Medically reviewed by Mr. Omar Tillo — MD, MS, EBOPRAS, FRCS (Plast)
Exercise after a breast reduction can be a great way to maintain the results of your surgery and stay healthy in the process. However, during the initial recovery period, careful attention must be paid not to overexert yourself.
In this article, we will explore which levels of exercise are suited to each stage of recovery from breast reduction.
Breast Reduction Recovery Timeline
In general, you can expect to feel fully recovered approximately six weeks after breast reduction surgery. How much exercise you will be able to engage in will vary from week to week.
Light Walking During Weeks 1-2
The first week after breast reduction is when you will be feeling most swollen and tender around the incision sites. Very little exercise will be possible at this stage, but short walks will be encouraged as soon as possible.
Over the course of the first fortnight, you should gradually build up these walks, making them longer whilst being cautious not to place unnecessary stress on your incisions. A small amount of light exercise every day will help promote blood circulation, which is beneficial for healing.
Cardio and Lower Body Exercises During Weeks 3-4
Many patients will feel ready to restart most parts of their daily routine after the second week. This can include work and light activities that do not place too much stress on your upper body.
In terms of cardio, walking remains one of the best forms of exercise during the third and fourth weeks of recovery.
Your exercise at this point should be daily and consistent, but you should always listen to your body and continue to wear your compression garment until your surgeon tells you otherwise.
Normal Workouts During Week 6
By the time week six arrives, you should be able to resume a full exercise regime. Naturally, it is still crucial to start slow and build cautiously when engaging in exercises that place strain on your chest.
Exercises for Breast Reduction Patients After Surgery
Strenuous exercise such as jogging or weightlifting should be avoided until after your breast reduction has healed completely. However, there are plenty of exercises available to get your blood flowing and keep you physically and mentally fit after your surgery:
- A Good Walk – Walking outside or on a treadmill is one of the best activities to engage in during breast reduction recovery. It puts next to no strain on your chest and is a great way to maintain overall health.
- Stretches – In the later stages of recovery, stretching can be useful in combating stiffness in your shoulders, neck, and arms. In the initial stages of recovery, stretching must be limited so as not to aggravate your breast reduction incisions.
- Yoga – Some yoga positions will place too much strain on your recovering body, but there are many positions that will be safe for you. Breathing exercises and meditation are other immensely beneficial and low exertion elements of yoga you will have no problem performing.
Does Breast Reduction Improve Exercising?
Among the many other benefits of breast reduction, it can reduce the cumbersome nature of your breasts and allow for a more active lifestyle.
Smaller, more proportionate breasts can make exercise easier and less painful, reducing the possibility of skin irritation from bra straps or tight, restricted clothing. This removal of excess weight can make you feel lighter and more able to engage in regular exercise.
Additional Recovery Tips
During your recovery, there are some extra steps you can take to help aid the healing process:
Use a Cold Compress
Applying cold compresses, like ice packs or frozen peas in a towel, can help with swelling and bruising, especially in the first 72 hours of your recovery.
Apply the cold compress to the swollen areas for 15 minutes at a time with a slightly longer break in between. Do not apply directly to your incisions.
You will likely be advised to sleep on your back so as not to aggravate your wounds, and getting a good night’s sleep is of the highest priority. While you are sleeping, your body is working hard to recuperate, so give it enough time to use its natural ability to heal.
Wear a Surgical Bra
It is common to wear a surgical bra during the recovery stage in order to relieve swelling and inflammation by compressing the areas around your incisions. The CREO Clinic supplies your surgical bra as a standard part of the recovery process.
Without the extra compression the bra provides, blood and fluids can pool, exacerbating swelling and prolonging recovery.
Don’t Rush Recovery
Rushing back into exercise or other exhausting activities too quickly can undo the hard work your body has put into healing. Talk to an experienced surgeon so you can plan your return to a daily routine properly, and take cautious, incremental steps into your new life post-surgery.
Is Breast Reduction Worth It?
Breast reduction surgery has one of the highest rates of satisfaction of any cosmetic procedure. Removing the excess weight of heavy, overly large breasts can liberate you from troublesome back pain and help you feel more comfortable in your body.
Many women find this can open up fresh new possibilities and bring an invaluable boost to their quality of life.
Schedule a Consultation with CREO Clinic Today
If you are thinking about breast reduction surgery, book a consultation with Dr. Omar Tillo, the CREO Clinic’s specialised breast reduction surgeon.
Dr. Tillo will use his extensive experience and expertise to collaborate with you on a bespoke treatment plan that will help forge a path to the body you deserve.