Tell Me Tuesday: Running after a Breast Lift, Reduction, or Enlargement


A while ago, mother runner Kim emailed us with several questions: What are the effects of a breast lift on long- and short-term training? How long after the surgery can you start running again? How does running feel with the revised girls? The answers poured in from the tribe, not only with advice on running after a breast lift, but also on running after a reduction or enlargement.

Heidi mentions her friend, who had recently gotten a lift: "She started slowly running in about a month or so...but she had to be wrapped up and wore two bras. She loves her revised girls and wears Enell bras to keep them in check now. She said at first she felt like her center of gravity was off a bit, but after she adapted to that she was back to normal and running just as fast (if not faster) than she had been pre-surgery. So you'll likely be down for the short term...but for the long term you should be just fine. Just listen to your doctor and keep those girls sung when you run."

Michele adds, "After a month I was back to distance running, no problems at all...just be sure to get a good sports bra."

Shay recommends consulting with your physician: "Your doctor will tell you when it safe to get running again. I started walking right away and the running came in time."

RunnerGirl adds, "Expect about 3-4 weeks of no running. You need the scar areas to heal and close up so they don't get infected. If you run too soon, the sweat will get in there and cause infection. Once everything is closed up and you don't have pain, which isn't much anyway, you will be good to go." She also emphasizes the differences in healing time between a breast lift and breast reduction: "A lift is very different from a reduction. A true reduction is much more complicated, and will take longer to heal. A lift will have you running in 3-4 weeks."

Casey gives us a quick fix for balance changes: "I had a reduction and lift last Christmas. Went from a DD to a small C/large B. I took a good 8 weeks off from running, although started walking again at 4. I ran a half-marathon in April and never felt better. I noticed a shift in my center of balance, so I concentrated on thinking about how my body was moving through space."

Elizabeth comments healing time after a breast enlargement, "My girlfriend had an augmentation over Christmas break and she was back on the treadmill within a week. They made her wear a really restrictive sports bra anyway, so she had virtually no movement to start, and once the residual pain went away she was back into her normal routine."

Jennifer continues the conversation about enlargement: "I had an enhancement 2 years ago and was running again 2 months afterward. I'm not sure if the type—over vs. under the muscle—influences recovery. I did silicone over the muscle, so that might have sped up the recovery time." She agrees with the other mother runners about the need for a good, supportive sports bra. (Dimity regularly writes the sports bra review for Runner's World, and discovered Sturdy Girl Sports through it; the bras were originally designed for women with breast enhancements.)

Hollie adds, "I'm two years out from going bigger. This surgery is a much easier recovery than a reduction. If you are serious, find a good doctor and make an appointment as soon as possible, and ask many questions. Every surgery and doctor has different recovery requirements."  Don't be afraid to ask questions!

And of course, Clisty warns, "Don't sacrifice the outcome of the surgery just so you can get running again." It is always better to be safe than sorry.

Have you had a lift, reduction, or enlargement? How long did you wait before lacing up those running shoes again? Got any advice for mother runners considering this surgery?



30 responses to “Tell Me Tuesday: Running after a Breast Lift, Reduction, or Enlargement

  1. Your breasts will be swollen, sore and bruised after a breast lift. These symptoms typically improve within three to 10 days. You may experience a loss of sensation in your nipples and areolas (the darker skin around your nipples). This is usually temporary. While infrequent, permanent loss of sensation is a breast lift risk.

  2. Hi
    I’m a seasoned HM runner and am about to have a reduction on June 12th 2015. I’m going from an E to a B and I can’t wait! I’ve started blogging already and you can follow me at I’m trying to lose weight first, while battling with EIA and getting over an Achilles injury! It’s all going on for me!! My surgeon has said I’ll be back running after one week. We’ll see. Maybe it’s because I’m going so small and can strap those babies down tight!! Join me on my blog if you like and see how I get on.
    Best wishes

  3. I wish that I was just getting a breast lift, but I need a full reduction. I guess that means I won’t be running for some time. Running is my passion, but I will have to give it up forever if I don’t have this procedure. My back is going out because I am so front heavy.

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  9. opinie pożyczka Gorące, różnorodne, leciwe brzmiący sąd, kredyty chwilówki zabawaki który to jest adekwatny do niej wzrokową. Susan zatrzymał się z wykorzystaniem szeroko zamiatanie manewrów ramion a, także przesadne postawy. Obie panie najlepiej pomyślnie utworzone przeróbki. Pod warunkiem, że nie Ogromnej sprawy

  10. A but kate to tge game, but here’s my experience- I went from a full G to small C cup. I ran some pre-op but it wasn’t enjoyable. I was out of the game for over 3 months. Keep in mind that any ballpark figures people give you are only IF you don’t have any complications! Even with proper care and no running I was allergic to the surgery tape (used instead of stitches on the outer parts and ended up with an abscess. I also had one breast that totally lost feeling and the other was extremely heightened which made things more painful. My body also didn’t absorb the inner stitches well on the side with feeling so I had weeks of painful stitches being rejected to the skin that I would have to pull out. Not to mention the skin tuck I had to have removed 2 months post op. Even with the “short scar” option (meant to be the easier of two surgery routes) things can go wrong. HOWEVER 10 years later I’ve learned to love running and find it sooo much more enjoyable. Reductions are life changing! 🙂

  11. I am so glad you posted this question because I just went to see a surgeon about a reduction. I was wondering what the recovery time would be. Thanks for all who posted!

  12. I am 12 days post tummy tuck/breast lift. Drains and dressings are out, but sutures are still in, and are due to be removed on Friday. I can comfortably sit at the computer just this afternoon and have been on a TON of narcotic pain medicine. I was in really good shape before having surgery, and it is a very sobering experience to go from a very active person (running, strength training, Core training with TRX and kettlebell) to not being able to lift more than 5 lbs and not reaching above my head. My big accomplishment of the past few days after the dressings were removed was showering. I will not sacrifice the recovery process and start running too early. My surgeon is thinking 6-8 weeks for me to resume running.

    I am still really swollen and inflamed from the surgery itself and can’t imagine running anytime soon. The good part of this is that I will have had a true “down” time to reboot and completely rest my body so that when I do start the process of reconditioning, it should go well. However, I’d by lying if I said that watching my muscular definition and aerobic endurance capacity decline didn’t bother me. I’m interested to see how the rest of the journey unfolds and how everything will settle out after a full recovery.

  13. I am 3 weeks out from a breast reduction and abdominoplasty. I was a DDD (or F depending on the bra) before the reduction and will likely be a C when everything settles down. Taking into account the breast reduction recovery alone there is no way I could be running right now. I walk/hike like a mad woman, but the few jogging steps I have taken make it clear it is NOT time to run yet. And I have been running with breast pain for years and years — this pain is different and says “Pay attention — be careful.”

  14. Listen to your Dr,body, and use a good compression bra. I started running slowly again in June,two months post surgery,with expanders and began training for half that was to be held in in November. I went from an HH to a B. (When my hubby got to help choose my new size he told me to get a Runner’s Rack) Nineteen days after my final reconstruction (implants) I ran the San Antonio Rock and Roll Half but took it very easy. I chose not to run down hills because I felt it jarred too much. Running without “the girls” clapping for me has been a wonderful new experience.

  15. I had a reduction many moons ago……and before I was a runner. I am so very thankful for the relief! I can NOT imagine trying to run with my huge ol jugs! in fact, they were my biggest reason (pun somewhat intended) excuse to not exercise.

  16. I had breast reduction almost 20 years ago which was a bit different than now, required hospital stay etc. I remember walking a lot and taking several weeks if not months off from running. Being careful not to raise my arms above my head and wearing a supportive bra. My middle daughter had reduction this past summer on one breast. She had an extreme difference in size. She was running in 4 weeks, slowly and with a good supportive bra, always keeping a check on the incision sites. Every time we run together we praise our smaller bounce 🙂 I would have the surgery again without thinking twice, it has made such a difference in my running and my life!

  17. I ha an enlargement about 10 years ago, but wasn’t running much distance then due to problems with rheumatoid arthritis. I was out of the gym for a few weeks, but when the swelling went down, I could do everything just like before. I just wear Champion bras or the Skirt Sports try tops, both have great support. Allie, your times won’t be affected. I have gotten faster as I have gotten older and I don’t think my boobs hold me back from speed at all!

  18. I had a substantial reduction. On the advice of my doctor, I was out walking (very very slowly, keeping my arms strictly at my side) by about 10 days post-op. By 6 weeks, a brisk walk was totally comfortable. I did to a 5K at 6 weeks with some slow jogging, and that was a mistake. I reopened a tiny bit of one incision. But by 10 weeks I was starting my regular exercise regimen, with a super supportive sports bra, and was shocked by just how much better I felt without the oversized chest.

  19. I’ve recently had a augmentation so I was excited to see this article…problem is there’s nothing in it except a hug & a smile. Your Tuesday posts are normally spot on but this I think fell short of your normal informational spot. Of course sports bras, doctors will vary – mine said 3 weeks/no pain. As for the “don’t run until they heal or you’ll get an infection” only apples to the incision spot. You can’t get an infection from running & sweating while the capsule heals. Sorry to sound frustrated — medical advise should have references not folks opinions. Happy running mother runners

  20. This is great! Thanks to everyone who shared. I’d also like to know if your times were any slower with the enlargement!! That would be a big fear for me:-)

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