No matter how good you feel after breast augmentation surgery, it is very important for you to carefully follow your surgeon's instructions regarding activity after surgery. Failure to do so could result in complications such as bleeding, infection, seroma and implant malposition. While each of these problems is relatively rare, there is no need to tempt fate.
Since I began to infiltrate the implant pocket and surrounding breast with a dilute concentration of both short and long acting local anesthetic, I have had many patients say that they had very little pain with surgery. Despite feeling very good immediately after their procedure, I emphasized the importance of their activity down during the initial recovery phase. the fluid also contains a very dilute amount of epinephrine, which is used to constrict blood vessels resulting in less blood loss. Use of the fluid is known as Tumescent Surgery and can be used in facelifts, breast lifts, breast reductions, tummy tucks, body lifts, arm lifts and thigh lifts.
During the surgery, some of the chest muscles are partially cut and then sutured back together in the closure. As a result of this trauma to the muscle, ti takes several weeks for this internal wound to heal. It is easy to tear out these stitches early on, so it is vital that no strenuous arm activity be performed for several weeks; this includes putting your arms over your head for the first three weeks. So, avoid pullover shirts for that period of time. The general rule is: Keep your elbows below your shoulders.
Loss of the integrity of the muscle repair can cause post-operative bleeding or an increase in fluid collection (seroma) that can increase the risk of scar formation around the implants (capsular contracture) or infection that could result in complete loss of the implant. Separation of the muscle sutures can also cause the implant to drop too far in the healing process, resulting in a 'bottoming out' of the implant, malposition of the implant and breast asymmetry that could require a subsequent surgery to repair.
When recovering from most surgeries that do not involve the lower extremities, there is almost no limitation on walking. Getting up and moving is one of the best ways to prevent one of the worse possible complications from happening, which is blood clots forming int he leg veins that can break off and migrate to the heart and lungs. This known as pulmonary embolism and can be life-threatening. So, you are encouraged to walk as much as you can after surgery; not not the point where you significantly increase your heart rate or blood pressure tor the first couple of weeks.
I see most of breast augmentation patients six days after surgery. If all is going well and they are anxious to start working out again, I will allow light lower extremity aerobic workouts on a bike or elliptical without using their arms starting about two weeks after surgery and instruct them to gradually increase the severity of the exercise as they tolerate. Running and any abdominal exercise should be avoided for a full three weeks after surgery.