Weight Lifting and Breast Augmentation

By Bryanne Schwartz

Bryanne is the scrub nurse/office nurse for Dr. Anu Bajaj here at Bajaj Plastic Surgery.

Having recently undergone a breast augmentation herself, Bryanne shares her experience and explains how she was able to weight train shortly after her procedure.

When most women consider getting a breast augmentation done, one of the first things they are often are told is that they won’t be able to lift weights or perform any movements that involve the chest muscles ever again.

To some women, this is not an issue whatsoever. However, to some, like me, it was a major concern. I have been a competitive athlete my entire life and have been powerlifting for the past year or so. Getting a breast augmentation has been on the back burner for quite some time, but due to this “fact,” I never pursued getting the surgery because I did not want to be limited with sports and weight training.

This entire way of thinking was forever changed after I began working with Dr. Bajaj. Being her scrub nurse, I assist her in many breast surgeries, and I get to witness first-hand what patients go through pre-operatively, intra-operatively, and post-operatively. I finally made the decision to proceed forward with getting a Breast Augmentation with Silicone implants and a Mastopexy (breast lift) from Dr. Bajaj. She reassured me that I would be fine because I was already weight lifting that my body would bounce back pretty fast, however, I had no idea how quickly I would bounce back.

Now, every patient is different in regards to recovery after surgery. Everyone has different health histories, lifestyles, and pain tolerance etc. For me, like I stated previously, I have been weightlifting with heavy weights and a high volume or repetitions for the last year or so whereas prior to that I did a lot of Kickboxing with some weight lifting and functional fitness movements, so my body has a lot of overall muscle tone. In my particular case, Dr. Bajaj and I decided to go sub-glandular with implant placement, as my chest muscles were too thick from years of training, which is not a bad thing by any means. Some patients do better with sub- muscular and some do better with sub-glandular.

After surgery, I had little to no pain whatsoever, just minor soreness and tightness. For a total of about 3 solid days, I took it “easy” and lounged around the house. After that I began going out and about to the market for groceries and whatnot, feeling great. I started to get “stir-crazy” from not training like I usually do going to the gym 6 days a week. About 7 days post-op I began to work out again, starting off sort of slowly, with walking on an inclined treadmill for a couple of days. I had no issues or discomfort with that so on day 9 post-op I began to lift weights again.

I lift with my trainer, Cody Wilburn, who is very knowledgeable about my situation. When I started to lift weights again, we started back with movements that didn’t involve the chest, or put too much strain on the chest. At the 13 day post-op mark, I deadlifted for the first time since having surgery. It was relatively lightweight, but I was able to do this movement without any issue. That same night I also back squatted with no issue or discomfort also. This was a huge milestone for me as I was worried I wouldn’t be able to perform these exercises for a few weeks. For the next week or so we gradually increased intensity, weights, and exercise selection as I was able to tolerate it. To my surprise, I had very little limitations and got back to my normal routine within a month of surgery. Now, like previously stated, every person is different and recovers at a different pace so it is not recommended to lift heavy weights if you are not already used to it. Since I was already used to a fairly rigorous routine, my body recovered very quickly.

Currently, I am 6 weeks post-op and have hit PRs (personal records) in deadlifts, back squats, and have also been training my upper body, specifically chest, like I did pre-operatively, without any discomfort. So I am here to tell you that the “myth” that women should not be able to do a push-up, or lift weights, or essentially use their chest muscle again after getting a breast augmentation, is utterly false.

I will tell you that having a healthy lifestyle and lifting weights consistently prior to any surgery, will make your recovery that much easier and faster! So get out there and lift those weights!

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