Exercising after Breast Surgery

I frequently tell patients that optimal results can be obtained from plastic surgery when it’s combined with other facets of a healthy lifestyle, including nutritious diet and an active fitness routine.  My goal is to provide the best surgical results possible, but the work shouldn’t stop after you leave my office.  Our bodies are constantly changing and there are certain recommendations I always advise to make sure you maintain your results for as long as possible.  So what are the best ways to ease back into physical activity after a cosmetic breast surgery?  Here are some basic guidelines:

  • exercising after breast surgeryGive yourself enough time to heal.  Depending on the nature of the surgery, varying times will be needed for healing.  The first few days only a minimal amount of activity is recommended, but within a week, light activities are allowed and encouraged.  Often, after invasive surgery a period of a month or longer without intense physical exercise will be requires.  The last thing a patient should want is to potentially compromise their plastic surgery results and increase any inherent complications.  Post-surgical recovery may require extended periods of being sedentary, but remember it’s only temporary.
  • Limit initial physical activity.  Certain low-impact exercises are ideal as they increase blood circulation and help reduce swelling.  Practice deep breathing exercises (using your diaphragm) several times each day by lying down on your back and taking slow, deep breaths.  Breathe in as much air as you can while trying to expand your chest and abdomen (by pushing your belly button away from your spine). Then relax and breathe out and repeat this 4 or 5 times.  This exercise will help maintain normal movement of your chest, making it easier for your lungs to work and help reduce the risk of some breast surgery complications.  Walking is always encouraged as it improves lung expansion and decreases the risk of a blood clot forming in the lower extremities.
  • Wait until you’ve been cleared.  As with any exercise routine, make sure it’s tailored to your general health and medical condition.  In all cases, until you have been cleared in the office, don’t attempt any strenuous exercises like high-impact aerobics, jogging, swimming, tennis, spinning, or lifting weights.  With the first signs of feeling yourself again, jumping back into previous exercise routines can do more harm than good, which is why you should consult with your surgeon before doing any exercise to make sure that your recovery has progressed enough for you to begin.  As your surgeon, I recommend specific exercises and plans that take into account the exact cosmetic or reconstructive procedure you have undergone.

If you are interested in breast surgery, or any other cosmetic procedure I perform, please contact us today to schedule a consultation. Also be sure to connect with me, Dr. Allyson Maske on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest plastic surgery news.