work by the 14th day after surgery. They are a little sore but it's manageable. By the third week these patients are much more comfortable. Also by the third week, women are back at the gym doing aerobics, lower body weights and swimming; they are comfortable doing upper body workouts by the 6th week. For more information on this and similar topics, I recommend a plastic surgery Q&A book like "The Scoop On Breasts: A Plastic Surgeon Busts the Myths." Hope this info helps.
How long can I possibly be out of work?
Your plastic surgeon will be your best resource when it comes to returning to your specific line of work. He/she will know how you are progressing and whether or not you have experienced any complications. Generally, most patients are able to return to a “desk job” within 5 to 7 days. More strenuous work, for example involving lifting or extensive upper body movement, will require more time off. In your case, given your relatively strenuous occupation, you may need at least 4 to 6 weeks off, unless you are able to return to some type of modified duty. Generally, I ask patients to ease back into activity slowly and "listen to their bodies" as they do so.