exercise after breast surgery

Breast surgery is a major procedure, and as such patients need to give their bodies plenty of time to rest and recover. However, according to a new clinical trial, women who exercise soon after the procedure tend to be happier with their overall results.

So, is it safe to start exercising quickly after undergoing breast surgery? Here we will look at what the latest clinical study found, and the general advice given to patients after the procedure.

The latest trial into exercise after breast surgery

The clinical trial, which was published in January’s Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery journal, discovered that women who began exercising after one week off didn’t suffer any additional complications. They were also happier with their results than those who waited the standard length of time.

The trial involved 225 women split into groups. One group followed the current guidance on returning to exercise, while the other followed a supervised program. The women who exercised either did aerobic or strength exercises over a period of 12 weeks. Meanwhile, the women who didn’t exercise were told to rest for 12 weeks.

After a year, the researchers analysed the rates of complication in both groups. Patients were also asked to fill in a BREAST-Q questionnaire in order to determine their overall satisfaction in terms of results. A total of 75 patients in both groups filled out this questionnaire.

Results showed that those in the non-exercise group had a 7.5% complication rate. Women in the exercise group on the other hand, had a reduced complication rate of 6.9%. The complications reported were minor, and no patient needed to undergo a revision surgery within 12 months.

Satisfaction results revealed the average score in the exercise group was 88, while in the non-exercise group it dropped to 66.

General rest and recovery guidelines

Currently, rest and recovery guidelines state that you should rest for a period of two to four weeks after breast surgery. There has been concern over the risk of complications from not giving the body plenty of time to heal.

While the clinical trial suggests women don’t need to rest as long as is currently recommended, each patient is different. Those who undergo a fat grafting procedure should still rest for up to four weeks in line with the advice provided by their surgeon.

Always follow your surgeon’s advice

While the results of the new study do highlight the benefits exercise could deliver during recovery, patients should always speak to their surgeon beforehand. The advice given to you will be tailored to your own specific needs.

If you are wondering how quickly you can get back to exercise after breast surgery, book a consultation with Mr Horlock today.