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Exercise After Surgery: Why You Should Wait

Posted on May 1, 2015 by: Dr. Rocheford

Exercise After Surgery: Why You Should WaitWhen you’ve had plastic surgery, you may be eager to show off your results to the rest of the world. Whether you’ve had liposuction or a breast augmentation, you’re ready to get out there and start enjoying your life again – but with your brand-new body!

If resuming your normal lifestyle involves exercise, don’t put on those sneakers just yet. No matter how eager you might be to get back on the treadmill or start lifting weights again, it’s important to take exercise extremely slow during your recovery period. If you rush to start working up a sweat again, you may find that you’re actually compromising the results of your surgery.

Wondering how your procedure will affect your healthy habits? Here are a few exercise recommendations based on different types of cosmetic procedures:

Liposuction: It’s important to remain sedentary in the first few weeks after your procedure. Exercising too soon can increase swelling, delay healing & compromise final contour. During these few weeks, you’ll wear a compression garment and experience some pain, peaking around day three after surgery, but slowly subsiding after that. Typically you’ll want to wait at least two to four weeks to start exercising. If your job requires heavy lifting you’ll want to wait two to three weeks to return to work, but many can return to work within 5-14 days.

Facelift: You avoid strenuous exercise for the first two to three weeks after a facelift. Exercise or strenuous work (even housework) can compromise the results of your facelift, as your face needs time to adjust to its new shape. You can return to work within seven days or surgery, however you may want to hold off longer to let any swelling and bruising subside.

Breast Augmentation: If you’ve undergone a breast augmentation surgery, it’s important to avoid strenuous exercise for the first two to four weeks after your procedure. It’s also recommended that you refrain from heavy lifting, as this could compromise your results. Repetitive upper arm activities such as vacuuming, sweeping, or mopping can lead to implant malposition. You’re safe to return to work between 3-10 days after surgery, depending on the placement of the implant.

Once you get the green light to exercise again, don’t just jump back into it. Instead, ease yourself into a new healthy routine with walks, light lifting, and gentle jogs. You’ll be back to your old self soon enough – just with a younger-looking face, slimmer body, or shapely breasts!

Remember that everyone is unique, which is why you should speak with a trusted board-certified plastic surgeon about your surgical risks, expectations, and recovery times. Want to learn more? Schedule a consultation with Dr. Heather Rocheford at Rocheford Plastic Surgery in Woodbury, Minnesota (also serving the greater St. Paul/Minneapolis areas).

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