Breast Implants and Lifting Weights: Pros & Cons

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Breast augmentation surgery—or breast implants—is a very popular procedure which has helped many women enhance their appearance with a fuller, more womanly figure. Women decide to have breast implants for a wide variety of personal reasons. Many women choose to have implants after pregnancy and breastfeeding has altered their figure. Others want firmer breasts. Others want to improve asymmetrical breasts. Though the reasons are different, the result is improved confidence and a more positive self image.

Breast Rejuvenation

Breast implant surgery recovery time

It is crucial to follow your surgeon’s guidelines after surgery. You must allow your body time to recover. It could take up to 2 weeks to return to your normal, pre-surgery level of energy. Recovery time in total is often 6 weeks before you can start exercising. You should sleep on your back for at least 2 weeks after surgery, and do not do any excessive physical activities for these 2 weeks. This includes not going to the gym.

Why you should not lift weights after breast implant surgery

Your surgeon will instruct to you not lift any objects for at least 2 weeks, and not lift heavy objects for at least 4 to 6 weeks. This includes lifting your children—and lifting weights. This is because most breast implants are placed under the muscles in your chest–the pectoralis major muscle.

Scar tissue forms around the implant immediately after surgery. This is part of the body’s normal healing process. But straining the pectoral muscles by lifting weights can make this scar tissue thicker. In some cases, the thick scar tissue distorts the implant. In other cases, the implant becomes hard, and even painful.

This can be avoided by closely following your surgeon’s instructions.

When can I lift weights after breast implant surgery?

You should not lift anything above 10 pounds for 4 to 6 weeks. Your surgeon will let you know when you can attempt any exercises using the pectoral muscles, and how heavy a weight you should lift. In many instances, it can take a year for the pectoral muscles to heal completely.

Though you may be feeling completely fit, it is essential that you follow your plastic surgeon’s instructions and not jeopardize your results. There have been cases where lifting weights caused breast implants to distort under the muscle. This can result in further surgeries.

Some women reported lifting heavy weights too soon. They did not give their bodies sufficient time to heal. These overly heavy weights caused their implants to shift towards the armpits. Some women also reported a noticeable widening of the cleavage, again caused by lifting heavy weights too soon.

If this occurs, you should see your plastic surgeon. A dedicated weight trainer will also advise you which weights and exercises are suitable at all stages of your recovery. And in addition to taking professional advice, it’s important you pay attention to your body, and do not push it.

 


I am a plastic surgeon in Toronto and my private practice is largely dedicated to cosmetic surgical procedures such as breast reconstruction and tummy tuck. I feel that each surgery must be individualized to each person's unique situation. As a plastic surgeon, I sincerely love making people feel more confident about themselves and their bodies. Although I am thoroughly passionate about my profession, in my past time I love to swim, bike, and dance, as well as spend a lot of quality time with my dog Linus! Follow me on Google plus.

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2 Comments on "Breast Implants and Lifting Weights: Pros & Cons"

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tiffany graff
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breast reconstruction vary according to the type of mastectomy performed. The most common procedure involves placing a simple implant or prosthesis in the patient’s breast region. In case there is not enough skin to accommodate an implant, a “flap” of donor tissue is added. This flap contains skin, muscle, and the blood vessels needed to nourish the area and is generally taken from the back or the abdomen of the patient. In some flap procedures, an implant may not be necessary.

Pete
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We suggest 2-4 weeks of recovery time, but the longer the patient can wait to lift heavy objects, the better!

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