How soon can I go back to work after a BA?

I do not have a physically taxing job. It requires little to no lifting and any physical activity is optional. I am, however, required to drive quite a bit. Will this be a problem if I am unable to take a full week off of work?

Doctor Answers 16

Returning to work after Breast Augmentation

Thanks for your question! A good rule of thumb to follow is allow enough time as possible. The recovery time for a breast augmentation is 3-4 days if the implant is above the muscle or 4-10 days if it is below. The first three days following your procedure there is some intensity and swelling which gradually improves by the 10 day mark. At this point, you should be able to ease back into your daily routine. Depending on the how comfortable you feel with the intensity of your job, it is best to not rush back into work until you feel like you are ready. Full recovery is expected in 6 weeks. Please speak with your board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss your post-op recovery plan.

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Breast Augmentation Recovery: Information

Dear  Ms. Stephanielh17,

Thank you for your questions.

Every Plastic Surgeon has his/her SPECFIC instructions and would defer to yours.
Pain is usually what limits most patients from returning to work (which is is 2-3 days for non physical jobs).

In your case  should be fine taking off a week 

In my practice, 95% + of implants are placed under the muscle.

I personally inject the muscle with long acting local anesthetic and offer a non narcotic pain pump that drips local anesthesia into the breast pocket for 3 days. There are several different brands (On-Q is a common one).


1)icing the breasts
2)start non narcotic (ibuprofen) and narcotic (percocette) for break through pain

1)start implant displacement exercises as pain allows
2)start "walking the wall with fingers"
3) displacement exercises:
5 x day
5 min
5 weeks
Until breast implant "seats"

-Remove non narcotic pain pump
-For those that do not have to use their upper body it is ok to return to work.
-Allowed to use upper body muscles as long as pain tolerated for next 6 weeks
-No high impact activities
-Wean off all narcotics
-Continue displacement exercises "5,5, 5" until implants "seat"

THIRD DAY to 6 weeks
-No high impact activities
-Continue upper body exercises as pain tolerated
-Back to work for those that require upper body use when no pain doing such
-Continue displacement exercises "5,5, 5" until implants "seat"

BEYOND 6 weeks
-no restrictions upper body (even if some pain)
-may start high impact exercises
-Continue displacement exercises "5,5, 5" until implants "seat"
-after implants seat then displacement exercises for 30 seconds 3 x day for life.

I trust you have chosen a Plastic Surgeon who is a experienced and Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. In addition ideally he/she is a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (denoting by membership as having met additional criteria and a focus on Cosmetic Plastic Surgery).

My best wishes,

R. A. Hardesty, MD, FACS
Diplomate and Certified by the Am. Bd. of Plastic Surgery
4646 Brockton Ave
Riverside, Ca 92506
(951) 686-7600

Robert A. Hardesty, MD, FACS
Riverside Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 98 reviews

Returning to work after Breast augmentation

You probably will be fine to go back to work after 4 days. However if the implants are placed under the muscle you will still have pain or discomfort the first week. 

Fred Suess, MD (retired)
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Time off work after Breast Augmentation

Most women who do not have a physically demanding job will comfortably return to work in a week. For those who cannot take that amount of time off they can often get by after a long weekend. Regarding driving, it is unlikely you can cause problems to the surgical site by driving. The limitation to driving are more related to your personal safety. You cannot drive if you are taking prescription pain pills or muscle relaxants. Also you need to be sure you have adequate range of motion to react in an emergency evasive maneuver.

Good luck and best of wishes on your surgery

Wayne I. Yamahata, MD
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

How soon can I go back to work after a BA?

This is probably reasonable.  Find a board certified plastic surgeon who has performed thousands of these procedures and has hundreds of pictures and reviews.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Beverly Hills, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

Work after breast augmentation

If you don't have a physically demanding job, you can certainly return to work in less than a week.  Just exercise common sense and run it by your doctor since we all have our own protocols.

Tim Neavin, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

BA Recovery

Thank you for your question. I would recommend talking in depth with your surgeon about your post operative recovery.

Everyone heals differently, but often patients feel well enough to go back to work a few days after a breast augmentation, however you will want to make sure you are not taking narcotics before driving for your job. It might be best to try to talk with your boss to only work at a desk for the first week to ensure you are feeling well enough without having to take time off work.

Best of luck!

Kamran Azad, MD
Pasadena Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

How soon can I go back to work after a breast augmentation?

It's a great question. You should definitely follow the advice of your plastic surgeon, so they can give you their exact recommendations.

In our office patients take ibuprofen and are performing arm exercises immediately after surgery. There are no special bras. They can return to activities at work within 3-7 days, depending on the individual. I asked that they not lift more than 20 pounds for several weeks. Exercise can be resumed at four weeks. Chest exercises are resumed at six weeks.

Good luck with the process!

Austin Hayes, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Return to Work After Breast Augmentation

In my practice, most of my patients take no narcotics, only Motrin. They typically have surgery on Thursday or Friday, and are back to work Monday in a normal bra.
Best of luck!

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

Back to work


My patients can typically return to an office job or classes if they are a student, within 5-7 days post op. I recommend that you discuss your expectations with your Plastic Surgeon to find out what they advise.

All the best

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