Tips for Resuming Exercise after Breast Lift Surgery
Mastopexy (commonly known as Breast Lift), like any surgical procedure, requires a period of recovery. One of the most common questions that patients ask is, “When can I exercise after breast lift surgery?” This is a crucial question as maintaining an active lifestyle is important for overall health and well-being. In this blog post, we will explore this topic in detail, guided by the expertise of Dr Carmen Munteanu, a renowned plastic and reconstructive surgeon based in Melbourne, Australia.
Download Dr Carmen’s Guide to Breast Lift Surgery – Mastopexy
What Is Breast Lift Surgery?
Breast lift surgery is a cosmetic procedure that aims to elevate and reshape the breasts, providing a firmer appearance. This is achieved by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue. The procedure can also reduce the size of the areola if needed.
People choose to undergo a breast lift for various reasons. Some may have experienced changes in their breasts resulting in sagging or loss of firmness. Regardless of the reason, it’s important to remember that a breast lift is a significant surgical procedure that requires careful consideration and planning, including understanding the recovery process and knowing when it’s safe to return to regular activities like exercise.
Recovery after Breast Lift Surgery
The recovery process after a breast lift surgery is a journey that varies from person to person. It is influenced by several factors, including:
- The Extent of the Surgery: The complexity and extent of your breast lift surgery can impact the length of your recovery. More extensive procedures may require a longer healing period
- Overall Health: Your general health and wellness can significantly influence your body’s healing process. Individuals in good health often recover more quickly
- Natural Healing Capabilities: Each person’s body heals at its own pace. Some people may naturally recover faster than others
During the recovery period, there are several key points to remember:
- Returning to Work: Most patients can expect to return to non-strenuous work within one to two weeks after the surgery. However, this timeline can vary based on the nature of your job and the advice of your plastic surgeon
- Limiting Physical Activities: Physical activities, especially those involving the upper body, should be limited for a longer period. This precaution is necessary to prevent strain on the surgical area and allow the body to heal properly
- Managing Post-Surgery Symptoms: It’s normal to experience some swelling, bruising, and discomfort after the surgery. To manage these symptoms, patients are usually given a surgical bra to wear. This bra supports the breasts and helps minimise swelling. Additionally, pain medication may be prescribed to manage any discomfort
- Follow-Up Appointments: Regular follow-up appointments with your plastic surgeon are crucial during the recovery period. These appointments allow your plastic surgeon to monitor your healing progress and address any concerns promptly. If Dr Carmen is your surgeon, she will guide you through the recovery process, providing advice and reassurance
When to Resume Exercise
Resuming exercise after a breast lift surgery is a gradual process. It’s important to give your body the time it needs to heal before jumping back into your regular workout routine. Here’s a general timeline to guide you:
- First Week Post-Surgery: During the first week after surgery, it’s important to rest and avoid any strenuous activities. Light walking around your home is encouraged to promote blood circulation, but avoid any activity that raises your heart rate or blood pressure
- Two to Four Weeks Post-Surgery: You may gradually increase your activity level. Light, low-impact exercises such as walking or stationary cycling can be introduced. However, avoid any exercises that involve the upper body or cause bouncing or jarring of the breasts
- Four to Six Weeks Post-Surgery: If your plastic surgeon gives the go-ahead, you may start incorporating more moderate exercises into your routine. Continue to avoid heavy lifting or high-impact activities
- Six Weeks and Beyond: By this time, most patients are cleared to resume all forms of exercise, including high-impact activities and weight lifting. It’s essential to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard too soon
This timeline is a general guide and can vary based on individual circumstances. Always follow the specific advice given by Dr Carmen Munteanu, who will provide guidance based on your personal recovery progress.
Tips for Resuming Exercise after Breast Lift Surgery
As you prepare to reintroduce exercise into your routine after breast lift surgery, consider the following tips to ensure a safe and effective transition:
- Gradually Increase Intensity: Start with light exercises and gradually increase the intensity as your body allows. Rushing into strenuous activities can lead to complications and delay your overall recovery
- Listen to Your Body: Pay close attention to how your body responds to increased activity. If you experience pain, discomfort, or any unusual symptoms, it’s a sign that you may be pushing yourself too hard. Take a step back and give your body more time to heal
- Wear the Right Gear: Wearing supportive clothing, especially a well-fitted sports bra, is crucial when you start exercising again. The right gear can provide the necessary support to your breasts, minimise movement, and help prevent discomfort
- Stay Hydrated and Eat Healthily: Proper nutrition and hydration play a significant role in your recovery and exercise performance. Ensure you’re consuming a balanced diet and drinking plenty of fluids
- Consult Your Surgeon: Always consult with your plastic surgeon before resuming or changing your exercise routine. Dr Carmen can provide personalised advice based on your recovery progress and overall health.
Keep in mind that the goal is to return to your active lifestyle safely without compromising your surgical results or health.
How to Support the Breasts When You Start Exercising Again?
Supporting your breasts properly as you resume exercise after a breast lift surgery is crucial for both comfort and maintaining the results of your procedure. Here are some strategies to ensure proper support:
- Wear a Supportive Sports Bra: A high-quality, well-fitted sports bra is essential when you start exercising again. It should provide ample support to minimise movement and bouncing, which can cause discomfort and potentially affect the healing process. Look for sports bras that are designed for high-impact activities, even if you’re only doing low-impact exercise, as they offer maximum support
- Consider Compression Garments: Some women find that compression garments provide additional support and comfort during workouts. These garments can help reduce swelling and stabilise the breast tissue, especially in the early stages of recovery
- Proper Fitting: Ensure your sports bra is the correct size. A bra that is too tight can cause discomfort and impede blood flow, while a bra that is too loose won’t provide the necessary support. Consider getting professionally fitted for a sports bra after your surgery
- Adjust as Needed: As your body continues to heal and change after surgery, you may find that your bra size changes as well. Regularly assess the fit of your sports bra and adjust as needed
- Listen to Your Body: If you experience discomfort during exercise, it could be a sign that you’re not getting enough support. Listen to your body and adjust your support as needed
- Consult Your Plastic Surgeon: If you’re unsure about what type of support is best for you, consult with your surgeon. Dr Carmen can provide personalised advice based on your specific situation and recovery progress.
Proper support is not just about comfort – it’s a crucial part of maintaining the results of your breast lift surgery as you return to your regular exercise routine.
What Types of Exercises Should Be Avoided after Breast Lift Surgery?
After a breast lift surgery, it’s essential to give your body ample time to heal before resuming your regular exercise routine. Certain types of exercises should be avoided during the initial recovery period to prevent strain on the surgical area and complications. Here’s a closer look:
- Upper Body Strength Training: Exercises that target the chest, shoulders, and upper back should be avoided in the initial weeks following surgery. This includes weight lifting, push-ups, pull-ups, and any other exercises that put strain on your chest muscles
- High-Impact Activities: High-impact exercises such as running, jumping, or any activities that cause your breasts to bounce should be avoided until your plastic surgeon gives you the go-ahead. These activities can cause discomfort and potentially disrupt the healing process
- Contact Sports: Any sports that involve physical contact or the risk of a ball or other object hitting your chest, such as football, basketball, or volleyball, should be avoided until you’re fully healed
- Hot Yoga or Pilates: These types of exercises often involve positions that could strain your chest area. Additionally, the heat in hot yoga classes could potentially increase swelling
- Swimming: While swimming is a low-impact exercise, it’s best to avoid it until your incisions are fully healed to prevent infection
- Exercises Involving Stretching of the Chest Muscles: Any exercises that involve deep stretching of the chest muscles should be avoided in the early stages of recovery
These are general guidelines and the exact timeline can vary based on individual circumstances. Always follow the specific advice given by your plastic surgeon.
As you gradually reintroduce exercise into your routine, listen to your body and take it slow. If you experience any pain or discomfort, stop the activity and consult with Dr Carmen.
What to Do If You Experience Discomfort or Pain
While some discomfort is expected as you reintroduce exercise into your routine, it’s important to know when to seek medical attention. Here’s what you should do if you experience discomfort or pain:
- Don’t Ignore the Pain: Pain is your body’s way of signaling that something might be wrong. If you experience pain during or after exercise, stop the activity immediately
- Rest and Monitor: Give your body time to rest and monitor your symptoms closely. If the pain subsides with rest, it may have been a sign that you were pushing yourself too hard
- Apply Cold Compress: If you notice swelling or feel discomfort, applying a cold compress can help reduce inflammation and provide relief. However, be sure to wrap the compress in a cloth to avoid direct contact with the skin
- Contact Your Surgeon: If the pain persists or if you notice any unusual symptoms such as severe swelling, redness, heat, or discharge from the surgical area, contact your surgeon immediately. Dr Carmen and her team are always ready to provide the necessary care and guidance
FAQs about Exercise and Recovery after Breast Lift Surgery
How soon can I return to work after breast lift surgery?
- Most patients can return to non-strenuous work within one to two weeks after surgery. Keep in mind that this can vary based on your individual recovery and the nature of your job.
When can I start exercising after my breast lift surgery?
- Light walking can be introduced within the first week after surgery. More intense physical activities should be gradually reintroduced over the following weeks, around the six to eight-week mark, depending on Dr Carmen’s advice.
What should I do if I experience pain while exercising?
- If you experience pain during or after exercise, stop the activity immediately and rest. If the pain persists, contact Dr Carmen
Can exercise affect my breast lift results?
- As long as you follow Dr Carmen’s advice and give your body ample time to heal before resuming strenuous activities, exercise should not negatively impact your breast lift results. In fact, maintaining a stable weight through diet and exercise can help maintain your results.
What role does nutrition play in my recovery and return to exercise?
- Proper nutrition is crucial for healing and recovery. Consuming a balanced diet can provide your body with the necessary nutrients to heal, while staying hydrated can improve your overall wellbeing and exercise performance.
Further Reading about Breast Lift Surgery with Dr Carmen
- Read Dr Carmen’s Breast Lift Surgery Page
- Read Dr Carmen’s Exercising after Plastic Surgery Page
- Read Dr Carmen’s Blog about Recovery After Breast Lift Surgery – Tips, Timeline and Healing
- Read Dr Carmen’s Blog about Best Compression Garments for Plastic Surgery Patients
- Read Dr Carmen’s Blog about Understanding Breast Anatomy – Breast Cosmetic Surgery Terms and Concerns
- Read Dr Carmen’s Blog about How Can I Reduce Swelling and Bruising After Breast Lift Surgery