How Limited Will I Be After A Breast Augmentation and For How Long?

This is a question that is asked quite a bit and if not asked, it is always being thought about by those wanting a breast augmentation.  It goes without saying that with any surgery, there is a convalescent period where you should refrain from strenuous activity. The problem with a breast augmentation is, the discomfort is usually fairly short lived so there is not a lot of pain to stop you from being active.  So, what is the problem with being active?

First, have you had a straight forward augmentation or a lift?  In both instances, the implant is usually placed under the pectoralis muscle to be specific.  The pectoralis muscle is used to push objects or extend the upper arm and shoulder forward as in “pushups” or “bench pressing”.  Another example of a daily task that stretches this muscle is reaching over the head.

As you can see in the above picture, the muscle is very wide where it attaches to the sternum and it narrows as it attaches to the arm.  When an implant is placed in the sub pectoral plane, the implant is only partially covered by muscle as shown in the image below.


With fresh implants, I advise no lifting and keeping the arms below the shoulder for two weeks or less.  After that, your arms can then be raised.  And for 3 months I recommend no lifting at all at minimum of any more than 10 pounds.  This is enough time to allow the capsule to form around the implant that keeps it in place.  Pushing and lifting before that time can cause the implant to “squirt” out of the pocket that is being created and into the arm pit or below the mass of the breast causing a problem that can be difficult and expensive to fix.

For those who work out a lot, and those who are body builders or participants in any competitions where the muscle is used to lift or pose, I place the implants above the muscle.  Otherwise, a deformity of the implant occurs when the muscle is flexed that looks strange though is usually harmless once a good capsule has formed.  For any other questions please call us at Swetnam Cosmetic Surgery or come in for a complimentary consultation.

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