It’s common to gain a small amount of weight (up to 5 pounds) immediately after breast augmentation. A small percentage of this is due to the weight of the implants. However, your breast implants rarely weigh more than 1-2 pounds, so the rest of this weight gain is due to other factors associated with your surgery. The good news is that this weight gain is typically temporary and should resolve within a few months as you heal and resume a normal routine.
Common Reasons Why You May Gain Weight after Breast Augmentation
There are several factors that can cause you to experience a modest increase in your weight after breast augmentation:
- Fluid retention – The stress associated with a major surgical procedure, along with many of the medications prescribed during your initial recovery, may cause your body to retain fluid. This excess fluid can account for most of the weight you gain after breast augmentation.
While most of this fluid retention will resolve on its own within a few months as your body heals, there are a few things you can do to speed up the process. Dr. Lee can prescribe a mild diuretic if necessary. In addition, drinking lots of water will help your body release the fluids being retained in your tissues.
- Swelling – It’s common to experience some swelling in your breasts after the implants are placed, and this can result in a small change in your weight. Fortunately, you’ll easily lose this extra pound or two as the swelling subsides. Icing the surgical area can help minimize swelling, which can also reduce the associated weight gain.
- Lack of exercise – You’ll need to let your body heal before you can resume exercising. While everyone recovers at a different pace, you should expect that you’ll need to refrain from strenuous exercise for about 4-6 weeks after breast augmentation.
If you’re typically a very active person, this downtime can potentially cause you to gain weight. The good news is that you’ll be back to your normal exercise routine before you know it. Once this happens, you should be able to shed those extra pounds pretty easily.
Nutrition Tips for Minimizing Weight after Breast Augmentation
Eating a healthy diet while you recover from breast augmentation is crucial for two reasons:
- It will provide your body with the nutrients it needs to heal
- It will help you minimize the weight you gain
You need to get a lot of rest during the first week of recovery, and you’ll remain fairly sedentary for several weeks until Dr. Lee clears you to resume exercising. Therefore, your body will require fewer calories during this time period. If you don’t reduce your average caloric intake, you will gain some weight during the first few weeks of recovery.
Keep the following nutrition tips in mind during your recovery after breast augmentation:
- Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean protein will provide your body with the nutrients you need to heal
- Choose low-fat dairy products to minimize weight gain
- Avoid foods that are high in saturated fat and trans fats
- Avoid processed foods, fast food and high calorie snacks
Resuming Exercise after Breast Augmentation
Once Dr. Lee clears you to resume exercising, this should be your primary way to lose any additional weight that hasn’t gone away on its own. It’s important to follow Dr. Lee’s instructions carefully regarding when it is safe to resume specific activities. In addition, you should always listen to your body and avoid pushing yourself too hard before you are ready.
Cardio exercises can typically be resumed first. Start with low-impact activities such as walking or cycling and slowly build up to more strenuous exercises such as running or swimming. If possible, shoot for five 30-minute cardio sessions per week at first.
It will take a little longer before you can add strength training exercises back into your routine. Once it is safe to do so, start with light weights, and stick to working out your lower body. Exercises such as crunches, lunges, squats and leg weights will help you build muscle, burn calories and lose weight. Keep in mind that you will need to wait a little longer before working out your arms and your chest. Ask Dr. Lee when you can incorporate these exercises back into your routine.
Contact our Newport Beach Breast Surgeon
Please contact Dr. Richard Lee using the form on this page or call 949-548-9312 today to schedule your complimentary breast augmentation consultation. We serve patients in Newport Beach, Irvine, Santa Ana and throughout Orange County, California.