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10 Tips For Optimal Recovery After Breast Lift Surgery

10 Tips For Optimal Recovery After Breast Lift Surgery

A breast lift, or mastopexy, is a cosmetic procedure to improve the appearance of breasts that are sagging due to age, weight fluctuation, or heredity. A breast lift allows women to enjoy a restored breast shape, providing a more youthful appearance. A breast lift may be performed in conjunction with breast augmentation, breast reduction, or as part of a mommy makeover. During breast lift surgery, the breast is tightened, and excess skin is removed to recontour the bustline. A breast lift may also reduce enlarged areola if desired. A board-certified plastic surgeon can create the bustline a woman desires, keeping scars as minimal as possible. After surgery, your recovery time and experience is in your hands. Discover 10 tips for an optimal recovery after breast lift surgery.

10 Tips For Optimal Healing After Breast Lift Surgery

Breast lift surgery recovery is unique to each individual and is affected by many factors including age, health, and the extent of your surgical procedure. You can take steps to improve your healing and to avoid complications. Here are some tips to help you have a smooth and timely recovery.

  1. POST-PROCEDURE: Follow your plastic surgeon’s advice regarding medications and self-care in order to have the most successful outcome possible. Be sure to take all your medications as they have been prescribed to you. This includes completing the full antibiotics regimen, if your surgeon has prescribed one. You may switch from the prescription pain medication to over-the-counter medications as your pain allows. However, you should avoid aspirin, and aspirin-like medications for at least 2 weeks.
  2. TIMELINE: Ideally, to help your body heal quickly, refrain from your full daily activities for 2 - 3 weeks. Your surgeon may advise you to avoid driving during this time. Avoid any strenuous activities during the first six weeks, such as pushing, pulling, or heavy lifting. This includes children, groceries, and pets! 
  3. AFTERCARE: In the case of a breast lift, ice is not the solution for pain and swelling. Avoid ice packs as they can decrease vital blood flow to your incisions. If you experience temporary numbness from the swelling, there is also a risk of frostbite to your sensitive skin. To soothe inflammation, apply a cold compress for a maximum of 20 minutes and wait at least 40 minutes between applications.
  4. SUTURE CARE: For proper healing, your sutures will require special care when bathing or dressing. You may need to take sponge baths for a few days to keep your incisions dry. In the initial weeks of recovery, avoid hot or steamy water, which can increase swelling. Take only moderately warm showers, especially since your chest area will be sensitive to extreme temperatures. Keep your incisions clean, dry and properly bandaged according to your plastic surgeon’s instructions. 
  5. RELAX: Initially, you should try to relax and avoid sudden movements. For the first week, much of your time should be spent in a reclining position, either in bed or seated. To reduce the risk of blood clots, intersperse your rest periods with short walks throughout the day. Even if you only feel up to walking around your living room.
  6. SLEEPING: Avoid sleeping on your stomach, or having any kind of added pressure on your chest. This can be achieved by propping yourself with a few pillows and by placing a pillow beneath your knees to keep you from rolling over in your sleep. Sleep in an elevated position to enhance blood circulation which is helpful in reducing pain and swelling.  
  7. CLOTHING: Your post-procedure wardrobe is an important consideration. Your surgeon will require you to wear a compression bra/ garment following surgery. This will accelerate the healing process, flush fluids from the body, improve blood flow, and provide comfort and support. You may also be advised to avoid wearing underwire bras for a period of time.
  8. SMOKING: Abstain from smoking for the first few weeks after surgery, as smoking reduces blood flow and can slow or complicate healing.
  9. NUTRITION: Eat well! Your body needs healthy food rich in minerals and vitamins to fuel the healing process. Reduce your salt intake and processed foods as they contribute to inflammation. Choose to eat leafy greens, eggs, berries, or yogurt to benefit from naturally occurring vitamins such as Vitamin K. Vitamin K is extremely helpful after surgery, as it creates various proteins needed for proper blood clotting.
  10. SUNSCREEN: In order for your scars to heal and fade, avoid too much exposure to the sun. Keep the area covered or use sunblock of at least 30 SPF once your incisions are healed. This should be continued for at least the first year after your procedure. Your surgeon may recommend specific creams that will assist in diminishing the appearance of scars. 

Is Breast Lift Surgery For You?

Breast lift surgery does not significantly change the size of your breasts or round out the upper part of your breast, although the results can appear quite natural. If you want your breasts to look fuller, consider combining a breast lift with breast augmentation surgery. Breast lift surgery can also be combined with a breast reduction surgery (mammoplasty), which is ideal for women with oversized breasts that can cause physical and emotional discomfort, and impair the ability to live a normal, active life. 

If you feel that your breasts have lost volume due to aging, weight loss, or pregnancy, a breast lift surgery can help restore fullness and symmetry to your body for a more aesthetically pleasing appearance. During a consultation, our plastic surgeons at Okanagan Health Surgical Centre in Kelowna, BC can discuss the procedure with you and assess your health, and goals to determine if this is the right surgery for you.  Call us at (250) 868-9799 or fill out the online contact form.


Q: How long is the recovery time from breast lift surgery?
A: In general, breast lift recovery is relatively short because skin and soft tissue are reshaped without muscle involvement. Every patient will have a different recovery experience based on their health and the success of the surgery. Recovery typically takes 6 weeks after breast lift surgery, at which point  you should see significant reduction in swelling. 

Q: What will I experience during recovery from a breast lift?
A: You will have to rest and avoid strenuous activities for at least 2 weeks before resuming daily tasks. You will also be unable to participate in any vigorous activities, and some fitness activities for at least 3 weeks after your procedure. Some patients experience minor pain, bruising, and swelling as well as some numbness around the areola, however it should decrease over several weeks. Your final result, with all swelling gone, may take up to 6 months or more to become apparent. 

Q: How long will breast lift surgery results last?
A: The results of mastopexy can last many years, however, if you are planning a pregnancy or dramatic weight loss, it’s best to discuss this with your plastic surgeon before undergoing the procedure, as it may alter your breast shape and cause further sagging.


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