Aesthetic Surgery of Virginia: Enrique Silberblatt, MD
3505 Brambleton Avenue
Roanoke, VA 24018
Phone: (540) 776-1600
Monday–Friday: 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.

Swimming, Flying & Sleeping After Surgery: Answering Your Breast Augmentation Recovery Questions

woman exercising several weeks after breast augmentation

Breast augmentation, like any surgery, takes a physical toll on the body. If you recently had surgery, you may need a short break before bouncing back to your regular plans and activities. The breast augmentation patients at my Roanoke practice often ask questions about sleeping, exercising, and traveling after surgery. They want to know what to expect from the recovery process and when they can get “back to normal.”

Each plastic surgeon will customize their recovery advice depending on the patient’s needs. But here are a few general guidelines I recommend to patients who have just received breast implants


Sleep is a crucial part of healing after breast augmentation. Your body needs a good night’s rest to recover, so find a comfortable position on your back to reduce swelling. Use pillows and blankets to keep your body elevated, or try resting on a couch or in a recliner. Around 1 week after surgery, the swelling should subside and you can sleep flat on your back in bed. 

For side sleepers, try wedging a pillow on one side while you are on your back. If you are completely on your side, the side that is down may swell more than the other side. You can sleep on your side after around 2 weeks post-op, but avoid sleeping on your stomach until 6 to 8 weeks after surgery. Read our previous blog post to learn more tips about sleeping comfortably after breast augmentation


You can safely swim after breast augmentation around 3 to 4 weeks post-op. If you’re scheduling your procedure before swimsuit season, be sure to give yourself 1 full month of rest before your vacation. While you may feel ready to jump in the water a little bit earlier, it’s important to give your skin time to heal. After swimming, pat yourself dry so that your incisions don’t stay wet for long.

If you’re enjoying time out by the ocean or pool, you’re also probably spending time in the sun. Remember to protect your incisions with SPF 30 or greater to prevent your scars from darkening. 


The first 3 weeks after breast augmentation, try some easy movement to keep your blood flowing. A light walk around the block or on your treadmill can support your circulation and speed up the recovery process. For more intensive exercises—such as running or weightlifting—wait a full 6 weeks before returning. After the 6-week mark, you can safely resume your regular workout routine. 

For the majority of women, breast implants don’t impact their exercise plans or workout regimens. Bodybuilders may benefit from discussing their implant options with their doctor before surgery.


Luckily, flying isn’t a high-impact activity, and it doesn’t put much stress on the body. Women can fly after breast augmentation without any serious side effects or concerns. However, we recommend waiting at least 1 week after surgery before hopping on a plane. This delay is to prevent the possibility of unexpected complications happening while you’re mid-flight.

When flying after receiving breast implants, don’t lift or pull heavy luggage and keep your body as relaxed as possible. Have a copy of your surgeon’s post-op instructions on hand and bring along any necessary medications.

Browse our before-and-after gallery to see examples of real patient results. If you would like to learn more about breast augmentation with implants here in Roanoke, please request a consultation online or call (540) 776-1600.

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