5 Activities to avoid after breast reduction surgery

5 Activities to avoid after breast reduction surgery

17th Nov 2020


Overly large breasts can trigger real health issues, not only emotional complexes. It can be very difficult for a young girl to be confronted with excessively large breasts, and this is the reason why the recommendation is to undergo breast reduction surgery as early as possible in life to avoid ulterior permanent damage that could occur, especially on the spine. 

Breast reduction surgery can last up to two hours or more, depending on the complexity of each case. After the procedure, patients can return home the same day and start the recovery process at home. 

While the procedure is rather complex and invasive, the recovery process is not associated with a great deal of risk and discomfort. However, there are some activities that patients should avoid after breast reduction surgery, such as: 

1.    Lifting heavy objects from the floor

For the success of your breast reduction, it is crucial to avoid lifting heavy objects from the floor. If you need to stretch your arms and if lifting entails an effort, then you need to abort mission immediately. After breast reduction surgery, we need to minimize the risk of the incisions opening, and we can do this only by eliminating unnecessary pressure applied on the breasts. Lifting anything heavier than a few kilograms can result not only in the rupture of the stitches but also unnecessary pain and discomfort on the breasts. Keep in mind that if you have children, it is important to sit down before taking them in your arms as this way you minimize the impact on the chest. Any extreme upper body movements should be avoided for a minimum of three to four weeks post-op to ensure complications are avoided. 

2.    Physical exercise

Like any other surgical procedure, there will also be a downtime after breast reduction. Because most patients report just a moderate to minor level of pain on the breasts during the recovery period, they tend to believe that it is okay to resume physical exercise sooner than they should. 

If you are passionate about sports and you want to get back in the game as soon as possible or if you want to get fit after undergoing breast reduction surgery, make sure to discuss this aspect with the plastic surgeon during the pre-operative consultation. It is only then that he will be able to give you some realistic time frames for the activities you are interested in. However, it is important to understand that even if the plastic surgeon says you should be able to resume physical exercises six weeks post-op, it all depends on how your body heals in the end. Some patients tend to heal faster than others. It is a matter of age, preexisting health conditions and also the ability to follow the recommendations of the plastic surgeon to the letter. 

While jogging might seem like an activity that can’t cause any harm after plastic surgery, the reality is that the breasts jiggle when running or jogging. And during the recovery period, this is the last thing that your breasts will need. Make sure to wear the compression bra as per the doctor’s instructions and avoid this type of exercise for a minimum of four to six weeks, or as per the doctor’s recommendations. 

3.    Driving 

When it comes to undergoing plastic surgery, most patients tend to believe that they can easily drive to and from the clinic. This is rarely the case. It is not safe to drive when still under the effects of the general anesthesia. Moreover, there will be a level of pain and discomfort that the patient will experience after the procedure. This is unavoidable, and hence the recommendation is to have a friend or family member to drive you to and from the hospital. Moreover, you will enjoy the company of someone looking after you.

Driving is not recommended not only on the day of the procedure but also for a few days more. If a complex breast reduction surgery was performed, patients might find it uncomfortable to keep their hands on the wheel in a certain position for extended periods of time, so it is important to discuss this issue with the plastic surgeon before resuming driving. Most patients can get back behind the wheel in the first two weeks post-op, but it depends on their motivation and how the healing process is going. 

It is important to avoid driving when under the effects of the general anesthesia and/ or strong pain medication that might have been prescribed by the plastic surgeon to be taken in the first few days post-op. 

4.    Sexual intercourse

Yes, it is understandable to want to be intimate with your loved one as soon as possible after undergoing a procedure on the breasts. Most patients are so excited with the results that they get interested in sexual intercourse very early after the procedure, despite still experiencing a certain level of pain and discomfort. The recommendation is to avoid sexual intercourse for a few weeks post-op. 

During sex, there are changes that occur on the breasts due to stimulation. These changes can trigger pain and discomfort during or after sexual intercourse. Moreover, it is ideal not to let anyone touch the breasts for a few weeks post-op as there is an increased risk of developing an infection. Too much pressure applied on the breasts too soon after breast reduction can trigger the rupture of the incisions and this can result in bad scarring.

Make sure to ask your plastic surgeon when you can resume sex after undergoing breast reduction and be patient until it is possible and without additional risks for your health or the results of the procedure. 

5.    Hot baths

Some patients tend to believe that they won’t be able to shower for weeks after undergoing plastic surgery. This is not true and certainly not very hygienic. The recommendation is to have a shower even the same day of the procedure, but make sure you keep the incision site clean and dry at all times. The medical staff or the plastic surgeon will explain how to shower and clean yourself without triggering complications. Keep in mind that it is important to care for the surgical incisions and change the dressing as per the plastic surgeon’s recommendations.

However relaxing, hot baths must be avoided for at least a few weeks after surgery. Hot water can favorize swelling and increase the risk of infections. The recommendation is to avoid anything hot on the operated area for a few days or weeks and even apply ice packs to help decrease the swelling. Swelling and bruising are natural side effects that can occur as a result of surgical trauma, especially when the procedure is performed on an area of the body so delicate as the breasts. 

If you are a big fan of relaxing in hot water, make sure to tell the plastic surgeon of your plans to run a hot bath before actually doing it. The plastic surgeon will be able to tell you if this is a good time or you should wait some more before taking a hot bath. 


Breast reduction surgery was developed to help patients suffering from daily health and emotional discomforts caused by the excessive size of their breasts. The procedure can be performed alone or with other procedures, and it often delivers spectacular results. To make the most out of your breast reduction surgery, it is important to choose a talented, experienced board-certified plastic surgeon who performs the procedure routinely and also to follow his recommendations to the letter. In this article, we have discussed five activities to avoid after breast reduction surgery. 

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