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When Can I Return to Exercise After Breast Surgery?

If you are used to going for your daily run or dropping by the gym after work as part of your healthy daily routine, having breast surgery can leave you itching feeling as if that part of your routine is missing. While exercise is important, when it comes to your post-surgery recovery it’s also critical to be aware of the need to work back into it slowly and give your body time to recover from your surgery. In the below video Dr Marion Chan discusses when you can expect to get back to your usual exercise routine and what type of activities are best earlier on or left until later.

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When can I start exercising again?

Well, exercise actually encompasses a lot of different things these days.

There’s cross-fit, there is gym, resistance training, there is walking, there is power walking, running, jogging, swimming, and they all mean very, very different things.

In the first few days after your operation, I would be very happy for you to go take a walk around the block, provided that you’re not sweating too much. Most likely you will have dressing tapes all over your wounds, regardless of what kind of breast surgery you’ve had. If you have any moisture, bacteria is most likely going to collect there, causing a higher risk of wound infection, which is what we don’t want here.

When can I get back to the gym?

After around two weeks or so, if you are a keen gym-goer, you could potentially go back to the gym for a lower limb day, like a leg day, provided you’re not actively doing any chest presses or any upper limb movements or even overhead presses too early on. And this is very relevant particularly if you’ve had a breast augmentation surgery, specifically if your implants are sitting underneath your pectoral muscles,
we really don’t want you using or activating those too early before your implant is well settled into its breast envelope.

What about going for a run or jog?

Jogging and running actually creates more of a high impact and force on your wounds compared to just walking around the block. So, it’s important to avoid doing those things for at least the first four to six weeks just to allow your wounds and the scars to heal, and if you’ve got an implant to allow it to settle down in its new environment before you go back to those activities.

Can I jump in the pool for a swim?

When it comes to swimming, we want to make sure that your wounds are 100% healed before you hop back into either pool water or sea water. Any fragility of the wounds can actually mean that bugs inside the water can track through that wound into deeper spaces of the breast. And, obviously that could potentially be devastating if it tracks into an implant space and causes a deeper infection.

If you’re not sure, always ask us first before hopping back into the water, and we will double check that you haven’t got any tiny little stitches still hanging out that we may need to trim before you go back or any concerns that we may have with your wound to ensure that you’re not going to get yourself into any trouble with wound infection.

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