Breast Implants and Exercise

Breast implants are a plastic surgery procedure designed to augment your breast region to your desired size. When considering breast implant procedures, ask your physician about your recovery period and when you can return to exercise following surgery. Although there's a time when your activity will be limited, you can expect to make a full return to your exercise activities following a sufficient recovery period.


Time Frame

You and your physician will determine a time frame when you can expect to return to exercise after your breast implant surgery. Considerations may include your health and the position and size of your breast implants. You will likely be instructed to avoid vigorous exercise, such as aerobics or running, for four weeks. If your breast implants were placed under your chest muscle, you will usually be able to perform most exercises except chest flyes and bench presses one to two weeks after surgery. If your implants are placed over the muscle, you can perform most non-strenuous exercises following surgery.


Follow your physician's instructions for wearing compressive garments to prevent swelling following your workout. In the first few exercise sessions after implant surgery, choose low-impact exercises such as walking, cycling or using an elliptical machine. Listen to your body. If you experience pain or a straining sensation in your chest, stop immediately. A significant amount of swelling or pain following exercise are signs you have exercised too strenuously. Taking an anti-inflammatory medication and icing the affected area can help reduce these symptoms.

Changes to Your Activity

After a recovery period and your physician’s approval to return to exercise, you are not limited in the exercises you can perform. You may find, however, that some things have changed about the way you exercise. For example, larger breast size can affect your ability to reach across your chest. If you play tennis, racquetball or golf, you may find you need to adjust your swing. Added weight in your breasts also can affect you when you perform activities such as running or jumping. Although most people learn to compensate for this added weight, you may experience side effects such as back and neck pain if you have large breast implants.


In rare instances, breast implant surgery can lead to chronic breast discomfort. This pain, aching or itching can be magnified with exercise that jars the breast tissue. The likelihood of breast discomfort increases if you have chosen larger breast implants. If you experience this condition, speak to your physician. She may recommend massage or more supportive exercise wear. In rare instances, you may need to remove or reposition the implant.


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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or