Will breast implants get in the way of exercise?

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One thing patients are usually most interested in knowing about when considering implants is when it will be safe for them to exercise again after their breast augmentation procedure. It's important to follow aftercare instructions to have as smooth a recovery as possible and ensure optimal results.

Breast augmentation can improve a patient's confidence and make them feel more comfortable in their own skin. Patients who have active, healthy lifestyles will typically be ideal candidates for the procedure – but they shouldn't expect to be able to resume their normal exercise routine right away after the procedure.

If you are normally very active, the thought of having to take a break from a typically "up-and-about" lifestyle for weeks after breast augmentation can seem difficult. Most likely, you'll also be anxious to see your new body shape. Remember, though, that if you go back to exercising too quickly, it could prolong your recovery.

Take it easy at first

It is generally safe to resume light walking – such as short walks around the room every so often – immediately after breast augmentation. This is even encouraged since it helps to prevent blood clots. However, any form of heavy exercise will need to be avoided for several weeks until your surgeon gives you the approval to resume the activity.

Keep in mind that overstressing your torso in particular is a bad idea because implants are placed beneath or above the chest muscle. Avoid chest and shoulder exercises, lifting weights or any other exercise that puts pressure on your chest or back.

In most cases, patients will be healed and able to resume all forms of exercise – including heavy cardio – within six weeks.

Listen to your surgeon

Postop guidelines and the timeline for when you'll be able to begin working out again can vary based on how extensive the procedure is, the areas of the body that are affected and individual lifestyle factors. It's the patient's responsibility to follow the surgeon's guidelines so that they can heal properly.

If you were to go back to the gym before your body has healed properly, there could be complications that affect the quality of your results and your overall health. Swelling could become worse, switches could break open, tension from the stretching stitches could make scars look worse and the risk of infection at the incision site could be increased.

Yes, you can exercise with implants

In addition to getting breast implants, exercise is also an important part of making your body look the way you want it to, so patients sometimes worry about how this procedure can affect their fitness levels. Patients may be curious about whether implants will get in their way if they normally have a very active lifestyle. The good news is that there will be no need to give up running, lifting weights or other forms of exercise after augmentation. Implants should not prevent you from having an active lifestyle.

During your consultation, you should tell your surgeon about your lifestyle, including any sports or exercise you do, so that they can help you decide on the right type of implant and placement for you. Always wear a supportive bra if you're exercising after breast augmentation, and get approval from your surgeon before you begin a new activity.

Note that patients often experience changes in breast size and shape if they lose weight through exercise, but breast implants remain the same size and shape regardless of how much weight you lose. Considering this, breast augmentation can be an excellent way to restore volume to the breasts after you have lost weight.

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.