How Much Time off Work is Appropriate for Breast Implants? I Wear Body Armor in my Job.

I work in security and wear body armor. I want breast implants but don't want to risk damaging them by returning to work too soon. I have read the many comments on when to return to work, but my job is a little different than most. I do not have my vest on 24/7. But do need to have it on at least 30 minutes out of the day. I do not want to damage my implants or cause any undue pain by returning to work to early. Have their been any other patients that have jobs where vests, guns, and ammo are the norm, and what was the recommended recovery time for that?

Doctor Answers 11

Time off Work for Breast Implants

Depending on the range of your responsibilities, 5 - 7 days is the norm to begin light activities. Your surgeon may restrict you from your full duties for much longer most likely 3 - 6 weeks. Discuss in detail with your surgeon.

West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

3 weeks may be needed

I normally recommend patients plan to be off work for up to 5-7 days if their work is sedentary. If your work involves heavy lifting, you should wait at least 6 weeks. If it is only physically demanding, which I assume it is, then plan to be off of work for 3 weeks. The weight and pressure of your body armour should not interfere with your implants after you've recovered.

However, you should ask your surgeon for their advice. They may have different guidelines. You can see that the answers here vary greatly as well.

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 179 reviews

Time off work after breast augmentation surgery

Dear patient

Wearing body armor will in no way damage implants. I’ve operated on many officers and security agents that are required to wear body armor or vests. Returning to work is generally possible after 4 weeks.


Teanoosh Zadeh, MD, FRCSC
Montreal Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Time off work after breast augmentation with implants

Think of breast augmentation as if it were an orthopedic procedure such as a hip replacement. It's not nearly as involved or functional but it has to be done right and then requires a splint and restrictions until things are healed adequately and then there is a period of rehab. For breast implants/augmentation the first week is the most critical for a number of reasons, and I advise patients to take this week off from any required activity. The second week is still healing but will allow for normal activities that don't stress the chest or upper body. Sports, upper body exercise, heavy lifting, and lying on the breasts would still not be wise, so this would include wearing and possibly needing body armor. After two weeks the breasts/implants are healed and restrictions are lifted but like being out of shape, it's not reasonable to immediately engage in extremes, so working back into vigorous upper body activities would be wise as in rehab for a knee. By about 4-6 weeks the tissues should be recovered and confidence returned to do whatever the patient was doing before the augmentation and not thinking or worrying about it. 

Scott L. Replogle, MD
Boulder Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Guns and Ammo

I don't think the vest should be much of a problem if you wait about two weeks after the surgery.  You will know when you put it on if it is too tight and too compressive which may be uncomfortabel. Your body will tell you if what you are doing after surgery is too much too soon.  Ask your surgeon to be sure he or she does not feel otherwise.

Thank you for your question and good luck.

Ralph R. Garramone, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Breast augmentation and uniform

In general, I tell my patients that if they feel well enough to go back to work in a few days or a week then it is OK.  I tell them to avoid heavy lifting for a several weeks.  If the security vest is not to heavy it is probably OK.  Ask your surgeon to be sure.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Breast Augmentation Recovery

Hello Dragontails,

I have had the honor of performing breast augmentation on over two dozen Women in Blue hear in Los Angeles, as well as a few security guards too.  They've ranged from officers, detectives, gun specialists, and regular patrol. I've told all of them that two weeks was plenty (those with desk jobs, two to three days), and to return to the gym at that time too, most complying with my recommendations. I have them lifting their arms over their heads 5 times every hour and lie on their chest as well, starting the evening of the surgery day.  Their only medication they take is Motrin. It is all part of a complete program that all my breast augmentation patients follow. Most surgeons' recommendations will probably differ, but this is a proven program that I adopted from Dr. Tebbits in Dallas 10 years ago.

Best of luck!

Gerald Minniti, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Breast Implants and Body Armor

For most patients the usual amount of time off work is one week. I have a number of patients who have had augmentations and need to wear body armor when they return to work. If it is just a matter or wearing body armor, you could potentially return to work in two weeks. If there is the potential need in your job for you to respond quickly in a physical way, then it might be better to wait 4-6 weeks.

Braden C. Stridde, MD
Kirkland Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 53 reviews

Time Off Security Job After Augmentation

I agree with Dr. Pousti that you should take 4-6 weeks off if your job involves strenuous activities, although I am not certain that the body armor per se is problematic.  Many women who have sedentary jobs may be able to return to work in a week to 10 days or less.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Body Armour and breast implants

You raise a question that  does not have an exact answer. You may return to acting in law enforcement when you are comfortable. We have been employing methods over the last 5 years that have made it easier for people with strenuous jobs, such as yours, to return to work comfortably usually in 2-3 weeks. You do not want to jeopardize either you or your co-workers by not reacting promptly because of concerns about discomfort. You would not compromise your outcome with strenuous activity even as early as 5-6 days. I have had personal trainers back to teaching kickboxing as early as 1 week after surgery, without issues. I hope this helps and I wish you good luck.

James M. Kurley, MD
Champaign Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 38 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.