How long after a breast reduction can you exercise?

If you are considering a breast reduction procedure, you might be wondering what the recovery process involves…

Your surgeon will let you know what to expect following surgery and advise you on the level of activity that is right for you, but most patients will need to wait around four weeks before doing any exercise other than walking. Read on to find out more about exercising after breast reduction surgery, and what you should know about the recovery following breast reduction…

How long does recovery take?

Every patient is different and the rate at which they heal from breast reduction surgery will depend on a number of factors, including their overall health and the extent of the surgery that was performed. Patients should be able to get up and do a little bit of walking on the same day as their surgery, but it is important that they take adequate time to rest. They may need some help with day-to-day activities for the first few days following surgery, as they may experience some pain, as well as limited range of motion in the shoulders and chest.

After around a week, patients may feel well enough to return to work provided they don’t have a job that requires strenuous activity, however, it is generally advised that patients do nothing more than rest, relax and recuperate until the two-week mark. Driving is generally discouraged until then. 

What kind of exercise can be performed?

At the two-week mark, gentle exercise such as walking and casual swimming can usually recommence.  These are low impact forms of exercise that help to promote blood flow and may even aid the recovery process. Walking also puts very little strain on the chest and breasts and is considered safe after surgery.  Patients can also return to driving at this time.

When the surgeon has given the go-ahead to exercise again following breast reduction surgery, it is advisable to wear a supportive sports bra whilst working out. Patients should start with low impact activities like brisk walking, cycling on a stationary bike and elliptical trainers, slowly working up to more high impact activities under the guidance of their surgeon.

Besides low impact exercise, stretching is also a great way to keep muscles healthy. It is important, however, that the surgeon is consulted before beginning a stretching routine, as too much strain on the chest muscles could cause pain and stress surgical wounds.

When can lifting weights be resumed?

If weightlifting was a part of a fitness regime before surgery, patients should take a break from the activity for some time afterwards. Weightlifting can put strain on the chest and should be avoided for several weeks following breast procedures.

When the surgeon has given the go-ahead to begin lifting weights again, patients should start slowly. Gradually over time they will be able to increase the weight that they lift as the body heals.

How can we help?

Dr Mark Hanikeri offers a range of breast procedures, including breast reduction surgery. The procedure often helps to alleviate uncomfortable symptoms like neck, shoulder and back pain; rash and skin irritation under the breasts; indents in the shoulders caused by bra straps; and discomfort and difficulty with exercise. It is generally much easier to work out after breast reduction surgery.  Besides providing relief from these symptoms, breast reduction surgery can also help to enhance the overall appearance of the breasts.

To find out more about breast reduction and what to consider before surgery, have a look here.

If you would like to arrange a consultation with Dr Mark Hanikeri, please get in touch here or give us a call on (08) 9380 0311.  We look forward to helping you achieve your desired results.