Breast Lift Recovery
Patients who are about to undergo surgery are rightfully concerned about the breast lift recovery period. Most patients will heal quickly enough to resume normal activities after surgery if they follow instructions provided for post-op care. You will be required to rest for a few days following surgery. You will be able to be up and moving around after surgery. However, you will be instructed to refrain from any strenuous activity or from lifting heavy objects for three to four weeks following your surgery. It is important that you closely follow your doctor’s instructions regarding the healing process. Failure to do so can increase the risk of complications and other health issues. Following instructions will also allow you to resume your normal activities within a reasonable amount of time after recovery.
You should be prepared to rest for one week following your surgery. This will give your body time to heal and gain energy. You may also notice that your breasts do not appear exactly as you had anticipated. Asymmetry may be very noticeable. You will also have some bruising and swelling. After a few weeks, the bruising and swelling will dissipate and your breasts will settle into their newly lifted position.
You may also experience minor discomfort and nausea. Your doctor will prescribe pain medication to make recovery more comfortable and to allow you to rest. You must get adequate rest during your recovery period in order to counter these effects of your surgery.
Since breast lift surgery is a delicate surgery, you should expect to make several follow up visits to your doctor during the month after your surgery. He or she may apply dissolvable sutures directly beneath the skin to give support and reduce scarring. You may also receive external sutures that are dissolvable or may need to be removed seven to ten days after your surgery.
Bandages will be applied to the incision site in order to absorb blood. The bandages can be removed a few days after surgery. Once the bandages are removed you will be required to wear a support bra. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to wear the support bra as inadequate wearing of the support bra can lead to additional scarring, wound separation or can lead to an early return of breast sagging. You should also avoid wearing a bra with underwire as this can cause complications with recovery.
Although you must avoid strenuous activity for at least three weeks following surgery, you may be allowed to return to work after one week. This will depend on the nature of your job as any strenuous activity or exertion is restricted. You may be able to return to your regular social activities after a couple weeks following surgery although exercise should be limited to stretching, bending and swimming.
Full recovery from breast lift surgery can take a long time. While the discomforts such as pain and swelling go away within a few weeks and your breasts appear normal, other changes can take several months. It may take a long time to gain full sensation in the nipple and areola area. Bruising and skin discoloration can also take much longer to disappear. Your doctor can give you suggestions on how to reduce bruising such as using warm compresses during your recovery period.