Guide to Exercise after Breast Lift or Mastopexy Surgery

How and When to Exercise after Breast Lift Surgery

  • Want to get Breast Lift Surgery for saggy breasts?
  • Keen to tone up at the gym?
  • Want to get back to running?

Wondering when can you resume your exercise after breast lift surgery? Every patient is different and heals at a different pace. While there is a general exercise guideline one can take inspiration from, it is important to listen to your body’s progress when it comes to starting an exercise routine. Sydney Plastic Surgeon Dr Scott Turner will suggest appropriate exercises and an increase in activity levels based on the pace of your recovery.

Download Dr Turner’s Guide to Breast Lift Surgery – Mastopexy Surgery in Sydney

Guide Breast Lift

How Long Should I Wait to Exercise After a Breast Lift?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions we get. First things first, your recovery is entirely dependent on how well you follow your surgeon’s advice when it comes to post-operative care. As each patient is unique, the exercise timeline can vary significantly.

As a general rule of thumb, all kinds of strenuous workouts must be avoided for a minimum of six weeks after the surgery. Exercising too soon can lead to complications such as bruising, swelling, pain, tenderness and even infections.

It is important to rest for the specified time duration and take all the medications. These two things combined will boost the recovery process and eliminate pain and discomfort. On top of that, a great diet will aid your body recover quickly. A bit of walking during the first week or two will also help with swelling. Once you have passed the initial stage, you can slowly and steadily start to get back to your exercise routine.

Day 1 and First Week Following the Breast Lift Surgery

Dr Turner suggests that you should walk around the house or the hospital on the day of the surgery once you feel better. You can get help from the staff or your family members. This step will promote blood flow, prevent blood clot formation and give you a much-needed recovery boost. It is important to move your arms around a bit as well to prevent stiffness. Do not overdo it. For the following week, continue light walks for ten to fifteen minutes. Apart from that, rest as much as possible. Do not engage in any other activities.

Two Weeks Following Breast Lift Surgery

As you reach week two, you will begin to feel a lot better. At this point, you can increase the duration of your walks, slowly start easing yourself into your home routine. You still have to be strict about limiting your shoulder and arm movement. However, listen to your body and don’t push yourself too far. You can do lower body workouts such as squats, gentle lunges etc.

Three to Four Weeks Following Breast Lift Surgery

By week three, you can return to work as well as resume household chores. Avoid lifting anything heavy and stay clear of high-impact workouts. You can use an elliptical or just take longer walks during this time.

Six to Eight Weeks Following Breast Lift Surgery

You will be almost completely healed by this point. You can resume your exercise routine or start an entirely new one. Slowly build up your strength. Don’t suddenly go on a five-mile run when you have been resting for the past six weeks. Start slow and see how your body reacts. Be patient and kind to your body.

While this is a general timeline that fits most people, not all patients are the same. Some heal at a slower pace while others heal very quickly. It is important to go over this with Dr Turner before hurrying into exercise. Always wear a good quality sports bra before working out to curb the effects of gravity and excessive breast movement. A good quality bra will limit the rate of a recurrent stretch of the breast skin.


Breast Lift Recovery Tips

The best advice would be to not look at your recovery as a set period, but rather as a process. Preparation is the key to having a smooth, hassle-free, recovery. Ask your surgeon to give you all the pre and post-surgical instructions and stick to them religiously.

All aspects- pre-surgery prep, surgery, and post-surgery care are equally important when it comes to getting great results. Do not rush and take your time. These are some tips that could be helpful for you during the recovery phase:

  1. First things first, follow all the post-surgery instructions given by Dr Turner. Your surgeon knows best!
  2. Take analgesics, antibiotics and all other medication on time to avoid any kind of discomfort and infections.
  3. Do not miss your follow up appointments. They are crucial and ensure everything is working optimally.
  4. Keep your incisions clean and dry. Follow all the instructions given by Dr Turner when it comes to changing the dressings. Avoid touching incisions and stitches as it can lead to infections.
  5. Do not sleep on your side or stomach as it will put too much pressure on the surgical site. Sleep on your back instead.
  6. Keep yourself hydrated and drink lots of water.
  7. Eat healthy and light meals. Make sure you include plenty of fibre in your diet. Avoid processed, excessively salty foods as they can increase swelling and bruising.
  8. Avoid smoking and drinking for at least six weeks before and after the surgery.
  9. Do not consume blood-thinning medications and herbal supplements for six weeks after the surgery.
  10. Avoid bathing, jumping into swimming pools and going to hot saunas as it can lead to infections.
  11. Take one to two weeks off from work. It will allow you to rest and heal comfortably.
  12. Wear compression garments and surgical bras to minimize swelling and boost the healing.
  13. Arrange for someone to drive you home, help you around the house for at least the first two weeks post-surgery.
  14. Avoid lifting anything heavier than five pounds for the first four weeks after the surgery.
  15. If anything feels unusual, immediately contact your surgeon or a hospital.

Activity Recommendations for Exercise after Breast Lift Surgery

Here are a few of the exercises that will make your breasts look great. Once you are fully healed, you can start doing these exercises:

1. Dumbbell Pullovers

Dumbbell pullovers are an amazing way to enhance the look of your breasts. All you need is a dumbbell and a bench. Here is how you can do it:

  • Grab a dumbbell that weighs five to ten pounds.
  • Simply recline on the bench and grab a dumbbell. Avoid arching your lower back for optimal form.
  • Place your feet flat on the bench and bend your knees gently.
  • Extend your arms and hold them over your chest. Do not lock your elbows but keep them straight.
  • Lower the dumbbell behind your head until the arms are perpendicular to the floor.
  • Once your arms are fully extended, you can go back to the starting position.
  • Do two sets of ten reps each.
  • Build up the reps and increase the weight with time.

2. Planks

Planks are one of those exercises that are beneficial for toning not only your breast but your entire body. You can do planks at a hotel, gym, or even your own home. You can start with a 30-second plank and gradually built up the time to five minutes. Simply get in a push-up position and place your hands underneath your shoulders, keep your back straight and hold this position for as long as you possibly can. Do this daily and you will see your breasts and entire body transformed.

3. Push-ups

It is another amazing exercise that tones up your chest muscles and you can do it anywhere. There are numerous varieties of pushups; incline, decline, wide arm, flat and walking. You can simply start with 10 pushups and gradually increase the number. If you have had a breast lift with breast augmentation, make sure to discuss with your surgeon before doing pushups.

FAQs about workouts and exercise after breast lift surgery - Dr Turner - Sydney

FAQS about Workouts and Exercise after Breast Lift Surgery

How soon can I work out after a breast lift surgery?

  • You can return to your exercise routine six to eight weeks after the surgery. You can begin light walking a few days after the surgery.

How do I maintain the results of breast lift?

  • The results of breast lift are long-lasting. You can start doing exercises that target your chest muscles when recovered.

How much can I walk after breast lift surgery?

  • You can start walking almost immediately after the surgery for about 10 to 15 minutes daily. You can gradually increase the duration after week two and take it up to one hour.

How should I sleep after breast lift surgery?

  • Avoid sleeping on your side or your stomach for the first four weeks after the surgery. Sleep on your back and prop a few pillows underneath your head and shoulders to keep your body in an elevated position.

How long after breast lift surgery can I see results?

  • You can almost instantly see a difference in your breasts after the surgery. However, swelling will take some time to subside and it will take you about six to eight weeks to see results which will continue to improve over the next 8 to 12 months.

When can I start stretching after breast lift surgery?

  • It is best to wait for at least 8 weeks or till your incisions are fully healed before you can start stretching after a breast lift.

When can I lift my arms above your head after breast lift surgery?

  • You can raise your arms above your head six to eight hours after the breast lift surgery.

When can I play sports after a breast lift surgery?

  • It is best to avoid playing any sports for a period of 8 to 12 weeks after the surgery. Any time before that would put pressure on your incisions. Hence, it is better to be patient.

What should I eat post breast lift surgery?

  • It is important to eat a nutritious diet that includes a lot of fruit, vegetables, proteins and high fibre foods. Avoid eating anything too processed and salty as it can cause water retention and prolong swelling.

Can I have breast augmentation along with the breast lift?

  • Yes, you can have breast augmentation along with breast lift surgery. However, your recovery will look very different if you decide to get both surgeries done at the same time and your exercise plan might be different as well.

How long breast lift incisions take to heal?

  • Typically, breast lift incisions will take around two weeks to heal completely. For some patients, it can take up to three weeks. Do not take baths, dive into swimming pools or go to saunas until your surgeon gives you a go.

How long will the swelling last after breast lift surgery?

  • Most of the swelling will subside by week six. However, minor swelling can take up to three months to go away completely but it is barely noticeable.

What kind of bras should I wear post breast lift?

  • For the first few days post-surgery, you have to wear a compression bra at all times. It helps to minimize swelling and promotes quick recovery. Slowly transition into a sports bra next and once you are fully healed, you can wear any bra of your choice.

Further Reading about Exercise after Breast Lift Surgery

About Dr Scott Turner FRACS (Plas) – Specialist Plastic Surgeon

Dr Scott Turner - Top Plastic Surgeon Sydney and Best plastic surgeon Newcastle

Dr Scott J Turner has spent a lifetime acquiring the qualifications, education, training, and hands-on surgical experience to perform superior cosmetic plastic surgery to give you natural, beautiful results and the improved sense of well-being you want. He is one of the top Specialist Plastic Surgeons with a Breast and Body Surgery focus in New South Wales.

Achieving this personal goal requires not only in-depth knowledge of human anatomy and refined surgical techniques but an ongoing commitment to learning the latest procedures around the world. This is why Dr Turner regularly attends both local and international surgeon meetings – discussing these advances with the leaders around the world in order to offer you the most natural, effective and safest surgical procedures. He is a committed board member of ASAPS – Australia Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons

Dr Turner and his highly trained staff will do everything to ensure that you are fully informed, while providing exceptional, world-class cosmetic plastic surgery, in a personal and caring environment.

Next Steps

Always Do Your Research

Do you need a Medical Referral to see Dr Turner?

  • A medical referral is helpful but NOT essential for purely cosmetic consultations.
  • Please obtain a referral from your GP or Specialist if you want a consultation for an MBS item number surgery.
  • Please note that your Medicare Rebates will NOT be claimable without a valid recent Medical Referral

Making The Most Of Your Consultation

  • Please arrive slightly early for your in-person consultation with Dr Scott
  • You are welcome to bring a friend or relative to help consider the information and discuss your options
  • Please be aware you may need to undress for a physical exam so wear simple clothes
  • Ensure you also take a lot of notes during the consultation and thoroughly examine all the documents provided

Want more information before scheduling your consultation?

  • Find out more about pricing, medical payment plans and paying for your surgery
  • Request more information about the procedure – call or contact us

How to Book Your Consultation with Dr Turner

  • You can book your initial consultation with Dr Turner by paying the $350 cosmetic consultation fee in advance – when you make your appointment


  • To find out more information about surgery you can book a FREE 15 minute phone conversation with our Patient Care team – BOOK A CALENDLY CALL

Contact us or call on  1300 641 199  to arrange your surgeon consultation in Sydney or Newcastle.

Email us for more information:  [email protected]