Swimming, Flying, Sleeping After Surgery: All Your Breast Augmentation Questions Answered

Young woman sleeping after her breast augmentation procedure.

After your breast augmentation, you might be wondering when you can return to various everyday activities. I receive many questions about travel, exercise, and sleeping after breast augmentation from my Scottsdale-area patients. In order to create the best possible results, you need to take care of your body after surgery. Giving yourself proper time to heal is always worth the effort.

Most plastic surgeons have their own preferences and timelines for patient recovery, but a few general guidelines apply across the board. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the common activities patients ask about following breast augmentation surgery.


After breast augmentation surgery, be sure to sleep on your back to reduce swelling. You can also use pillows to keep your body elevated and sit up a bit higher in bed. These posture changes enhance circulation and keep you feeling as comfortable as possible.

If you’re not a natural back sleeper, you can “teach” yourself by placing pillows on either side of your body to prevent yourself from rolling over. You can also help support your legs by placing a small pillow or rolled-up towel underneath your knees.


You can safely get back in the water around 3 to 4 weeks after breast augmentation. Although many patients feel swimsuit ready a bit earlier, it’s important to give your skin tissue the proper time to heal and regain water resistance.

After swimming, pat yourself dry so that your incisions can avoid staying wet. Quickly change out of any damp clothes once you’re back on dry land. Only going waist-deep in the pool is also a great compromise, so you can enjoy time with friends and family without affecting your surgery results.


Easy movement, such as walking, is very beneficial to healing after breast augmentation. More intensive exercises—like running or weight lifting—should wait until the 6- to 8-week mark. Swimming laps or treading water should only be attempted about 2 months after the procedure.

Be sure to wear a supportive sports bra when engaging in any vigorous activity. This support helps reduce movement and allows you to feel more comfortable while working out.


Wait at least a week after breast augmentation surgery before flying so you don’t experience any unexpected complications while you’re mid-flight. Don’t lift or pull any heavy luggage either. You should keep your body as relaxed as possible during recovery, and flying can be an emotional and physical stressor.

When you are cleared to travel by air, take short walks up and down the plane aisles to encourage blood flow and prevent clotting. Have your surgeon’s phone number on hand, and be sure to follow any recovery instructions you’ve been provided.

Breast augmentation can create wonderful results if you let your body heal and recover at its natural pace. Browse our before-and-after gallery to see example photos from real patients. If you have any other questions about breast augmentation, feel free to request a consultation online or call (480) 466-7355 (Gilbert).

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