Breast augmentation, medically known as augmentation mammoplasty, is a common cosmetic procedure performed to increase or change the size of the breast. The procedure is done by placing implants or by transferring fat from other parts of the body. The implants, usually silicone-filled, can be placed either under the chest muscle or over the muscle.
Patients get breast augmentation mammoplasty for a variety of reasons. Many women choose the procedure to simply increase the size and volume of their breasts.
Breast augmentation mammoplasty surgery is a popular procedure. It is also done for medical purposes to restore the breasts after a mastectomy. It can be also done to correct asymmetric breasts or to correct issues following a previous augmentation mammoplasty. It can also be done in conjunction with other cosmetic procedures like a tummy tuck/ abdominoplasty or as part of upper body lift (torsoplasty) surgery.
Breast Augmentation Mammoplasty Recovery
Recovery after breast augmentation mammoplasty surgery takes about four to six weeks on average. If you have been leading an active lifestyle before the surgery, you might want to keep the momentum and get back to it as soon as possible. One of the most asked questions is how soon can I exercise after a breast augmentation mammoplasty surgery?
There are a few things you need to keep in mind about exercising after breast augmentation mammoplasty surgery with implants. You need to give your body time to recover before resuming physical activity. It is important to understand the timeline of healing as well as follow the aftercare instruction given by your surgeon. Below we talk about recovery, answer some of the most frequently asked questions exercising post-procedure, and offer some advice on speeding up your recovery time.
Specialist Plastic Surgeon Dr Jeremy Hunt has completed hundreds of breast augmentation mammoplasty procedures in Australia. Dr Hunt is a Sydney plastic surgeon who practices in Sydney and Wollongong NSW.
Guide to Recovery
Timeline for recovery after a breast augmentation mammoplasty surgery with implants
If you are concerned about what to expect after a breast augmentation mammoplasty, we will make things simple for you. Here is a detailed breakdown for recovery:
1 – POST OP – What to expect immediately post-surgery?
You will be placed in the surgical postoperative room immediately after the procedure. You should rest while you recover from the effects of anaesthesia. You need to have someone to take you home after surgery. Arrange someone to help with household chores and take care of you for a few days after surgery.
2 – 1st 24 HRS – What is the first twenty-four hours post-surgery like?
For the first twenty-four hours after your breast augmentation mammoplasty, you will experience soreness, fatigue, and tightness in your chest. You might feel some discomfort and pain. Take pain-relieving medications or muscle relaxants prescribed by your surgeon.
Following the implant surgery, you might experience a loss of sensation in the breast or even oversensitivity. You will also may notice bruises and swelling over your breast which is normal.
3 – 1st WEEK – What to expect during the first week?
Your implants will begin to settle in by the first postoperative week. The discomfort and pain should significantly subside within three to five days of surgery. Wear a fitted surgical bra recommended by your surgeon. You could also be given a stabilising strap that maintains the position of your breasts and reduces the swelling.
The intensity of pain and discomfort should gradually subside. Keep your incisions clean and dry. Limit physical activity to gentle walks which promotes healing by encouraging blood flow. Check with your surgeon before showering, which can be generally be done after 2 to 3 days.
If you have been placed in the hospital, you will be cleared to go home 48 hours after the surgery. If you are at home, your surgeon may ask you to make a follow-up visit to the hospital for checking the wounds and changing the dressing.
4 – 2nd Week What happens in the second week after breast augmentation mammoplasty?
Expect to return to physically non-taxing jobs after the first week. It is normal to experience mild pain and itchiness in your breast, as the wound begins to heal.
You will be cleared for lower body workouts like stairs, squats, stationary bicycle, etc.
5 – 4th Week – What happens at 4 weeks after breast augmentation mammoplasty?
By the fourth week, discomfort, swelling, pain, and bruising should have subsided completely.
By the third month, most patients start feeling normal. You will likely be cleared for all high-impact exercises and swimming and your arm movements should be back to normal by this time.
Complete healing and thinning out of scar tissues will take around six months. Delay upper body workouts if your implants have not dropped.
So when do implants ‘drop’?
As your skin covering the breast stretches, the muscles begin to relax and the inflammation subsides, your implants will gradually move down and outwards. The implants begin to fill the breast area below the nipple. This begins after the first few days of augmentation mammoplasty, and the breast implants should almost reach their final position by the sixth week. By the third month, the implants will most likely have settled in completely.
How to know if I should stop exercising?
If you notice any of the signs and symptoms mentioned below, immediately stop exercising and seek advice from your surgeon:
- Pain or numbness
- Difficulty moving your arms
- Significant bruising and swelling
- Redness or rash in the breast area
- Difficulty in breathing
- Sore, painful, non-healing wounds or reopening of the incision
- Fluid or pus oozing out from the site of the incision
- Implants are visible through the skin
- An asymmetric appearance of the breast
How can I speed up my recovery after breast augmentation mammoplasty?
- Quit smoking, as cigarettes delay wound healing
- Wear the surgical bra recommended by your plastic surgeon. Avoid underwire bras for a minimum of six weeks after surgery
- Sleep on your back
- Drink plenty of water
- Avoid drinking alcohol as it can cause dehydration. This can increase your risk of infections, bleeding, and interaction with other medications
- Keep your breast above water. Submerging your new implants in water may lead to infections
- Give your body time to heal. Avoid strenuous exercise or picking up anything over 20 pounds for the first six weeks. Heavy lifting may put you at risk for bleeding, causing blood to leak into the surrounding tissues or the formation of a hematoma
The Dos and Don’ts after breast augmentation mammoplasty surgery
Some things that you should do:
- Rest and recover
- Eat healthy and nutritious meals
- Massage your breasts gently, as instructed by your surgeon
- Sleep on your back comfortably
- Ask your surgeon about analgesic medication
- Be patient, as recovery may take several weeks
- Swim, or immerse in hot tubs and baths.
- Smoke or drink alcohol.
- Wear bras with underwires.
- Update your wardrobe right away.
- Raise your arms above your head as it may lead to bleeding from the incision sites. In the first post-operative week, avoid strenuous exercise and heavy lifting.
FAQs about Exercising after Breast Implant Surgery (Augmentation Mammoplasty)
Does exercise affect breast implants?
- Exercising early on during the recovery period may affect the results of augmentation mammoplasty surgery. While light exercises improve blood circulation and the healing process, vigorous exercise can move the chest muscle. This may lead to shifting of the implants, causing asymmetry of the breast. Engaging in early exercise may also contribute to soreness, bruising, and swelling.
When can I work out after breast augmentation mammoplasty?
- You should wait at least 6 weeks before working out, especially for high-intensity exercises. Several factors influence your recovery and the time to resume exercise like the state of your overall health and nutrition status, type and size of your implants, age, condition of the incision, to name a few. Always ask your surgeon when the right time is for you.
What happens if you exercise too soon after breast augmentation mammoplasty?
- Working out too soon after breast augmentation mammoplasty can shift your implants, making your breasts asymmetrical. It may also lead to fluid build-up, swelling, bruising, or cause bleeding. Resuming exercise too early may also lead to undesired scar formation.
What exercise can I do 2 weeks after breast augmentation mammoplasty?
- Gradually increase your activity levels while you are in recovery. You can perform light cardio activities 2 weeks after breast augmentation mammoplasty surgery. Do not let your heart rate increase significantly. You can do light walking, squats, leg weights and ride a stationary bike 2 weeks post-surgery.
Will running ruin my breast implants?
- Female runners and fitness enthusiasts are concerned that running may ruin their breast implants. No, it won’t. But it is important to wait for your body to heal before you start running. The implants are durable and can withstand the physical stress that comes with sports activities. Just make sure you wear a well-fitted sports bra. This will hold your new breasts in place, and keep them in proper shape and position.
Can I run 3 weeks after breast implants?
- Running is not advised for 3-6 weeks following the surgery. This is a general guideline and the exact time frame depends upon the state of your recovery. Ensure that the incisions have healed before you take up running as sweating can increase the risk of infection. The new tissues around the implant should also be able to support your implant pocket. Always start gradually. Listen to your body and stop when you feel discomfort. Do not ignore any signs that your body is giving you.
Why can’t I lift my arms after breast augmentation mammoplasty?
- Limited arm movement for the first 5 to 7 days following surgery is the general recommendation. Avoid overhead lifting and wear zip-up or button-up tops. You will be advised to keep your arms below your shoulder for about two weeks. Your body forms a capsule around the breast implant so that it remains secure in its place.
Can you lay on your side after a breast augmentation mammoplasty?
- Sleeping on your sides or your stomach might cause too much pressure on your implants and the incisions. You need to sleep on your back with your head elevated at 45 degrees after surgery.
Further Reading about Breast Augmentation Mammoplasty Surgery
- Read Dr Hunt’s Breast Augmentation Mammoplasty with Implants Surgery page
- Read Dr Hunt’s Breast Procedures page
- See Dr Hunt’s Real Patient Breast Augmentation with Implants Before and After Photos
About Dr Jeremy Hunt – Specialist Plastic Surgeon
Dr Jeremy Hunt is a specialist plastic surgeon performing breast, body, face and nose surgery in Australia. He is a member of FRACS & ASPS and has over 20 years of experience providing plastic surgery in Sydney.
Careful, considerate and honest, Dr Jeremy Hunt works with you to find a solution that is suitable for your body and your lifestyle. Every patient is unique and requires a personalised approach to reach their goals.
Dr Hunt has provided his one-on-one service and attention to detail to thousands of women and men from the Sydney & Wollongong NSW area and across Australia.
Dr Hunt’s qualifications and education
Dr Jeremy A. Hunt MBBS FRACS graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine degree from Sydney University in 1990 and is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and member of ASPS – the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons. He completed a Fellowship at the University of Texas in the United States, where he learnt from well-established and experienced plastic surgeons.
Next Step – Make an Enquiry or Request a consultation with Dr Hunt
Want more information before scheduling your consultation?
- Find out more about pricing, medical payment plans and paying for your surgery
- Request more information about the procedure – call on 1300 157 200 or contact us
If breast reduction mammoplasty is something you’re considering, Dr Hunt can thoroughly explain all the options to you in a one-on-one consultation.
- Make an Enquiry or Request a consultation with Dr Hunt
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health professional.