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What is the criteria for exercising after breast augmentation surgery?

Q:

I had breast augmentation nearly 3 months ago, and I'm doing fine (silicone, dual plane technique). Due to the passive post-op lifestyle, I lost muscle mass and gained some weight.  I tend to jump into heavy exercises after a longer time of being passive and so far (before the operation) I did fine like this. I had some muscle pain after it, but nothing serious and recovered in a couple of days.  Might this be different now or can I follow the same routine?

A:

There are multiple levels to post operative activity.  The most important period that I care about is the first two weeks.  During that time I am very worried about post operative bleeding so I tell my patients not to do any lifting, bending or straining during this period.  It is also important that they don't raise their blood pressure or pulse. After this critical two weeks I encourage them to avoid any trauma to the area of surgery for at least two months after the surgery. This is because it takes that long for the wounds to develop a strong well healed wound.  The third phase is the maturation of the scar tissue.  This takes up to 24 months but the greatest changes are complete after 6 months.  This is why most surgeons will defer any further surgery on the previous area of surgery for at least six months when the majority of the wound maturation has been completed. 

A:

My patients that have the dual plane technique are instructed to avoid strengthening the chest muscles as excessive, strenuous work outs with the chest muscle can displace your implant downwards and outwards.  Toning is tolerated well.  Ideally, you should check with your surgeon for his/her recommendations as everyone's experiences may be different.  But if you have ever seen this phenomena occur, it does make a believer out of you as it has me.

My routine is to allow patients back to their pre-op activities 3 weeks after their surgery.  They are asked to use a supportive sport bra AND avoid strengthening the chest muscles, but can do everything else that they wish to do.

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