How soon can I return to work after Breast Augmentation?

I am having surgery Monday November 2nd. Should I plan on taking the whole week off?

Doctor Answers 15


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Without disclosing the type of job, physical and mental requirements of your work it is difficult at best to answer this question. Your plastic surgeon would be the best one to advise you. In my practice, for most professions (requiring use of a phone, keyboard, or your voice/brain 1 week off is reasonable.
Here are general recommendations that I give to my patients:
Recuperation and healingYou can usually drive after all pain and muscle relaxation medications have stopped, and you feel comfortable with this activity, usually within the first week following surgery. Many patients can return to work in a few days, unless their occupation requires particularly strenuous movements and lifting. In such a case, up to 6 weeks may be required depending on the physical demands of your job. The final appearance, shape, and movement are not exactly the same as normal breasts. The surgically enlarged breasts do not move in the same way as normal breasts. They tend to be firmer. The contours are usually somewhat different than normal breasts. In some patients these discrepancies may be rather noticeable. Although every effort is made to place the implants symmetrically, complete symmetry is rarely achieved. Immediately after surgery, the breasts are swollen and firmer. The final shape and size is approximated after 2 to 3 months, but up to one year may be required for the end result. Initial discomfort is controlled with oral medication. Sutures dissolve in 7 to 14 days. Light activities can be resumed as tolerated. Light exercise can be started in about 2-3 weeks, and strenuous exercise after 6 weeks. Your doctor may require you to move or massage the implants within the breast pockets during the postoperative period. Textured implants do not require breast massage.

Time off of work w/ BA

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This is certainly one of the most common questions for women considering augmentation. Generally speaking, most women can get back to a job by one week, of course that depends on the type of work that you do and the demands that you have. 

Paul J. Leahy, MD
Leawood Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Take a week off after breast augmentation

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As a rule of thumb, a week off is needed after breast augmentation.  Everyone is different and you must be aware of that.  A desk job is different than a hair dresser.  A bigger size may also require more time off.  

Daryl K. Hoffman, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Time off work following breast augmentation

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Typically a week off work is great following breast augmentation.  It can vary highly depending on your work type.  If you are working at a desk with no lifting or exertion you may feel comfortable in as little as 3 days.  On the other hand if you are the UPS woman delivering and lifting heavy packages all day it would probably be safer to be off or have light duty for 3 weeks.  Good Luck!

Jennifer Geoghegan, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Returning to work.

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Thanks for your question. Generally a week is enough time to take of work after a breast augmentation. However, it also depends on you general health condition, if you are someone who bounces back fairly well, and if you job is behind a desk or more physical. Follow the instructions of your Plastic Surgeon. 

Francis X. Fleming, MD
Kennewick Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Time off work after breast augmentation

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Thanks for posting your question. I am happy to try and help you. It is important to remember that a board certified plastic surgeon will be your best resource when it comes to an accurate assessment of your situation, and concerns.

Having said that, 5-7 days is usually enough. It really depends on what you do. So will go back to desk work in 3 days.

I hope you found this helpful. Have a great day.

Time off breast augmentation

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Thank you for sharing. 1 week off from work is fairly common for many patients. Your experience may vary and some patients return sooner if the type of work is non-physical (desk/office). The implant placement (over or under the muscle) will affect how quickly patients will return to work. I would not likely advocate the return to work factor into the decision of where to put implant placement. After 4 weeks the majority of patients will have most significant restrictions lifted. Hope this helps!

The remainder of the week will be ideal for a desk job

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Thanks for your question ericabaxter77. November is a great time for breast augmentation because you'll have your final results in time for holiday parties. For most women, taking the whole week off is ideal. The earliest you'd be able to return would probably be Friday, but ask your plastic surgeon whether that will be a possibility. A week will work for a desk job, but if your job involves lifting or other physical exertion, you should take off 4-6 weeks. Best wishes.

Adam L. Basner, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Return to work.

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As I read these answers, it strikes me that most everyone has the same general routine. What I can tell you, though, is that there are others out there that do things slightly differently, making your recovery much quicker, faster and with much less pain or discomfort. 

With that being said, most of my breast augmentation clients go back to work the next day; can goto the gym, and return to a normal lifestyle immediately after surgery. Dr. John Tebbetts in Dallas can be credited for opening the eyes of a number of surgeons, but the vast majority are still very skeptical of those claims.

That being said, this question is really best reserved for your PS, as his/her routine will vary slightly from what everyone else on here does. Call the office and ask the staff, as they will be very well versed in answering this question as it is one of the most common questions we get. 

Kirk Moore, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Time off from Breast Augmentation

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Thank you for your question.    The time off from work will depend on the type of work you do.  If you sit at a desk, most women return in 3-5 days.  If your job requires heavy lifting or manual labor, then 4-6 weeks is recommended.  I wish you a safe recovery and wonderful result.

Dr. Gill

Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 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.