Resuming Exercise and Physical Activity

If you’re considering male to female (MTF) breast augmentation, it’s important to make sure you have enough time in your schedule to reach a full recovery. Because breast augmentation is a significant surgical procedure, you will need time off from regular physical activity to allow your body to heal.

Dr. Mosser will provide you with specific aftercare instructions, and there are also a few general rules and timelines that can ease your transition back into regular physical activity.

When You Wake from Surgery

MTF breast augmentation is usually completed in less than two hours. Once completed, you will be transported to a recovery area to be monitored. As you gradually wake up from sedation, it’s likely that you will experience some grogginess, soreness, and in some cases, nausea.

After you have been cleared for release (typically the same day as surgery), you will need a friend or relative to drive you home. Your body will be exhausted at this point, and you should avoid significant physical activity.

Initial Stages of Recovery

You’ll need to schedule plenty of time for rest and recuperation as you recover from surgery. The first few days of recovery should be spent resting. Swelling, bruising, and discomfort are all common during this stage of recovery.

Taking it easy will minimize pain, discomfort, and other possible complications after surgery. You shouldn’t lift anything heavier than 5lbs (about the weight of a heavy laptop) and you should avoid any high intensity exercise until you have progressed in your healing. Once a few days have passed, light physical activity such as walking around your neighborhood can and should be resumed.

Resuming Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercise does more than give you a good workout. It also changes your body’s chemistry, increases your heart rate, and elevates your blood pressure. Though these reactions are considered normal and healthy, they can cause delayed healing following major surgery.

To ensure a safe and speedy recovery, you should avoid aerobic exercise for at least three weeks, including sexual intimacy. When resuming aerobic exercise, you should start with light cardio, gradually increasing to a regular, heavy cardio workout in 5-6 weeks.

At the three-week mark, you may still experience some pain, tenderness and discomfort when engaging in physical exercise, especially if you are running or jumping. Though these side effects may be uncomfortable, they will not harm your final results. The easiest way to minimize discomfort during exercise is to wear proper breast support (e.g., a sports bra, tightly fitted Ace bandage, or an athletic top with a built-in bra).

Resuming Anaerobic Exercise

Like aerobic exercise, heavy lifting should be very restricted during the first three weeks of your recovery. This includes common heavy household items in addition to weight lifting exercise. You should also avoid lifting your arms above you head during this initial phase of recovery.

Once a few weeks have passed and you feel comfortable, moderate lifting can be resumed. Any heavy lifting that directly targets the chest muscles (e.g., push-ups, chest presses or chest flys) should be completely avoided for at least 5-6 weeks.

The most important thing to remember when resuming any physical exercise is to pay attention to your body’s particular needs. If you don’t feel ready, or if an activity causes significant pain, it’s time to take your level of activity down a notch.