There’s a lot to consider when you’re preparing to have top surgery. For many people, asking the question, “When can I work out after top surgery” is a top priority.
It’s important to remember that after any surgical procedure, your body needs to rest and recover. So, it’s a bad idea to rush back to your regular exercise routine.
When Can I Work Out After Top Surgery?
As a rule, it’s wise to give yourself at least three weeks before you return to very light cardio exercises. If this feels fine for you, then you can slowly increase the intensity over time. When it comes to exercising with weights, it’s sensible to wait between five and six weeks before you get back to it. Again, always start light and progress the weights when your body feels ready.
What is Top Surgery?
Let’s just quickly define what we mean by top surgery – although you’ll surely already know this if you’ve landed on this page!
This type of surgery — also referred to as a subcutaneous mastectomy — is used to flatten the chest. It is typically a route that trans-masculine people take in order to align their gender identity with their gender presentation.
Top Surgery for Non-Binary People
It’s important to know that whether you identify as a binary trans person or a non-binary person/trans person, you can still have top surgery and get the result you desire. The key is to talk to a range of surgical providers to make sure they’re going to be able to create the chest that you want .
Exercising After Top Surgery
Now that we’ve got some basic info out of the way, let’s dive straight into talking about the best exercises for post-top-surgery workouts.
Remember, you should wait at least five to six weeks before you even think about picking up a dumbbell!
After you’ve had top surgery, you’ll likely be excited to start focusing on your chest muscles. So, the following exercises are going to help you do just that! With that said, it’s essential for overall progress that you don’t neglect other muscle groups, so do try to mix things up – and yes, I’m sorry, that does include leg day.
Push-Ups are among the simplest but most effective exercises to build the muscles in the chest.
Not only are they great for your chest, but variations of this exercise can also help to build your shoulders, triceps, back and core.
Click here for a simple demonstration of how to do a Push-Up.
If you’re asking, “how long after top surgery can I do Push-Ups?” (because there are no actual weights required) then five to six weeks is still the answer.
2. Dumbbell Chest Press
The Dumbbell Chest Press is another simple move that can really go a long way to building the muscles in your chest.
A key thing to keep in mind with this exercise is that you’ll need to vary the angle at which you do it. So incorporate the Flat Dumbbell Chest Press into your routine alongside the Incline Dumbbell Chest Press. It’s also fantastic if you can progress to the Decline Dumbbell Chest Press when you’re feeling confident.
Make sure you start light and follow each technique closely to avoid injury. Personally, I prefer to do the flat variation of this exercise on the floor instead of on a bench, as I feel that my shoulders have more support this way.
3. Chest Dips
You’ll likely need to be in a gym to do this exercise, but it’s well worth getting a membership and adding them to your routine.
Chest Dips are great for a bigger, stronger chest but will also activate the shoulders, triceps and core.
Click here for a Chest Dip demonstration.
Building Your Chest After Surgery
If you’ve recently had surgery and you’re ready to get back to working out, then a custom workout plan might be the best route for you. Feel free to reach out to me to talk about it!
It’s natural to have questions about top surgery itself as well as the best way to exercise pre and post-surgery. Hopefully, you’ll find what you’re looking for in the following FAQ section. If not, then be sure to connect with me and share your question so I can include it in this article!
How much does top surgery cost?
Top surgery prices vary from country to country. This procedure has definitely become more expensive across the globe in the last few years.
In the United Kingdom, you can typically expect to pay between six and seven thousand pounds (£6000 – £7000). For people who live in the UK, it is possible to have top surgery for free through the National Health Service (NHS) but the waiting list is incredibly long.
In the United States, the price scale is much wider and you could pay anywhere between five and ten thousand dollars ($5000 – $10,000).
In Thailand, it’s possible to have this surgery for around £4000 / $5000 – although the price will vary from surgeon to surgeon.
It’s also possible to travel to other places to have top surgery for less money, such as Mexico, Turkey, Poland and the Philippines.
If you are thinking of travelling abroad to have surgery, then please do your research thoroughly and, if possible, speak to someone who has already visited the clinic you have in mind.
Can you have top surgery without taking testosterone?
Yes! I know this from personal experience as I had top surgery without taking testosterone. The majority of surgeons will not require you to be on hormones first.
However, some people may feel as though the benefits of testosterone in relation to muscle growth may be beneficial for the surgical outcome.
When can you get top surgery?
This surgery is typically available to most adults. However, you’ll likely have to jump through certain hoops in order to be classed as eligible. This is especially the case if you live in the UK and are waiting for surgery on the NHS.
If you are willing and able to travel abroad, then you can pretty much have this surgery whenever you want.
What is the surgery recovery like?
This totally varies from person to person. Some people might find that it takes several weeks for energy levels and mobility to return, whereas others will start to feel better within days. Personally, I spent about a week in bed dosed up on painkillers before I felt able to resume some normal activities.
Who are the best surgeons for top surgery?
There are an increasing number of fantastic surgeons offering this procedure.
Can top surgery be reversed?
This is a permanent procedure and one that cannot be reversed. However, it’s highly unlikely and incredibly rare that a person would want to reverse this surgery.
Does working out help top surgery results?
Depending on your goals, working out could help your results from top surgery, but only when it comes to the appearance of your chest. This is because beginning to build the muscle in your chest before your surgery is arguably beneficial to the aesthetic outcome.
However, exercising is absolutely not essential and there’s no reason to prepare yourself for surgery in this way.