Can I Return to Work 2 Days After a Breast Augmentation and Lift, I Work As a Cashier?

Hi, I'm 21 years, 5'1, 108 lbs. I'm having surgery next month like to know if i can return to work as soon as possible. Thanks

Doctor Answers 19

Breast Augmentation Recovery

Concerns about the recovery period are very common amongst patients considering breast augmentation surgery. It's important to realize that every patient's situation is unique.

Some patients have jobs that involve heavy lifting, while others sit at a desk. Some patients have children, while others have a significant support system available to them. Some patients have more extensive procedures, while some patients have a low pain tolerance. All of these factors can impact the recovery period.

I generally recommend that patients take a week off from work. Patients who have desk jobs may return sooner. Light exercise can usually be undertaken at about two weeks, and strenuous physical activity can be resumed at six weeks. At that time, I tell patients that they may return to full activity, without restrictions.

Two situations deserve special mention, these include childcare and driving. I tell patients that they should not drive a motor vehicle until they are no longer taking narcotic pain relievers. Also, I believe that if you have small children at home, some type of childcare assistance should be available for at least one week following surgery.

When all of these factors are considered, most patients feel that the recovery was less difficult than expected.

Omaha Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 194 reviews

Downtime following Breast Augmentation

There are many factors that affect recovery following breast augmentation - Patient factors, Surgeon factors and Implant factors.  I offer patients a Fast-Trak recovery with the majority of patients recovering with return to normal activities of daily living immediately, and over 80% back to work within 24-48 hours with no to minimal pain medication such as Vicodin.   In order to achieve this, patients need to be educated properly and informed on what to expect postoperatively, implants chosen to match their breast dimensions such as width of the breast and elasticity or stretch-meaning not over-augmented, the implant pocket is approached through a fold incision with absolutely no bleeding or trauma to the ribs or breast tissues, stretching of your arms above your head starting in recovery, taking a 2-3 hour nap and then getting up, taking a shower and going out for a walk, out to the mall or movie or out to dinner.  The more quickly you return to normal activity the quicker your recovery will be.  All my Best!  Dr B

Bradley Bengtson, MD, FACS
Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Breast lift and breast augmentation. returning to work


  I think that planning on going back to work in 2 days or so is pushing it but some patients can do it.  Quite frankly, some patients just do not have the ability to take off work and they will put up with the discomfort/pain no matter what the recommendation.

  If you were my patient, I would let you know that there is a very little chance that you will cause any problems with the surgery but you might be uncomfortable.  If you can take the discomfort or pain, then go for it.  If you are on narcotic pain medicines, then you should not be driving or working at  job that requires you to be alert such as your job. 

Steven M. Lynch, MD
Albany Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Don't Lift Until 6 Weeks After

Thank you for your question. Please follow the advice of your plastic surgeon, as they know the particular details of your case. I generally recommend that my patients may return to work within a few days, as soon as they are off narcotic pain medication. However, I recommend that you do not do any intensive lifting until 6 weeks after surgery. You risk implant displacement, wound breakdown, and the development of a hematoma or seroma.

Joshua D. Zuckerman, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Returning to work

Thank you for your question.
I recommend checking with your surgeon for his/her instructions/ restriction post surgery. You can return to work when  you  feel well enough, with lifting restrictions for 3 to 6 weeks. Best of luck.

Brian K. Reedy, MD
Reading Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 144 reviews

Time off Work as a cashier

Each surgeon has his or her own guidelines for recovery. Typically, patients can return to light activity after 5 to 7 days. More strenuous activity may take 3 to 6 weeks. Consult with your board certified surgeon as he or she will understand the scope of the surgery and the specifics of you.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Returning to work after a breast augmentation

Depending upon your pain level it is possible.  The only activities I would restrict a patient to after a breast augmentation would be not to lift greater than 20 pounds and avoid activities where the breasts bounce up and down for 6 weeks. Atlanta Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Z

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Return to work post aug

Two dyas is stretching it because you also have to drive,I would wait about 4-5 days and even then there is soem risk.Maybe soemone can drive you to work.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Two Days Probably Not Enough

That's a popular question many of my patients ask as well. At 21 years old, you're still quite young, so you may be able to recover more quickly from your surgery than older patients. Having said that, however, you'll still need to limit your activity so that your body can recover properly from the trauma of surgery. I usually recommend my patients take about 5-7 days off of work, during which time they should relax and restrict their arm movements and avoid any lifting or strenuous exercise. You may need less, or more, than this recommended time frame, depending on how you feel and how you're recovering. 

Here are some things that you'll need to consider:


- if you feel pain or discomfort: while this can be controlled by prescribed medication, you may not feel up to dealing with work stress, too.

- if the swelling/bruising is too visible: this might affect your appearance and you may not want to go to work, particularly since you're a cashier and need to interact with customers.

- if your job requires any lifting, you won't be able to without negatively affecting your recovery. If your job requires you to stand/sit in one spot for long periods of time, this can also negatively affect your recovery.

- if your recovery is compromised, not only is it dangerous to your health, you can also jeopardize the results of your procedure.

It's advisable to take as many days off of work as recommended by your surgeon. However, I honestly think that 2 days off is not enough.


Oh, and by the way, make sure you get your surgeon to write a note for your absence, so you don't get penalized for taking the days off.

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

Recovery After a Breast Augmentation/Mastopexy

Many of my patients wish to return to work as soon as possible, however no one has returned in 2 days, I must admit. I recommend my patients to take at least a week to 10 days before returning to work, to insure that they no longer require pain medication to be comfortable. I also caution any patient that no heavy lifting should be attempted for at least 6 weeks following the surgery. This time frame allows for adequate healing to take place. However, the best surgeon to ask would be the one you have chosen, as there are many opinions as to the amount of time needed to recover.

Pedro M. Soler, Jr., MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 39 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.