surgeon drawing surgery lines along woman's breast area

You’ve waited a long time to treat yourself to a beautiful, curvaceous breast augmentation that flatters your shape and makes you look stunning no matter what you wear. But though you may be eager to hit the beach and the gym, breast augmentation is a major surgical procedure that requires sufficient rest and recovery.

And yet, your body needs exercise to heal, too. So what can you do, and what should you avoid, during your recovery period? Dr. Julio Garcia, an expert plastic surgeon who specializes in breast augmentation in Las Vegas, provides these tips:

Days 1 and 2. During the first 48 hours after your surgery, you may still be groggy and will also feel sore. Take a load off: totally. Don’t work, don’t cook or do housework. You may even want to book a room at a surgical recovery suite to limit the temptations to do anything but heal.

And though your priority is rest, you should take short walks around your hospital room directly after your surgery. If you’re sleepy, have a friend or nurse walk with you, to reduce the risk of falls from dizziness or instability.

It’s important to walk right after your surgery so that you reduce the risk of blood clots. Walking also increases your circulation and promotes healing. Take a five or ten minute walk in your room every other hour.

woman patient talking to a doctor

Days 3 to 7. You can increase the lengths of your walk, but still stay indoors in your recovery suite, hotel, or home. Don’t walk upstairs or downstairs; stay where you are.

Your first priority is still healing, even though you’re probably feeling more energetic. Adding in too much activity too soon increases your risk for serious complications, such as capsular contracture, which is the formation of hard scar tissue around your implants.

Week 2. Starting at the end of week 1, feel free to take a stroll outdoors in the sunshine. Just be sure to walk at a slow to moderate pace and don’t over-tax yourself. Also, listen to your body: If you feel pain or discomfort, slow down or take a break.

You can also try walking on a treadmill, at a low setting. As you feel better, add a slight slope or walk uphill. If your implants were placed above your pectoral muscles, Dr. Garcia may clear you for light running or weight lifting. However, please be sure you get clearance from him directly.

If your implants were placed underneath your pectoral muscles and your healing is on target, Don’t even think about running or jogging — they’re both a big no-no at this point: the stress on your implants could hinder healing and cause your implants to move. Instead, Dr. Garcia may advise you to add in some gentle chest-stretching exercises. You may be able to rotate your shoulders and lift your arms above your head. Don’t add any extra weight at this time. Your chest muscles were moved during your surgery and are in a healing phase, too.

No matter where your implants were placed, don’t do any activities that require swinging your arms. Avoid swinging a tennis racquet, golf club, or bowling.

You can start strengthening your lower body with exercises that don’t require any weights. Try:

  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Leg lifts

woman doing yoga

Week 3. You may now gradually add in more stretches and activities, as long as you’re not using any type of added weight, including wrist or ankle weights. If your body’s up to it, try a healing yoga class, but skip the parts that require supporting your body on your arms, such as planks, downward dogs, and upward dog. Cycling, dancing, and Pilates are other good choices of activity, as long as you take it at a slow pace and pay attention to your body’s signals.

Weeks 4 to 6. At this point, your body’s finished most of its major healing and you can begin to re-introduce your normal workout routine. If you lift weights, be sure to start with light weights — and check with Dr. Garcia before progressing into a heavy workout or heavy weightlifting.

With the aid of a post-surgical sports bra and Dr. Garcia’s clearance, you can try:

  • Jogging
  • Arm workouts
  • Aerobics
  • Light chest exercises (no pulling)

This is a great time to start adding back core exercises that strengthen your body. Be sure, though, that you don’t feel stress in your chest muscles by over-pulling during crunches and other abdominal exercises. 

woman in a workout class

Weeks 7 and beyond. Unless you engage in activities that could result in direct damage to your chest — such as kickboxing or martial arts — you’re good to go just about as far as you want with exercise.

You should refrain from doing push-ups or any body-bearing exercises, such as burpees, and other exercises that strain your chest, such as pole dancing or rope climbing for at least three to six months. Movements that contract or place downward or outward pressure on your chest your may cause the implants to droop or shift over time. If you do martial arts or kickboxing, use a chest protector for at least a year.

Getting the most out of your breast augmentation means letting your body do its healing magic and following your doctor’s postoperative instructions exactly. For optimal results, of course, start with the most expert plastic surgeon for breast augmentation in Las Vegas possible. Call Dr. Garcia to set up a consultation today.

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