BREAST LIFT RECOVERY
For those considering breast lift surgery, the recovery process is naturally a chief concern for many patients. Since women choose to undergo breast lift surgery for a variety of different reasons, each surgery is unique. Just as each procedure is unique to the patient, so too is the recovery process. Breast lift recovery time will be influenced by different factors including your:
- Skin Tone
- Breast size
- Hormone levels
In general, those who do their research before deciding to have breast lift surgery usually report the best outcomes. Selecting a highly qualified and experienced plastic surgeon is a crucial part of your research, as this aspect will have the greatest effect on your recovery process and outcome. Along with your surgeon’s choice, having a thorough understanding of the procedure, including what to expect with breast lift recovery, are the best ways to ensure you optimize post-op healing and get the results you desire.
Advanced preparation and knowledge will allow you to go into your breast lift procedure feeling comfortable and confident about what lies ahead.
As with most surgical procedures, the first 24 – 48 hours are typically the most challenging. Your breast lift recovery experience will be in the recovery area of Personique® as you wake up from sedation. Here you will be monitored closely and cared for by our nursing staff as you continue to become more alert. You will be released to go home after your nurse determines you are ready, typically a few hours after surgery. At this point, our staff will contact your family member or friend who will be transporting you back home.
Once home we recommend having a friend or family member stay with you for the first 24 hours after surgery to assist you, as you may still be groggy. You will be sent home with an elastic surgical bra designed to support the breasts while they heal and help minimize post-op swelling. Under this, a support bra with removable gauze pads and steri-strips covering your breast lift incisions. You may adjust the bra as needed for comfort during the first few days after your surgery. You will be able to remove it on the second postoperative day if you need to take a shower.
You will continue to wear a bra 24 hours a day for added support and comfort during the first few weeks of breast lift recovery. Depending on whether or not you had breast implants in addition to your breast lift procedure, you may also wear an elastic compression band which can also be removed when you shower. Your post-operative instructions will be specific to your individualized procedure.
Typically, stitches are removed after one week, but are usually absorbable and designed to dissolve on their own. Any discomfort or pain you feel after breast lift surgery is well tolerated by most patients. While recovery is different for every patient, most women can return to work a week after their breast lift procedure. It is recommended that any strenuous activity such as overhead lifting be avoided for at least 4 weeks following surgery. Light exercise can usually be resumed around one to three weeks following surgery depending on your doctor’s instructions. If breast augmentation was also performed, exercise restrictions may be for a longer period of time.
There are steps you can take to optimize and accelerate the recovery process after breast lift surgery. Listed below are a few tips that can help ensure your post-op healing goes as smoothly as possible.
- Take care of yourself and avoid subjecting your incisions to any excessive force or motion during the healing process.
- Elevate your torso by sleeping on your back in an inclined position. This will help to minimize swelling.
- Avoid smoking as this can interfere with healing and scar formation. If you are a smoker your surgeon must know this. You will need to refrain from smoking for at least 2 – 4 weeks before your breast lift surgery.
- Eat a healthy diet that is low in sodium. Vitamin K rich foods such as yogurt, eggs, and lettuce are known for helping with healing and swelling. It is important to avoid salt (sodium) during your recovery process as this can increase your swelling and may prolong your recovery.
You should also avoid drinking alcohol after your procedure, as alcohol dilates the blood vessels and could increase postoperative bleeding. Additionally, you should not drink alcohol until you have stopped taking your prescribed pain medication.