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When can I return to work (or school) after breast augmentation?

It depends on your job and how much physical activity and lifting you do.

Most of Dr Feldman's patients return to basic office tasks and intellectual work 3-5 days after augmentation. For patients who don't lift anything more than 2-3lbs and don't have jobs involving other physical activity, Dr Feldman discourages more than a week off, as you will likely get bored at home and get yourself into trouble anyhow.

The first 3-5 days are when you would benefit from adult assistance as you will be relaxing, taking pain medication, napping and just not doing much, allowing your body to heal and focusing on your recovery and nothing else. Binge watching a new show or catching up on movies would be a great plan.

If you work an office job on weekdays, Dr Feldman would recommend surgery on a Thursday and see you first thing Monday AM for postop, with likely return to work Tuesday. If you work weekends, a Tuesday surgery would be ideal with postop check Friday AM.

If you have a job that involves lifting it's best to discuss specific circumstances with Dr. Feldman and Jeannette before booking surgery. The lifting restrictions are 2lbs for 2 weeks, 10lbs for weeks 2-8, 20lbs from week 8-12 and increasing from after 12 weeks.

Specific jobs

It would be best to take at least 2 weeks off, and then split tips with coworkers upon return to motivate them to assist with lifting. At 2 weeks you can lift a bottle of liquor, a couple bottles of beer, and gingerly reach into cooler or shake drinks at waist level, but you cannot move a 5 gallon bucket of ice, a case of beer/liquor or keg for 3 months minimum. Moving that much weight before 3 months is a disaster!

I encourage waitresses to take 2 weeks off. When you do return after two weeks, do NOT work the busiest shifts or doubles. Remember your new boobs are not healed and you will mess up a $5000+ investment. Once they're healed, after 3 months, you will work the prime shifts, get preferred seating areas and make more money in tips. Upon return to work after two weeks I encourage waitresses to ask their boss if they can hostess for an additional 2 weeks. Carrying a menu will never jeopardize your result. You will obviously make less money as a hostess, but you're protecting your new investment and fixing them, if you overdo it, is hard and costs more money. If that's not possible, and you just take the order and do not deliver food/drinks or buss the table that should be fine at two weeks. If you do deliver the drinks/food, you can carry a single plate or one drink in each hand with elbows at your side at two weeks as well. You may increase to a small tray or two plates at 8 weeks. I do not allow you to carry a large tray overhead for at least 12 weeks. Lastly, I recommend wearing a well fitting, extremely, supportive bra at work, which can be tricky depending upon type of uniform/establishment, but is essential in maintaining your result. Listen to your body if you're tighter, more swollen or more sore you're doing too much!

It would be best to take at least 2 weeks off. Switching to bartending or waitressing for 6 additional weeks would be your safest bet. You will make less money in the short term, but remember your results are both a personal AND business investment, and no one will want to pay to see them if you mess them up. Once they're fully healed, after 3 months, if you behaved yourself, and took good care of them they will look amazing and you will work half as hard and make twice as much! If you don't have the option of waitressing, then tip the DJ and do NOT dance on stage and absolutely NO pole work for 3 months. Spend the first 3 months socializing with the clients, using your other assets, protecting your new investment. It would also be worthwhile to modify your work attire to include supportive bra or corsets for maximum support to improve longevity and durability of your result and investment. Listen to your body if you're tighter, more swollen or more sore you're doing too much. You have the most to lose by jeopardizing your result as they must as look good topless as they do in clothes.

Charting, vitals and distributing medication will be below the 2-3 lbs and is possible a week after surgery. A 1L bag of IV fluid is 2.2lbs. However, moving, rolling, cleaning or transporting patients is a disaster during the first 3 months, as is CPR. Every code needs a recorder. Writing down medication admin times/dosages or pushing meds during a code should not affect your results, but performing CPR is contraindicated for 3 months. Make sure your charge nurse knows your role during codes after your surgery, and motivate coworkers, techs, assistants with Starbucks or kolaches to perform all lifting duties.

I always caution teachers about doing it at end of summer break, right before the start of a new year, and setting up their classroom as that is too much lifting and arm use for the first few weeks of healing. For teachers, the first Tuesday of your break, if two weeks, or Thursday before a single week off would be ideal!

Fitness instructor
Demonstrating exercises for a few reps with 2-3lbs weights may be possible after 2 weeks, but moderate impact cardio instructing, like step-aerobics, or Zumba cannot be done until 8 weeks. High impact activity like CrossFit, body weight bearing yoga/Pilates poses or spotting clients with heavier weights is not advisable for a minimum of 3 months.

No backpacks, or heavy laptops/books for 2 weeks. Your should not expect to spend your recovery studying or catching up on coursework as you should be focused on relaxation and healing as well as taking medication.