One of the many things that get restricted following a surgical procedure is mobility. Depending on which part of your body you have had an operation on, different restrictions apply to facilitate the body healing. There is a thin line between when you should allow yourself to move to increase blood flow for faster healing and putting activities on hold because it could result in damages to your health.
Breast augmentation is a popular cosmetic procedure these days. Given how common the procedure is, patients can be mistaken for thinking it is a small simple procedure and they can return to normal activities almost straight away. However, we advise you to allow the body time to heal post breast implant surgery.
When it comes to staying fit and healthy, what is the best way to return to exercise post-surgery? Exercise has lots of benefits. It helps the person stay healthy, it lowers a person’s risk to heart ailments, and it facilitates proper blood circulation which is necessary for the healing process of post-op patients. Patients who have undergone breast augmentation are encouraged to engage in it with high precaution. Like any other post-operative procedures, exercises are to be done gradually. This is to avoid any deformation of your breasts and other complications.
Let’s take note of what should be considered post-op breast augmentation:
- Feeling weak is common after any surgery. Mostly, the area of the body that has been operated on is accompanied by soreness that may last 2-3 weeks depending on a person’s healing capacity. A feeling of pulling and stretching of the skin should be expected around the whole breast and chest area, but this will improve in the following days. Pain medications may be taken if the discomfort becomes unbearable.
- Avoid high-intensity exercises such as running as the impact could be harmful to the incision’s sutures. During the first week of recovery, only short and moderate walks are allowed to facilitate proper blood circulation. Be cautious in not making your blood pressure rise too much. Finish the walk session if the task becomes too intolerable. Too much exercise may strain you which could result in unwanted stress.
- Your breast’s skin will be stretched because of the added implants, hence the need for immobilization. Avoid lifting any heavy objects, or even light objects above your shoulder height, for a couple of weeks to ensure the sutures stay intact. Approximately six weeks after surgery would be a feasible time to be able to lift anything heavy so as not to sever the sutures and strain the incisions.
- Naturally, the body rejects anything foreign that presents itself in the body. For a couple of months post-op, the doctor will recommend the patient to massage the breast, 2-3 times a day, for 5 minutes. This is to avoid rejection as a body’s natural response to foreign materials being inserted into the chest.
- Once the sutures are removed, the scars may feel stiff and uncomfortable. Discomfort may be felt as your implants settle.
The Proper Exercises and their Duration
You probably might be wondering when you may go back to your usual gym sessions. As mentioned earlier, it’s important to take steps gradually. Start with walking to gauge the heart’s response to physical activity. As your heart pumps faster, observe the sutures and the response of your body to increasing activity. The ideal schedule we suggest is that after about a month a patient may resume normal exercise except heavy lifting.
Consider the location of sutures which is by the areola, by the crease under the boob, and by the axilla, which is more or less involved in doing upper body exercises. Specifically, with implants that have been placed under the muscle, the healing process may take longer. It’s not advisable to engage in strenuous chest exercise because it may hinder it from healing completely.
For runners, you may argue that technically the whole operation and location of the procedure do not interfere with running. However implants that are too large could interfere with one’s running posture that could cause back pain.
Engaging in isometric exercises such as planks and against-the-wall push-ups can be approached in more of less the same way. In a typical scenario, the patient may expect to resume 25% of the workout they do after four weeks, then 50% within five weeks. As control and strength are gained back, 75% of their usual routine may be achieved within 6 weeks then by 7-8 weeks, 100% including running, weight-lifting, pull-ups, push-ups, and planks.
Patients may need to wait around 6 weeks or longer, depending on their healing capability and existing health conditions, to recover before going back to any vigorous physical exercise. At all costs, avoid exercising too soon because this can result in multiple complications.