The excitement of achieving a new look can be overshadowed by some unexpected aftereffects regarding breast lift surgery.
But you don’t have to be caught unaware — and you can have a hand in your recovery.
With a better understanding of the process, your healing period could be easier than you think. Here’s what you need to know about breast lift recovery times, aftercare, and more.
Table of Contents
What Is Breast Lift Surgery?
Breast lift surgery tightens tissues and removes (excises) excess skin to “lift” and reshape the breast. While no volume can be added through breast lift surgery alone, lifting the breast to a higher position on the chest can give a more youthful and pleasing shape to the upper body.
What Happens During Breast Lift Surgery?
To better understand your recovery, knowing the steps for your upcoming breast lift surgery is essential.
Here’s what a typical breast lift procedure entails:
- You will have an initial consultation with your board-certified plastic surgeon. They will examine you, may order laboratory tests, and will discuss your surgical options.
- On the day of your surgery, you will arrive at the hospital or facility and review your surgical plan with your plastic surgeon. You will receive anesthesia to “sleep” painlessly through your surgery.
- Your plastic surgeon will create incisions, usually around your areola and down the lower pole of the breast, and will tighten internal tissues and trim excess skin. He or she will then reposition your nipple-areolar complex to a higher, more central position on the breast.
- The incision is closed, and bandages are applied.
Breast lift surgery is an outpatient procedure, and you can return home after a brief stay in a recovery area.
Your Recovery Timeline
Immediately After Breast Lift Surgery
- You will experience some bruising and swelling immediately after your surgery.
- You may have drains in your incision sites to rid the body of excess fluid build-up. You will be provided with instructions on how to monitor and empty your drains and on what activities to avoid.
- You will be wrapped in a special compression bra that will be worn around the clock (except for showering).
- You may go home with certain medications or with prescriptions to pick up.
First Week After Breast Lift Surgery
- You will continue to notice bruising, swelling, and discomfort during this time.
- Your skin may feel tight. DO NOT attempt to lift objects or lift your arms above shoulder level.
- Your drains will be removed during the first week. DO NOT touch or manipulate your drains more than instructed.
- While you need to avoid exercise, ensure you get up frequently for short, leisurely walks to promote blood circulation. This should start the night of or the day after your surgery.
Two Weeks After Breast Lift Surgery
- You may begin to feel a bit more like “yourself” again.
- Depending on your job, you will likely be cleared to resume work.
- You should increase the speed and length of your walks but avoid strenuous exercise or sexual activity.
- Avoid lifting objects heavier than five pounds until your doctor says you are ready.
Four to Six Weeks After Breast Lift Surgery
- You may be ready for more vigorous activity like light exercise and sex. Be cautious about upper body workouts.
- Your bruising should be gone, but some swelling may remain.
Eight Weeks After Breast Lift Surgery
- You should be back to all your regular activities.
- You should be able to wear your regular bra again.
Three Months After Breast Lift Surgery
- You should easily be performing all your regular activities.
- All residual swelling should be gone, and your breasts’ final shape will have emerged at this time.
When to Call Your Doctor
The above timeline is an estimate. Every woman’s recovery from breast lift surgery will be different.
The first two weeks of your recovery are the most critical. Call your doctor if any of the following occur:
- You have a temperature.
- You feel excessively nauseated (seek immediate medical attention if you are vomiting).
- Your breasts feel hot to the touch.
- You notice pus coming from your drains.
- You feel lumps on your breasts, especially if they feel hot.
- You feel dizzy.
- Your recovery has been going well, but you suddenly feel excessively ill, or your pain suddenly increases.
Follow Your Doctor’s Orders
Your board-certified plastic surgeon has created a plan that’s right for you. Even if you have a friend or relative who had breast lift surgery, their recovery might not be like yours, and your instructions might differ. DO NOT follow anyone else’s recovery plan; you risk setbacks and a slower recovery.
At the same time, if everything does not seem to be going exactly to plan, don’t panic. Call your doctor and ask them to advise you on what to do next.
By following your personalized recovery plan, you have the best chance of loving your results — and recovering without a hitch so you can enjoy your shapely new results sooner.