My employer will not take back on lift restrictions following a breast augmentation. How long should I expect to be off work?

Doctor Answers 7

Time off work after breast augmentation

I don't believe implant placement above the muscle (including subfascial) allows return to work or strenuous activities any sooner than below the muscle placement--the blood vessels in each location need to heal just as thoroughly before being subjected to high blood pressure or pulse generated by increased activities. (And, if you bleed, does it matter whether you bleed above or below the muscle?--either way requires re-operation.)

If you have to do any lifting or straining after surgery, you would be wise to stay off work for 3-4 weeks, depending on your specific work requirements--a firefighter having to lift gear and humans may need even 6 weeks off, whereas a businesswoman who lifts only a laptop may only need a weekend off work.

No exercise should be considered allowed until being cleared by your surgeon, and this too depends on the exercise activity.

Bottom line: ask your surgeon, for it is to him or her that you will need to go if you have a bleed or require re-operation. Or you can just take it easy and heal properly! Best wishes! Dr. Tholen

Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 238 reviews

Recovery after breast augmentation

Recovery for sub fascial breast augmentations is 2-3 days of pain, sub muscular is 2-3 weeks.  Most lifting restrictions for my patients is 10# for 2 weeks with increase if no pain or swelling after that. 

How long will you have lifting restrictions?

I prefer my patients to not lift anything over 10-15 lbs for 3 weeks following their surgery.  That would be my recommendation; however, you should ask your plastic surgeon what he/she prefers because they may have a different protocol.  Good luck!

My employer will not take back on lift restrictions following a breast augmentation. How long should I expect to be off work?

The answer will depend on the specifics of your job and whether the implants are under or over the muscle. This answer should come from your surgeon. 

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Breast augmentation - time off work

Thank you for asking about your breast augmentation.
  • You will need to ask your own plastic surgeon how much time to take off.
  • It depends on your fitness, your surgery, your healing and the kind of work you do.
  • Many women can return to a desk job in 5 - 7 days.
  • A physically demanding job requires more time off - but depends on the work and the commute and the other demands on you - such as carrying children.
Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes  - Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Lift restrictions after breast augmentation

Usually you are ok to lift 10 to 20 pounds after 1 week. If your job requires more than this, you will have to be off 4 to 6 weeks. I usually allow light exercise after 1 week but that does not include lifting more than 20 pounds. Good luck I hope this helps.

W. John Bull, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Breast Augmentation - Post Op Lifting?

Thank you for your question. Most patients are cleared to exercise and perform lifting > 10 pounds 4 - 6 weeks following breast augmentation. You may return to walking and light lifting sooner, but would not perform any strenuous activity without clearance from your surgeon. It is best to have an in-person follow up examination for recommendations regarding what you should and should not be doing. Good luck with your recovery.

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.