Achieving Breast Lift Recovery
When you have any type of surgery—medical or cosmetic—how you take care of yourself after the procedure is just as important, if not more so, than the results of the surgery itself. Surgeons can do a lot to make you look and feel better, but they're not magicians. What happens after the surgery is entirely up to you.
In order to achieve full breast lift recovery, it's important that you take good care of your breasts after having a breast lift. Post-surgical care helps ensure complication-free healing, and helps maintain the results of the surgery. To not take care of your newly lifted breasts would be a waste of time and money, so it's important to make the effort to take proper care of yourself after the procedure, and always.
Breast Lift Healing ProcessIt's essential that you take good care of yourself during the healing process to avoid complications, and achieve optimal results.
You'll need to rest for the first two to four days following your breast lift surgery. Make sure you've arranged to take time off from work or school for this.
Avoid driving for at least a week following surgery.
If you experience pain or nausea during your breast lift recovery, take the medication your doctor prescribed. If the pain or nausea increases or doesn't subside, contact us.
Mild chest tightness, hardness, and slightly impaired breathing are normal for the first day or two, particularly if you had a breast lift with implants. However, contact us immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- sudden, severe, or long-lasting pain
- redness, bruising, bleeding, burning, or extreme swelling on or around your breasts
- any bleeding
- lumps in your breasts
- foul discharge around your incision sites
During your breast lift recovery, you may need to wear a surgical bra, compression garment, or sport bra for extra support. Do not take off this garment unless your surgeon instructs you to do so. Also, keep your post-surgical garment dry to avoid bacteria.
Apply topical antibiotics as recommend by your surgeon in order to prevent infection.
For the first couple of nights, sleep on your back with your upper body elevated to reduce swelling. During the day, you can sit up and walk, but try not to bend down or lie flat.
Your incisions should take about six weeks to heal, but it will be approximately three months before you see the final results. It will take that long for the scar tissue to stop forming, and the swelling to fully subside.
Neglecting proper aftercare can lead to breast lift risks and complications. Your doctor will provide you with detailed instructions for post-surgical care. Be sure you follow them carefully.
What Factors Can Affect Breast Lift Recovery?
How well and how quickly your breast lift recovery goes depends on several factors including, but not limited to:
- Whether you had just a breast lift, or a breast lift with implants
- The breast implant type you and your surgeon choose (silicone or saline)
- The breast implant size you and your surgeon choose
- The breast lift incision placement used during surgery
- The breast implant placement (submuscular or subglandular)
- Whether you have a reaction to the general anesthesia used to perform the procedure
- Your overall physical condition, age, and health prior to surgery
- Whether you've undergone any previous breast surgeries, such as a mastectomy or lumpectomy
- Whether you have another procedure performed simultaneously, such as liposuction
- Whether or not you smoke. Smoking restricts circulation, and can impede healing.
- How well you follow pre-operative and post-operative care instructions
How to Choose a Bra After a Breast Lift
By undergoing breast lift surgery, you're making a substantial change to your body. This will require some changes in how you perform daily activities, and will likely mean a change in bra type, and possibly size, especially if you've had a breast lift with implants.
For example, if you go from an A cup to a D cup, you'll definitely need a larger bra size, and a bra that offers more support.
Before you go bra shopping, you must take a few things into consideration:
- During your breast lift recovery, we highly recommend you not wear a bra with underwire. This may impede healing and create odd-looking depressions in your skin that could become permanent as scar tissue forms and your breast tissue heals. An underwire bra may even affect the position of your implants (if you get them), so avoid wearing one until you're completely healed, and your surgeon has given you the go-ahead.
- Some manufacturers make bras specially designed for women who have undergone breast augmentation. They may be difficult to find in regular stores, so you may need to check with specialty medical garment providers. You may also be able to find them more easily online.
- Remember that even after you're fully healed, you must choose bras for function over fashion. You should still be able to find colorful, pretty, lacy bras in your new size, but it's more important that your bras support your breasts to maintain your results, help delay breast ptosis (sagging) and avoid any complications.
How long after my breast lift recovery before I can start exercising and doing strenuous activities again?It's always best to consult your surgeon before attempting any difficult physical activity or exercise, particularly within the first month. Every woman’s recovery is different, but on average, you should be able to resume full activities within four to six weeks. While physical rest is best while your body heals, walking is recommended to encourage circulation. Remember to wear a sturdy support bra.
Can I tan during my breast lift recovery?Yes, but you must be careful. While sunbathing or visiting a tanning salon will not hurt your breasts, it may cause your scars to darken permanently, particularly if you tan during the first year after your surgery. If you must be out in the sun, take care to cover your scars to prevent this.
Also, if you had a breast lift with implants, and you do decide to tan, please note that your breast implants may become warm while tanning, and may take a little while to cool down. This is completely normal.
How far into my breast lift recovery can I fly?If you have a breast lift with implants, you should wait at least a week following surgery—after your first follow-up appointment with your surgeon—before flying.
If you decide to fly soon after your surgery, you may notice that the changes in pressure will cause your breast implants to slightly expand and/or contract. This is only temporary, and your implants should return to normal within 24 hours.
In addition, you must avoid lifting or carrying heavy luggage until you are fully healed, or you risk rupturing your implants.
How long do I have to wear a surgical bra during my breast lift recovery?For about three months following your surgery, especially if you have a breast lift with implants. This will allow scar tissue to fully form around the breast implant before you go back to wearing a regular bra.
Does smoking affect breast lift recovery?Yes. Smoking can be detrimental to your breast lift recovery, or any surgical recovery. Your body requires unrestricted blood flow in order to properly oxygenate the healing area. Smoking causes blood vessels to constrict, hindering blood flow and the healing process.
You should try to stop ingesting nicotine (including through a patch or gum) at least one month prior to your breast lift surgery. Your surgeon will let you know when you can resume smoking after your surgery, although we hope you'll consider quitting permanently to preserve your health.