Exercise Expectations 12 months Post Surgery with Implant

Hi All

I am 12 months Post mastectomy with saline implant, 3 lymph nodes removed, no chemo or radio, now on tamoxifen. I have taken a year to improve my fitness, nothing like it was pre-op but it’s a work in progress!  I do a minimum of 4 classes a week, generally, circuits, kettlebell, spin & hiit. My instructor has been a great help, keeping an eye on me and giving me alternative exercises. 


I’ve taken months to slowly increase my weights but after getting a bit too enthusiastic with the press ups this week my implant has gone a bit odd and the surrounding skin & muscle is very tender & achy. I know this is a sign I need to tone it down a bit but I wonder if anyone has any similar experience with implants .  


Will I always be limited in what I can do ?




Hi Minniemoocher,

I am sorry to hear you have experienced some discomfort whilst exercising and I am sure some 

of our users will be along to share their experiences and show their support soon. 

In the meantime you can always use our Ask the Nurse service or call our helpline on 0808 800 6000, who will be able to talk you through any questions you have and offer a friendly ear. The opening hours are below:

Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm
Late opening Wednesday 9am-7pm
Saturday, 9am-1pm

Best wishes, 


Hi cath, I had mx with saline implant Sep 14. I returned to yoga 5/6 times a week about 6 weeks post op and continued throughout chemo and rads. I suffered an infection so had the implant removed Dec 14, expander put in May 15. Eventually final implant in March 15.

I continued doing yoga throughout and combat when my fatigue allowed. I was told to take a 2 month break after my final op to let the pecs settle.

I have found despite being fit and strong before treatment and doing what I could during and after, I am not as strong or flexible anymore.

My surgeon had to tie down the pecs and put the implant over the top instead of under because the muscle was strong and kept bulging up under my collar bone.

I find press ups nearly impossible now. You may have strained the pec, it will have scar tissue from your op which is not as strong or flexible as normal and depending whether your implant is on top or underneath the muscle may be apply pressure on it.

Take it easy for a few weeks and see if there is a specialist physio at your hospital. I saw a very good one who showed me how to massage the pecs and cording.

Hi Cath sorry to hear you are having trouble with your implant.  I cant help re the implant, but I can commiserate with you, having developed shoulder & elbow issues from exercising. I had a bad reaction to first FEC & 15 hours of vomiting later had lost 12 lbs. I’m being told that’s partly to blame, but mainly chemo has affected muscle tone. The BCN just said ‘do as much exercise as you are able fatigue wise’, nothing about rebuilding muscles, so I launched myself back into everything. Now I have got painful, clicking joints.  I’m 12 months post chemo & 3 months after Herceptin & hoped to be back to normal now. Guess I’m just posting this to warn others that if you lose a lot of weight or your muscle tone goes, be really careful about just starting full on classes/tennis.  I actually exercised throughout chemo& did all the post op shoulder stuff, so I feel a bit ripped off at this latest complication when I am approaching the second anniversary of diagnosis.  When they say this is a long road, they weren’t kidding were they!?! All the best & hope your issues clear up soon. xx