Looking your best at the beach, pool, or hot tub might be one of the reasons you decided on breast implant surgery in the first place. You absolutely will enjoy the benefits and confidence of looking your best both in the sand and at the health club!
However, swimming is one of the activities that will need to wait until your breast augmentation recovery is complete. Having breast implants won’t stop you from pursuing an active and healthy lifestyle, but timing is everything when returning to various types of exercise.
How should you care for your skin and body during the phases of healing, and when is it fine to go back in the water?
Swimming After Breast Enhancement Surgery
Swimming is not recommended soon after breast augmentation. There are a number of reasons to stay out of the water until your doctor approves swimming:
- Rest is best in the first few weeks following your surgery for whole-body healing.
- Water may be able to enter an incision which is not yet fully healed, especially when fully submerged.
- Reaching above your head and vigorous arm movements which are part of swimming can increase scarring or even open an incision soon after surgery.
You should wait for the all-clear from your surgeon because everyone heals at different rates, but expect it to be at least 3-4 weeks before your doctor gives the okay. Once you are cleared for swimming, towel off thoroughly afterward, especially your swimsuit top, or change into a dry top right away.
Sunbathing After Breast Implant Surgery
For those first three or four weeks, you can sit poolside or on the beach, but full sun exposure should wait. Consider these tips when catching some rays after your procedure:
- You can go into the water up to your waist to cool off at the beach.
- You can use moisturizer if your skin is dry after surgery, once healing has begun.
- You should keep your incisions out of direct sunlight for several months (up to 12), or until they are no longer raised or red.
- Always use sunscreen of at least SPF30 on your incision area once it is healed and ready for some sun.
- Avoid tanning beds or cover the area with clothing while using them.
Which Swimsuit to Wear with Breast Implants
There is a progression of fashion following your procedure. Starting with soft and supportive garments, you will move toward bikini mode soon enough. Following the advice of your trusted plastic surgeon, select bras and swimsuits with these guidelines in mind:
- To start with, you will want a soft post-surgical bra which helps with positioning and provides a place for absorbent gauze or liners while there might still be drainage.
- Depending on the type of implants, your doctor might tell you to wear a sports bra, an elastic bandage, or even to go without a bra in the early healing stages.
- When choosing swimsuits or bras after about four weeks, choose elastic and comfortable sports bra styles.
- Avoid underwires in all garments, and look for front closures and formed cups in swimsuit tops.
- Choose swimsuits that you can get into without raising your arms up over your head or tugging on your skin.
When Can I Swim After Breast Augmentation?
Swimming can range from lounging in the water to water polo or swimming laps. This means it can be either a gentle or vigorous activity. Because soaking in water is not recommended soon after plastic surgery, swimming must wait longer than other exercises.
After getting breast implants, there are other exercises you need to avoid entirely and some, like swimming, which can be phased in during the healing process. While following your specific recommendations, listen to your body after the procedure. If a particular activity causes pain or swelling, wait a few more weeks before trying it again.
Early exercise should focus on relaxing and loosening chest or abdomen muscles and maintaining range of motion. Avoid raising your arms over your head for at least two weeks after breast implant surgery, and be careful of your balance, as your center of gravity may be slightly changed.
Activity Level Guidelines During Breast Augmentation Recovery
Everyone’s recovery rate is different, and while larger implants do not mean a longer recovery time, breast reconstructive surgery may be more complex and require more time to heal. It is always a good idea to check with your plastic surgeon for your personalized timeline, but these guidelines will help you know what to expect.
The Day of Your Procedure
When the anesthesia has lifted, you will head home. Plan for someone to drive you home and to help around the house for the first few days.
- Walking. As soon as you feel able, a very short walk around your home will improve circulation and help prevent blood clots or constipation. Try to get up and move around every 2 hours, until it’s time for bed.
24-48 Hours After Breast Implant Surgery
For 24-48 hours after all types of breast augmentation procedures, you should restrict arm movement. This means you should not drive a car. You might need help cooking or getting dressed and should wear loose clothes that button or zip up the front.
- Walking. Continue with getting up and walking every two hours or so. Keep walks short and don’t move too fast. Your balance may have changed and you might be unsteady.
- Light Household Activity. You can prepare a snack and manage some things for yourself, but you will most likely still need help around the house.
2-10 Days After Your Procedure
After 48 hours you should be able to drive, as long as you no longer need strong pain medications. As you return to gentle activity, do not lift anything that weighs more than five pounds. Keep all activity very light and stop if you feel tired.
- Displacement exercises. These are massage techniques you can do yourself to aid the healing process and provide the most natural results.
- Showering. You may resume showering if your doctor approves, but avoid soaking in a tub, pool, or water in general. Dry yourself very well after showering. No swimming yet!
10 Days to 3 Weeks After Breast Implants
During this time more activities are phased in. You should be feeling well and recovering enough to resume light chores, and you might be able to return to work if your duties are not strenuous.
- Lower body exercise. You can begin using exercise equipment that only works the lower parts of your body. Leg lifts and stretches can help you get moving again.
- Gentle cardio walking. Using a treadmill or walking uphill, you can begin to increase your exercise level while avoiding jogging, aerobics, swimming, or any heavy lifting.
4-8 Weeks After a Breast Lift or Augmentation
With your surgeon’s approval, you should be ready to step gently into the pool at this point. With the gentle exercises of the last phase having prepared you for more vigorous activity, you can resume most of your normal activities during this phase.
- Swimming and soaking. You can resume enjoying warm baths, hot tubs, pools, whirlpools, and swimming at the beach now. Work your way back up to swimming laps or water aerobics.
- Housework, yard work, and employment. While perhaps not as fun as swimming, you can resume doing these activities while listening to your body and consulting with your doctor about any discomfort.
- Upper body exercise. You can begin doing upper body exercises to tone your arms and chest while still waiting to do running or heavy weight lifting.
Several Months After a Breast Enhancement
There are some exercises that should wait until you are fully recovered, your results have fully “settled” and you are ready to work on fine-tuning your amazing new curves. After 2-6 months, you can return to almost any activity you enjoy or want to explore.
- Volleyball, tennis, racketball. High-intensity sports like these are back on the table now, assuming you have had your follow-up appointments and your doctor’s all clear.
- Running, aerobics, intense cardio. For all exercise activities that involve bouncing, be sure to wear the right supportive sports bra and gear.
- Heavy lifting. At this point, you can go back to carrying your own heavy groceries from the car, although you don’t necessarily need to advertise this fact. If you lift weights, talk to your doctor before resuming upper-body weight training.
Follow-Up Care After Breast Augmentation in Houston
When you have your breast implant surgery with Dr. Schusterman and his team in Houston, they will guide you through your options, each stage of recovery and help you achieve and maintain the results you have always wanted through attentive follow-up care. As a board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Schusterman specializes in augmentation, reconstruction, and breast lift procedures.
There’s no reason to wait for the shape and body you dream of. Jump right in and schedule a consultation with the Texas Center for Breast and Body to find out just how easy and transformative it is to choose positive change for yourself while making a stunning new splash at the pool.