Top Tips and Timeline for Jogging or Running after Breast Surgery – Taking Your New Breast Implants for a run
Breast surgery is a cosmetic procedure that is done either to change the appearance of your breasts: increase or decrease or correct any functional issues. There are various techniques like breast enhancement through either implant or fat grafting or both, breast lift, explant surgery, and revision surgery. After undergoing breast surgery you’ll have to limit your mobility to heal faster. Any unnecessary movement will cause further strain on your incision site, causing it to rupture which can further prolong your recovery time. You’ll need someone to assist you with daily activities for the initial few days and attempting or resuming any physical activity like running or jogging would be impossible. Dr Scott Turner is a breast expert and Plastic Surgeon in Newcastle and Sydney NSW. Here are his best tips for runners.
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Timeline for returning to running or jogging after Breast surgery
It is recommended that you follow this timeline for resuming jogging and running. However, you should note that this timeframe is just a general guideline, and the timeframe needed for you to ease into jogging and running could be different. It would be better for both your recovery and the result that you consult with Dr Turner before you consider returning to such exercises.
Initial few days
Bed rest is recommended for the initial two days after completion of the procedure. You should have someone to assist you with day-to-day activities during this period.
You may be able to move around the house a little bit after the third day but do not attempt too much at once. Performing gentler movements may also help you to increase your blood circulation that can lead to faster recovery.
Up to Two Weeks
After a fortnight, you may start introducing light intensity exercises into your routine slowly and steadily. It is recommended that you start with light cardio like walking and then gradually jog. Try exercising when the temperature is cool and try not working out in hot temperatures. You can gradually increase the duration of your walk and jogs. If you feel any discomfort during the workout, you should immediately stop and rest.
Up to four weeks
As you continue to recover, you may be able to continue gentle cardio exercises like cycling a stationary bike, or go for long walks, or jogs. During this period it is recommended that you attempt at only 50-60% of pre-op pace while you slowly rebuild your endurance.
You should not get involved in any exercises that target muscles of the chest and those exercises that require upper body movements.
Up to six weeks
You will have to visit Dr Turner for a follow up to ensure that your incisions are healing as they should and that your recovery is going smoothly. During the follow up with Dr Turner, he may allow you to increase the intensity of the cardio exercises than the previous weeks. You may also be allowed to resume strength building as well as core strengthening exercises. However, you should still avoid running at your full pace or working your chest muscles.
After Six Weeks
Six to eight weeks post the procedure after you are approved by Dr Turner, you may resume running as you would before the surgery.
However, you should keep in mind that the healing pace of each individual varies and if you feel you’re still not ready to run you shouldn’t push yourself. Giving yourself plenty of time to heal properly is the basis of successful recovery.
Following Dr Turner’s post-op care guidelines
The instructions given by Dr Turner after the procedure can help make your recovery smoother. A faster recovery can make your transition to resuming running, jogging and other exercises easier. Following them religiously increases the chances of becoming healthier and may also preserve your results longer. Some of the guidelines include:
Avoid smoking: Smoking is known to constrict blood vessels necessary for recovery that results in slower recovery. Apart from this, it can also cause unsatisfactory scarring.
Drink plenty of water: You need to provide your body with plenty of fluid to keep your tissues hydrated which will speed up your recovery. You should consume low-calorie beverages and water while avoiding alcohol and beverages that are high in calories.
Massage: Some breast surgeries like breast implant augmentation require you to massage your breast as it reduces the chances of formation capsular contraction. Regularly performing breast massage during the first year after the procedure will prepare your new breasts to engage in any vigorous activities, as well as give it a soft feeling and misshaping the breasts. You should only perform such a massage after the incision site has been healed. It is recommended that you massage your breast thrice a day in the first month and reduce its frequency over time.
However, breast massage should be avoided for a few weeks after fat grafting to the breast as it can dislodge the newly transferred fat.
You will be taught about the proper techniques for performing a breast massage as well as the appropriate time to perform them.
Sleeping position: It is recommended that you sleep on your back while keeping your breasts in an elevated position for the initial few weeks. Sleeping on your side or your back in the first few weeks will put further stress on your breast that may result in further complications.
Do not ignore any signs and symptoms of discomfort
Generally, patients can perform light intensity exercises two or three weeks after breast surgery, you should remember that recovery time will vary for each individual. In some cases, patients may be able to return to their exercise routine as usual while some may still experience discomfort while exercising. So, you need to be careful and watch out for any unwanted signs and symptoms. You should immediately stop if you experience any discomfort while running. You should not continue such exercises and consult with Dr Turner immediately for further medical management.
You should be aware of and understand as well as be able to distinguish between warning signs and common signs after a breast surgery so that you can reach out to Dr Turner immediately in case of a medical emergency.
- Fever: You will be prescribed medications to control fever that may occur after the surgery. You should seek help when performing any activities that will cause you a high fever and your body to shake.
- Pain: Swelling and soreness are common after surgical procedures. You will feel mild to moderate pain that will gradually lessen over time and can also be managed with prescribed pain medications. If there is an increase in pain and swelling rather than it reducing you should immediately stop the activity.
- Incision site: Bandages will be applied to keep your incisions clean and aid in absorbing any minor bleeding and discharge. You should regularly change your surgical dressing to prevent any infection around the incision site. Oozing and excess drainage can cause infection at the incision site. You should wet your bandages for the initial two days. You must completely avoid bathing and using hot tubes until you have recovered completely
Top Tips for Running and Jogging with new Breast Implants
Surgery is only the first step towards fuller well-defined breasts. As Breast Augmentation does not affect your long-term exercise routine, it does limit your running the first few weeks. After your breast implant surgery, you will need time to let your body heal so that your breast implants will settle into their desired position. However, physically active individuals are more concerned about returning to their exercise routines as soon as possible.
To better prepare yourself for any strenuous activity or running after breast surgery, the following tips can be of great help:
1. Start Gently – When You are Ready
After undergoing breast surgery, it is essential that you give your body enough time to heal in order to achieve the best possible outcome. If you force yourself to run or attempt any highly demanding physical activity; it may cause profuse bleeding, scarring, excruciating pain, infection, as well as discomfort at the incision site. You should listen to your body and know when to stop.
There is no set time for anyone undergoing breast surgery when to resume running and jogging. Each body heals in its unique way at its pace. Generally, it is recommended that you wait for at least two to three weeks before partaking in any physically demanding activities or work-related routines.
You should not push yourself or your body to perform your pre-op routine before it’s ready. You should give your body enough time to recover as well as maintain the integrity of the aesthetic outcomes.
Listen to your body. Having a regular active routine is the essence of a long healthy life. However, you need to know when to engage in your exercise and how to cut it short. After a breast implant surgery, it is essential to allow your body to heal to achieve the best possible surgical outcome. Forcing yourself to engage in running or any vigorous activities may lead to untoward signs and symptoms such as bleeding, breast asymmetry, significant pain, reopening of the surgical wound, and other discomforts.
There is no standard time to resume your running again. Your body has its unique way of healing. Most surgeons recommend that you should wait at least 2-3 weeks before engaging in any physical activities or other work-related routines to allow your body to heal. Do not strain yourself or push your body to get back to your routine. Time is for your benefit to complete recovery. Giving your body time to recover after surgery helps you maintain your aesthetic outcomes. After such time, you can slowly return to your exercise routine.
Why do you need a good recovery before resuming running?
- Ensuring that your surgical incisions have healed
- You need to allow time to ensure the new tissues around the implant can support your implant pocket.
- Sweating can increase the risk of infection
Talk to your surgeon or nurses regarding your recovery time before your hospital discharge. Also, you should follow up with your surgeon to give you the cue to start running again.
2. Watch Out for Any Discomfort
While most patients can engage in running 2-3 weeks after breast implant surgery, it is important to keep in mind that recovery time varies from person to person. For some, this time frame is enough for them to perform their exercise routine as usual. However, some patients may still experience discomforts while exercising, so it is essential to be vigilant and watch out for any untoward signs and symptoms. If you experience any discomfort while running, do not force yourself to continue. Stop and consult your physician immediately for further medical management. After breast augmentation, warning signs can overlap with normal signs developed by the surgery. As these signs normally start after discharge, you should comprehend well when to reach out to your surgeons. Here are some tips:
- It is normal to experience a mild fever after surgery; As your immune system tries to introduce itself to the foreign implants. Usually, your doctor will prescribe you antibiotics that help with your fever. A warning sign for you is when you become feverish while your body starts shaking.
- It is common to endure pain after breast augmentation. Swelling and soreness are natural signs after any surgical procedure. The physical intervention and the healing process can cause you mild pain that will subside with pain medications. Your doctor will give a prescription for it. You should be alarmed when there is increased pain and swelling.
- Your surgeon will place surgical bandages on your incisions. These bandages help you keep your incisions clean and aid in absorbing any minor bleeding and discharge. It is vital to change your surgical dressing as directed to prevent any source of infection around your incisions. Oozing and drainage are your alerts that something is going wrong.
3. You’ll need a Good Support Bra
After your breast augmentation surgery, you start to feel the weight of your new breasts caused by your implants and the swelling from the surgery. Your surgeon will support this new weight with surgical bandages and with a surgical bra. However, it is significant to proceed to support your boobs after the healing of your incisions. Wearing a good support bra whenever you run protects your new breast implants by maintaining their shape and position. By doing so, you can prevent breast asymmetry and other breast implant complications. Make sure that your sports bra is snug-fit and comfortable. The right bra will help you to maintain your implants’ success results.
You’ll have to wear the compression garment for at least six to eight weeks after the completion of any type of breast surgery. This garment is known to accelerate recovery after surgical procedures. It is an essential part of postoperative care following plastic surgical procedures of the breast. Not only does it keep the breast in its new place, but it also reduces pain and swelling giving you a better outcome.
It is recommended that you use a bra that will support your boobs after you no longer have to wear the compression garment. Wearing the right type of bra whenever you run will protect your new breast by keeping its shape and position. Wearing the right bra helps you maintain the results of the procedure. Apart from the right type of bra, it is also essential that you choose the right bra size. A tighter sports bra can damage blood circulation within your breasts. So you should make sure that the bra that you’re using is snug-fitting and comfortable.
Things to consider while choosing the right type of sports bra after breast surgery
- It should help maintain the weight under your breasts
- It should not rub against your surgical incisions.
- It should be comfortable and soft feeling as you need to be wearing it constantly
- It should be easy to take off
The right bra size is crucial after breast augmentation. A tight sports bra may impair blood circulation within your breasts. Talk to your surgeon or the nurses regarding the best sports bra brands to ensure your implants are adequately stabilized when running.
4. Make a staged plan
When your surgeon tells you to rest from your active life after surgery, it might be a tough period for you, especially if you are a patient who is quite dedicated to their health and fitness routine. However, this does not mean dropping the idea of working out off of your mind. If this is important to you consider making a plan to get your body ready to go back to your vigorous routine. With your surgeon’s approval, this plan may include a precise timeline and the types of activities you can do according to your healing progress. Scaling up your physical workout only depends on your skin healing and overall recovery. Do not shut your eyes to what your body wants to tell you. A possible plan for your workout routine can include:
- In the first week: after breast augmentation, you should not strain yourself. Resting and responding to your basic needs are the only acceptable activities you can do in the first few days. In the following days, you can gently move around your house to increase your blood circulation.
- In the second two weeks: you can prepare your body for getting back to your active routine by introducing gentle cardio exercise. Walking is a big step in this stage. You can start walking in cool weather to avoid raising your heart rate and body temperature. With passing time, you can increase the duration of your exercise.
- After a month: you can scale up the intensity of your workout. You can combine a couple of normal-paced exercises along with a longer walking routine. After your follow-up and the seen progress of the recovery of your surgical areas, your surgeon may allow adding some leg-based exercises like indoor cycling. With time and healing, you can add some core workout while avoiding upper body routines.
- After six weeks: you may take less or more time to heal, however, most surgeons expect you to be fully recovered by six weeks. Your breast surgeon will allow you hardcore exercises like running, swimming, and cross fit workouts. The golden rule is to know your limits. Always plan and go along with your body recovery.
5. Massage Your New Breasts Before Running After Breast Surgery.
Home care is an essential step at this point. Taking care of yourself can increase the chances of becoming healthier and preserving your aesthetic results longer. When it comes to taking care of breast implants, your surgeon will include breast massage in the list. Your surgeon usually recommends you to do so to:
- Reduce the probability of capsular contraction: after your surgeon places your breast implants, Collagen fibers, or scar tissues, start to surround your implant, forming what is called capsules. These capsules, with time, may harden and contract and causing severe pain in your chest.
- Prevent a reduction in the size of the implant pocket.
- Misshapen appearance to the breasts.
- Maintain the soft feeling of your new breasts.
Regular breast massage in the first 6 to 12 months after your breast implant surgery will prepare your new breasts to engage in any vigorous activities. After the healing of your surgical incisions, you can start doing your breast massage. The rule of thumb to breast massage is to initiate massaging by three times a day in the first month and reducing its frequency by time till reaching a five-minute massage daily through the life of your implants. Before discharge, your physician or nurse will teach you the proper breast massage techniques as well as when to perform them.
6. Always Plan ahead for best results
After you consult with Dr Turner, with his help and approval, you should build up a plan that should include a precise timeline and the permitted activities you are allowed to resume according to your recovery progress. Increasing the intensity of your physical workout will depend on the healing of your skin and your overall recovery.
FAQs about Jogging and Running after Breast Surgery
How long after breast surgery can you run?
- Everybody is different, has had a unique surgery and heals at varying rates. Start moving and exercising gently. Avoid over-exertion. Most surgeons suggest waiting 3 to 4 weeks before running.
What Bra should I wear when exercising after Breast Surgery?
- A very good sports bra is recommended to support your new larger breasts.
How long after breast surgery can you run?
- There is no fixed time for when you can resume running after undergoing breast surgery. Generally, most people would be able to resume running at 50-60% of their pre-surgery pace after a month. You’ll only be able to resume running at full capacity after the sixth or eighth week or only after Dr Turner clears you physically to run.
How tight should my post-surgery bra be?
- The compression bras should be comfortable yet should be exerting enough pressure to support your breasts and implants in position. It should not be too tight. Wearing too-tight compression garments can cause more harm than good as it can jeopardize blood supply to your breasts, thus interfering with your recovery process following the surgery.
What happens if you exercise too soon after surgery?
- Exercising right after surgery can worsen the side effects meaning excessive and prolonged pain, discomfort, bruising, and swelling.
Further Reading and References
- Exercise after breast augmentation | American Society of Plastic Surgeons (plasticsurgery.org)
- 4 Tips For Running After Breast Surgery | Dr Craig Rubinstein
- Running After Breast Implant Surgery | Gold Coast Plastic Surgery
- Running after Breast Augmentation – Another Mother Runner
- How Long Should I Wait to Run After Breast Augmentation? (drstephenmiller.com)
How you take care of yourself at home is as important as your surgeon’s performance on your breast surgery. The way you care for your new implants reflects on the durability of your breast implants and their extended results.
Dr Scott Turner FRACS (Plas) – Specialist Plastic Surgeon
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.
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.
Always Do Your Research
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Making The Most Of Your Consultation with Dr Turner
- Please arrive slightly early for your in-person consultation with Dr Turner
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- Please be aware you may need to undress for a physical exam so wear simpler clothes
- Ensure you also take a lot of notes during the consultation and thoroughly examine all the documents provided
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