I work in construction, what is considered an adequate amount of time until I can return to work after breast augmentation?

I am a Crew Lead at an Insulation Company in Massachusetts. I run my own insulation jobs with 1 or 2 helpers and I'm also a smoker. I got 450cc Saline implants under the muscle and it's been exactly 4 weeks post-operative. However, I still feel a lot of muscle tightening just from doing little things around the house that are less than 10 pounds. I'm expected to return to work in about 2 weeks, which means lifting between 10 to 40 pounds on a regular basis. My surgeon was not very informative and seems uninterested in getting to know his patients. (In his defense, this place was cheap and extremely overcrowded with people from all over the world). Please tell me I can return to work safely! I'd truly hate to find a new field.

From the history in your question, it seems that your surgeon has given you appropriate post-operative instructions; that is, that you can return to work in 6 weeks. I generally allow patients to begin upper body exercises at 3 weeks and instruct them to increase gradually over weeks 4-6 until they reach their preoperative level. If there is any discomfort at all, I advise them to stop or reduce the level and frequency of their exercise for a period of time. Having said that, subpectoral implants do change the interface or gliding plane between the pectoralis muscle and the chest wall. In most patients this does not make a difference, but there is an occasional patient who always experiences some awareness of a change when the pectoralis muscle is contracted.

Kenneth Rothaus MD
Kenneth Rothaus MD
325 E 72nd StNew YorkNY10021US

Kenneth Rothaus MD

325 E. 72nd Street, New York, NY, 10021, US

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My general rule of thumb for breast implants placed under the muscle is that at 6 weeks my patients may return to all activities including upper body weight training. In certain situations this period of time may be increased or decreased by one week. In your particular situation I would let your body be your guide. If you are uncomfortable performing certain tasks I would delegate it to another worker.

Todd B. Koch MD, FACS
Todd B. Koch MD, FACS
6315 Sheridan DrBuffaloNY14221US

Todd B. Koch MD, FACS

6315 Sheridan Drive, Williamsville, NY,
14221, US

It really depends on your surgeon and the techniques used in your procedure. But most people can return to work at 6 weeks without restrictions. In my practice, primarily a submuscular practice, I allow my patients to start resuming activities as tolerated at 3 weeks post-op and to start slowly and work their way back to what they could do without thought or reservation. Ideally, you should have your surgeon's blessing and I'm sorry he doesn't seem interested in managing post-op issues and questions but he will be the one responsible for managing any post-op problems so you should clear it with him.

Curtis S. F. Wong MD
Curtis S. F. Wong MD
1950 Rosaline AveReddingCA96001US

Curtis S. F. Wong MD

1950 Rosaline Avenue, Suite F, Redding, CA,
96001, US

I typically tell patients that they can return to strenuous activity at 3 weeks post-op. The rate limiting factor is that whatever you try needs to feel comfortable. If not, then wait a few days and try again. I recommend that you check with your surgeon before you do anything strenuous.

Scott A. Greenberg MD, FACS
Scott A. Greenberg MD, FACS
1925 Mizell AveWinter ParkFL32792US

Scott A. Greenberg MD, FACS

1925 Mizell Avenue, Suite 303, Winter Park,
FL, 32792, US

Breast implants under the muscle should not hinder your ability to perform most tasks once your are healed in 6-8 weeks. Lighter activity can be resumed in as early as a week or two. It is a fact that since the surgery affects your muscles and the way they move, using your chest for strenuous activity may feel funny for a long time, even permanently. I warn my higher functioning active patients about this. We have a lot of patients that participate in triathlons, marathons, teach yoga or pilates, etc... Most are able to resume their activities but do report that their chest never quite “feels the same”. Listen to your body and make sure you don’t do anything painful and you should be ok. Ask for help if you need to. You can always use the cover story of a “hernia repair” if you don’t want your coworkers knowing that you had cosmetic surgery. Hope that helps!

Clark F Schierle MD, PhD
Clark F Schierle MD, PhD
676 N St Clair StChicagoIL60611US

Clark F Schierle MD, PhD

676 N Saint Clair St #1575, Chicago, IL,
60611, USA