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How to Resume Exercise after Breast Reduction Surgery

Breast reduction surgery, or reduction mammaplasty, is a procedure designed to alleviate the physical and emotional discomfort caused by overly large breasts. This surgical process not only aims to reduce the size of your breasts but also reshapes them to be more proportional to your body. The journey towards recovery after this surgery is a significant phase. One of the key aspects of recovery is allowing your body adequate time to rest. While it might be tempting to resume normal activities quickly, giving your body the time it needs to heal is essential for the best outcomes. This rest period also provides an opportunity for you to adjust mentally and emotionally to the changes in your body. As your recovery progresses, you will gradually reintroduce physical activities into your routine. It is important to start with gentle, low-impact exercises and slowly increase the intensity as your body heals and adapts. Pay close attention to any signals your body sends – discomfort or strain might indicate that you need to reduce the intensity or frequency of your exercises.

In this blog, Sydney Specialist Plastic Surgeon Dr Bish Soliman offers insights and guidance for getting back to exercise after breast reduction surgery.

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When to Resume Exercise after Breast Reduction Surgery

Resuming physical activities after breast reduction surgery is a gradual process that demands keen awareness of your body’s signals and limitations. It’s important to understand that your body requires time to heal and adjust to the changes. Pushing yourself too hard or too soon can lead to complications and delay your recovery. Here are some guidelines to help you recognise when your body is ready to start exercising again:

  • Wait for Professional Clearance: The most important step is to wait for clearance from Dr Bish Soliman. Typically, this happens during a follow-up appointment where he assesses your healing progress. Depending on the specifics of your surgery, this could be a few weeks post-operation. Heed his advice as he is best equipped to determine your readiness for physical activity.
  • Assess Your Pain and Discomfort Levels: A significant reduction in pain and discomfort is a key indicator that your body may be ready for exercise. If you’re still experiencing substantial pain, it’s a sign that your body needs more time to heal.
  • Check the Healing of Surgical Wounds: Your surgical wounds should be sufficiently healed before you consider resuming exercise. This means that the incisions have closed, and there’s no significant swelling, redness, or discharge. Any sign of infection or reopening of the wounds means you should delay physical activity.
  • Evaluate Your Energy Levels: It’s normal to feel fatigued after surgery due to the physical trauma your body has endured. When you start feeling more energetic and less tired during everyday activities, it could be a signal that your body is ready for more physical exertion.
  • Start with Gentle Activities: When you feel ready, start with gentle, low-impact activities such as walking. Walking is an excellent way to increase blood circulation, which aids in healing and helps gauge how your body responds to physical stress.
  • Monitor Your Body’s Response: Pay close attention to how your body responds during and after light exercise. If you experience increased pain, swelling, or any other concerning symptoms, it’s a sign to pause and consult Dr Soliman.
  • Gradually Increase Intensity: If your body responds well to light activities, you can gradually increase the intensity of your workouts. However, avoid high-impact or strenuous exercises until Dr Soliman advises that it’s safe.
  • Avoid Exercises That Strain the Chest Area: Avoid exercises that put direct strain on your chest area for several weeks post-surgery. Activities such as heavy lifting, push-ups, or chest presses should be avoided until your surgeon confirms that your healing process is sufficiently advanced.
  • Listen to Your Body: Ultimately, listening to your body is the best guide. Everyone’s healing process is different, and what works for one person may not be suitable for another. If something feels off or painful, it’s a signal to stop and reassess your approach.
  • Regular Follow-up Appointments: Keep up with your follow-up appointments. These are crucial for monitoring your recovery and getting professional advice on your physical activity levels.

Initial Exercises after Breast Reduction

Reintroducing physical activity into your routine must be approached with care and consideration. Engaging in gentle, low-impact exercises during the early stages of recovery is essential for promoting healing while minimising the risk of complications. Below are safe and effective exercises to help you start moving again:

  • Walking: Walking is one of the most beneficial exercises you can engage in post-surgery. Start with short, leisurely walks around your home or neighbourhood. Gradually increase the duration and pace as you feel comfortable, but avoid overexertion. Walking enhances circulation, which is vital for healing and helps maintain muscle tone.
  • Leg Lifts: Leg lifts can be done lying down and help maintain lower body strength without straining your upper body. Lie on your back with one leg bent at the knee and the other straight. Slowly lift the straight leg to the height of the bent knee and hold for a few seconds before lowering it back down. Repeat with the other leg.
  • Neck and Shoulder Rolls: Gentle neck and shoulder rolls help relieve tension in these areas without placing stress on your chest. Perform these exercises slowly and carefully, ensuring no discomfort is felt in the chest area.
  • Pelvic Tilts: Pelvic tilts are a good way to engage your core muscles without putting pressure on your chest. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Tighten your abdominal muscles and gently tilt your pelvis upward. Hold for a few seconds and then relax.
  • Deep Breathing Exercises: Deep breathing is not only relaxing but also helps improve lung capacity and circulation, which are important for recovery. Sit or lie in a comfortable position, inhale deeply through your nose, hold for a moment, and then exhale slowly through your mouth.
  • Seated Leg Extensions: While seated, extend one leg out straight and hold it in line with your hip for a few seconds, then lower it back down. Repeat with the other leg. This exercise helps maintain leg strength without straining your upper body.
  • Ankle Circles: Maintaining ankle mobility and circulation is important, especially if your mobility is reduced during recovery. Rotate your ankles slowly in both directions. This can be done sitting or lying down.

The key to these exercises is gentleness and moderation. Listen to your body and only do what feels comfortable, without straining your surgical site. It is advisable to discuss any new exercise regime with Dr Soliman or a physical therapist to ensure it aligns with your specific recovery needs. By incorporating these gentle movements into your recovery plan, you can aid in your healing process and gradually build up your strength and mobility.

Increasing Exercise Intensity

As you navigate through your recovery from breast reduction surgery, gradually increasing the intensity of your exercises is an important step. This phase requires a careful balance between challenging your body and ensuring its safe recovery. Here are some tips on how to safely increase your exercise intensity over time.

  • Listen to Your Body Always be attuned to what your body is telling you. If a certain exercise causes discomfort or pain, take it as a sign to slow down. It’s essential to understand that while some mild discomfort is normal, pain is not. Adjust your exercise routine according to how your body responds.
  • Gradual Progression Increase the intensity of your workouts gradually. For instance, if walking is part of your routine, start by increasing the duration before you increase the pace. The same principle applies to any other form of exercise – incrementally enhance either the duration, the intensity, or the frequency, but never all at once.
  • Incorporate a Variety of Exercises As your body becomes accustomed to a certain level of activity, start introducing a variety of exercises. This could include swimming, cycling, or light resistance training. Diversifying your exercise routine can help engage different muscle groups and prevent overuse of certain areas.
  • Strength Training with Caution When you feel ready, you can begin to include some strength training into your routine. Start with light weights and focus on higher repetitions rather than heavy lifting. Ensure your technique is correct to avoid any undue strain.
  • Focus on Core Stability Exercises that strengthen your core are beneficial as they support your upper body and improve overall balance and stability. Activities like yoga or pilates can be particularly effective, but remember to start with beginner-level classes and inform your instructor about your surgery.
  • Regular Rest Periods Incorporate rest days into your exercise regime. These allow your muscles to recover and prevent fatigue. Overtraining can be detrimental to your recovery and overall health.
  • Stay Hydrated and Eat Nutritiously Adequate hydration and a balanced diet are vital, especially as you increase your exercise intensity. Nourish your body with the nutrients it needs to recover and sustain more strenuous activities.
  • Track Your Progress Keeping a record of your exercise routine can be motivating and informative. It helps you to see your progression over time and enables you to make informed adjustments to your routine.
  • Consult a Professional Consider consulting a physical therapist or a fitness professional who can guide you in safely increasing your exercise intensity. They can provide personalised advice and ensure your exercise plan is appropriate for your stage of recovery.
  • Recognise Achievements Acknowledge and celebrate the small milestones in your recovery and fitness journey. This can provide a psychological boost and motivate you to continue with your efforts.

FAQs about Exercise after Breast Reduction Surgery

When can I start exercising after my breast reduction surgery?

  • Typically, you can begin light activities like walking within a few days after surgery, but it’s best to wait for Dr Soliman’s approval before starting any exercise regimen. The time frame can vary depending on individual recovery, but strenuous activities should usually be avoided for at least 4-6 weeks.

What types of exercises are safe to do initially post-surgery?

  • Begin with low-impact activities such as walking or gentle stretching. Avoid exercises that involve bouncing or strenuous upper body movements. Gradually, you can introduce more activities as your body heals and with Dr Bish Soliman’s

How will I know if I am pushing myself too hard during exercise?

  • If you experience increased pain, swelling, or any discomfort around the surgery area, these might be indicators that you are exerting too much effort. It’s essential to listen to your body and reduce the intensity if any of these symptoms occur.

Can exercise impact the results of my breast reduction surgery?

  • Moderate exercise, once you have fully recovered, should not negatively impact the results of your breast reduction. In fact, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can enhance your overall results. However, it’s important to follow Dr Soliman’s advice regarding the type and intensity of exercises.

Is it necessary to wear a specific type of bra during exercise post-surgery?

  • Yes, it is advisable to wear a supportive sports bra during exercise to provide adequate support to your breasts. This helps in minimising movement and can reduce discomfort during physical activities. Make sure the bra fits well and is comfortable, providing support without being too restrictive.

Further Reading about Breast Reduction Surgery with Sydney Specialist Plastic Surgeon Dr Bish Soliman

Medical References about Breast Reduction Surgery

About Dr Bish Soliman

Dr Bish Soliman - Sydney Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, about us 01 2x
Specialist Plastic, Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgeon
FRACS (Plas), MS (Plas), MBBS (Hons 1), BCom

AHPRA Registered Medical Practitioner MED 0001679053 Specialist Registration in Plastic Surgery

Dr Bish Soliman is a Sydney-based Specialist Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon who performs aesthetic surgery of the face, breast, and body as well as skin cancer surgery.

He currently holds two consultant microsurgery positions in major Sydney hospitals performing complex microsurgical reconstruction including DIEP breast reconstruction.

After graduating from The King’s School, Dr Bish completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Sydney. After working briefly at a major Sydney finance firm, he decided to pursue his passion and long-term goal of a career in medicine. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame at the top of his class, receiving First class honours and the prestigious Bower and Sherrard medal. He then went on to complete his junior medical training at Westmead Hospital during which time he was awarded Junior Medical Officer (JMO) of the Year, as well as a finalist for NSW Doctor of the Year.


Next Steps

Do your Research

  • All Surgery has risks and potential complications. Please read the risks and complications page
  • Visit our procedure pages and Blogs to learn more about your intended procedure

Making The Most Of Your Consultation

  • Please arrive slightly early for your in-person consultation with Dr Bish
  • Take notes during the consultation and review all the documents provided
  • You are welcome to bring a friend or relative to help consider your options
  • You may need to undress for a physical exam so wear comfortable clothes

Want more information before scheduling your consultation?

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How to Book Your Consultation

  • A GP Medical Referral is now essential to see Dr Bish Soliman for any type of surgery.
  • You can book your consultation with Dr Bish Soliman by paying the consultation fee in advance – when you make your appointment.

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