Common questions asked by patients about exercise after Breast Surgery
Perhaps the most common question other than ‘will surgery hurt’ (yes, most surgery does involve discomfort, but there are great pain management methods available for post-op surgical care) is HOW SOON can I return to exercise after breast surgery?
People who care about how they look are often fond of exercising regularly. Women who are having plastic or cosmetic surgery want to know how soon they can exercise again – run, cycle, do yoga or attend gym classes such as Pump, Spin and Body Balance – after having an augmentation procedure.
The answer is dependent on a number of things.
In terms of when you can return to exercise after breast surgery, our breast specialist Plastic Surgeon’s can give you general estimates. During a consultation and during follow-up surgical visits, they can give you more individualised advice. Often it will depend on how you’re healing and whether or not you’re experiencing any unexpected problems. However, sometimes flexibility is required because healing after surgery cannot always be predicted with accuracy and everyone is different.
Everyone is unique and hence, your nutritional uptake, general health, medications, supplements and genetics can all play a role in how well – and how quickly – you heal. Resting during the early stages of healing is important, as is proper incision care. You need to follow your Surgeon’s post-op care instructions carefully.
You’ll definitely need several weeks to let your incisions heal before you get active again, and you’ll need to be wearing the right support garments including at night.
For very strenuous activities, you might even need to wait a few months before you are cleared to return to those particular exercises; but for milder exercises, your Surgeon can let you know when it’s time – the key thing is to listen to your body (but not the urge to exercise quickly) – and allow yourself adequate healing time.
When is the best time to get a Breast Enlargement, Breast Lift or Breast Reduction Surgery?
This really varies from person to person.
Key factors can include arranging for childcare or pet help, household chores assistance, time off from work, and financial arrangements for a quality surgical breast augmentation procedure (don’t fall for cheap breast implant surgeries or overseas tourism ads – they are often not the bargain you think, especially if performed using fewer quality implants or less-experienced Surgeons who are not FRACS).
If you want to know more about the differences between Plastic Surgeons and Cosmetic Surgeons, find out what it means to be a member of ASAPS and FRACS. And remember that our Surgeons are Specialist Plastic Surgeons on our team – fully qualified Plastic Surgeons with decades of experience performing breast augmentation, breast reduction, breast lift, augmentation-lifts and corrective surgery such as for breast asymmetry, tuberous breasts or revisional breast and nipple surgery.
Winter and Spring can be a great time because it is easier to avoid the sun and you’ll be ready for summer’s fashions – but sometimes Summer is more convenient because you can take time off of work during the holidays. Or during the holiday period, you may have more options for getting help around the house when everyone else is also off of work. (If you’re wanting surgery during any school holidays including Easter, call to start the consultation process as those dates are very popular and often fill up quickly).
The most important timing element can be planning – not just the surgical dates, but the post-op care support you can establish for yourself during your healing period.
With a good plan and adequate post-op support, any time of year might suit you. Some people find it hard to wait once they decide to have surgery because they are excited to be progressing forward with their plans. So they may plan surgery just a few weeks or months in advance (ask about mandatory waiting times if you’re keen to get started). Other patients want more time to arrange their lives so that they can have adequate downtime to heal with minimal distractions.
Does getting Implants or a Breast Reduction hurt?
Whilst everyone’s experience of surgery and healing is different, the answer is that discomfort and pain are part of nearly any surgical journey. Surgeons can help minimise the discomfort you experience after surgery by using long-lasting local anaesthetic agents (numbing solutions) in the area being operated on, along with post-surgical pain management strategies which may include pain relief medications. It might even help you to consider staying a few extra nights in the hospital if you are concerned about having adequate at-home support or pain management after your surgery.
The hardest thing about getting implants or having a breast reduction or breast lift is the feeling of not being able to get physically comfortable enough to get a really good night’s sleep.
This does pass as healing progresses, but not getting good rest right after surgery is one of the things you should prepare yourself for, psychologically, if you are sensitive to sleep loss. When you have a difficult time getting to sleep, your emotional system can also become more reactive. If you lack good sleep and feel physically uncomfortable, you might feel emotionally tender or even teary.
When you’re feeling very emotional, or when you don’t have fully supportive people around you during the early recovery stages, you might even question your plastic surgery decisions. This is not uncommon for anyone who is feeling uncomfortable, sore or sleep-deprived, and typically passes as your body heals and you begin to get good rest.
Be sure you look after your overall wellness and get good nutrition (and use your Rapid Recovery protocols as instructed). Try reading the blog “Riding The Emotional Roller Coaster of Surgical Recovery” so you can be better prepared for days immediately post-surgery. And remember why you wanted to have your surgery in the first place – keep your “Before” photo’s and your goal photo’s handy!