Do’s And Don’ts After Breast Surgery

By: Dr. Nicholas K. Howland


If you’ve decided to get breast augmentation surgery, it’s important to know what you can or can’t do during your recovery. Knowing what activities you can do and can’t do is essential to a quick and speedy recovery. Dr. Howland encourages patients to be well-informed about their specific surgery plan, which always involves certain restrictions and lifestyle changes during the recovery process and often includes the following topics.

Can I Have Sex After Breast Surgery?

Do have sex, but be careful. Only use positions that are comfortable to you and that don’t put too much impact on your upper body until you have reached six weeks from your breast surgery. Don’t forget to keep your breasts supported at all times, including during sex. Make sure to keep a few inches of distance between your chest and your partner’s. Light touches are acceptable, but your breasts will be sensitive as long as three weeks after your surgery. It’s also recommended to wear a compression bra while you and your partner are intimate.

Can I Go on Vacation After My Surgery?

If you choose to go somewhere that’s hot and sunny after breast surgery, make sure to protect your skin and specifically your incision sites from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Dr. Howland will instruct you on exactly when you can return to work and normal activities, and advise you on when it’s safe to fly on an airplane if a vacation is in the near future after your operation.

Don’t go into a pool if you go on vacation. You should also refrain from strenuous exercise and continue to wear your compression bra as recommended by Dr. Howland. Adequate support and gentle movement are critical to ensuring safe and natural-looking results.

When Can I Use Tanning Beds Again?

Do wait at least six to eight weeks after your surgery before tanning. Also, use sunscreen that’s at least SPF 30 and make sure to protect the entirety of your breasts, especially the incision site.

Don’t expose your scars if you go into a tanning bed. This can be a big mistake that leaves you with hyperpigmentation. Avoid going topless in the tanning bed until you are completely healed.

Can I Drink Alcohol After My Surgery?

Do follow the advice of Dr. Howland for when you’re allowed to drink after your breast surgery. While it can be tempting to get back to your normal lifestyle with friends and family, it’s important to put your health first and make sure you give yourself adequate rest for the weeks following your procedure so you can properly heal.

Don’t drink any alcohol for at least 48 hours after your surgery. You should also limit how much you drink a few weeks prior to your surgery as you want any and all medications you’re advised or prescribed to work properly and not be rendered ineffective.

When Can I Wear Normal Bras Again?

Do discuss this topic with Dr. Howland and have your breasts measured to check your new bra size once your implants have settled. Once you know your new cup size, you can begin bra shopping. Generally, you should wait at least six weeks before you switch to regular bras again.

Don’t underestimate your compression bra. It’s not sexy, but it works to keep your breasts in place as you heal, helping speed the recovery process as well as ensure your results are the most natural-looking they can be.

Can I Go Braless After My Surgery?

Do show off your new breasts once they’ve fully settled and healed, but be careful. You should avoid going braless before the six-week mark after your surgery. Dr. Howland requires patients to wear their compression bra for several weeks at all times except when bathing to aid the healing process.

Can I Exercise After My Surgery?

Do rest as much as possible and avoid exercise after your surgery. Usually, after about a week, you can do light activities like household chores and office work. Once you get to week six, you can perform light upper body exercises but should avoid getting too strenuous.

Don’t ignore your body after your surgery. Rest as much as you can and you’ll eventually bounce back. Over-exerting yourself too early in the recovery process can impede your breasts’ healing.

When Can I Bathe After My Surgery?

Dr. Howland will give you instructions for how to shower or bathe depending on your unique surgical plan. Usually, breast surgery patients can shower the day after surgery as long as they keep their incision sites dry and protected.

Don’t slip into a tub full of water. Full immersion in water will likely be prohibited for several weeks following your operation.

Learn More About Breast Surgery in Draper, UT

Although the recovery process can be lengthy, Dr. Howland’s breast augmentation and breast lift patients are always satisfied by their results upon fully healing. If you’re interested in breast enhancement surgery but are wary of the recovery time, you’re not alone. However, the process can be easier than you may think. Learn more about your options for breast surgery and what your unique plan will look like by scheduling a consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Nicholas Howland today! Call our Salt Lake City office or contact us online to get started.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.