Breast Augmentation: How much time will I need away from work?

This article provides information on the time needed for proper healing from your breast augmentation top surgery, formerly referred to as MTF top surgery or MTF breast augmentation. Here we discuss how much recovery time you will need and how we can assist in requesting time off of your work. We will describe what to expect during the first few days post-op and when it is safe to resume your normal physical activities. If you are considering breast augmentation, read on to ensure you plan for a suitable recovery duration for your gender confirming surgery.

Breast augmentation top surgery is a significant surgical procedure and requires time off from your normal routine to safely recover. It is a common misconception that breast augmentation is extremely painful and requires a lot of time off from work. Though each patient recovers  differently, most feel capable of getting back to non-exertional  (sedentary) work within just 10-14 days.

Requesting Time off from Work

Your employer is generally legally required to grant you an adequate amount of time off for recovery after major surgery, even if it is elective. Your surgeon can provide you with a letter detailing your physical restrictions following surgery, and your employer will need to abide by those guidelines. The letter will not contain information regarding the nature of your procedure. That information will be kept confidential.

What to Expect During the First Few Days

Breast augmentation top surgery is typically completed in less than two hours; you should be able to return home the same day as surgery. Remember that you will need assistance from a friend or relative to drive you home and care for you during the first few days.

After surgery, your breasts may appear discolored and will feel very swollen. These are normal side effects of surgery that will gradually subside over the course of several weeks. General discomfort and tenderness are also normal. Though recovery is tolerated well by most patients, your surgeon  will provide you with prescription pain medication to help alleviate significant pain if necessary.

Rest and relaxation are extremely important during the first few days. You should sleep with several pillows to keep your head and chest elevated. You will also need to wear an elastic compression garment around your chest to minimize swelling

Resuming Physical Activity

After 2-3 days, you should resume very light activities, such as walking around your neighborhood. This will minimize swelling and reduce your risk of blood clots. Regular physical activity should be avoided for at least 3 weeks, and strenuous exercise (such as heavy lifting) should be avoided for at least 5-6 weeks. You should not do any activities (such as push-ups, yoga or pilates) that involve the chest muscles until 8 weeks after breast augmentation surgery.

If your job requires a lot of physical activity, you may need additional time off from work, or your normal work routine must be modified. Your surgeon  will provide you with additional details during your consultation.

Follow-Up Appointments

You will need to come in for a follow-up appointment within the first week of surgery for a check-up. During this appointment, your surgeon  will gauge the progression of your healing and remove your stitches. If you are still taking pain medication, you will need someone to drive you to and from your appointment.

Additional visits during the following weeks and months will be necessary to monitor your progress. If you are an out of town patient, it is possible to coordinate these visits virtually. However, you will need to be present during the initial  follow-up visit 6-7 days after surgery.

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