How long does it take to recover from a breast lift?
It typically takes one to two weeks to recover from a breast lift procedure. Your surgeon will let you know how long it will be before you can return to your normal level of activity and work. Your surgeon will also give you and your caregiver detailed instructions about your postoperative care after your surgery, including information about:
- Drains, if they have been placed
- Typical symptoms you will experience
- Potential signs of complications
It is vital that you follow all the patient care instructions your surgeon provides. It is also important to know that the amount of time it takes for recovery varies greatly among individuals.
What can I expect immediately after my breast lift?
- You will have bandages around your breasts and chest, or you may have to wear a compression garment such as a surgical bra. You also may have some surgical drains.
- When the anesthesia wears off, you may experience some pain. If the pain is extreme or long-lasting, contact your surgeon.
- You will have some redness and swelling after the surgery.
- Your chest region may feel stiff and sore for two to five days.
- Other common recovery side effects of mastopexy include bruising, numbness, or changes in nipple sensitivity, itching around incision sites, and increased firmness or fullness in the breast tissue. These side effects should subside over the first few weeks, with some residual effects lasting up to three months following the surgery.
- The day after surgery, you should get out of bed for short periods of time.
- Rest and sleep on your back in an inclined position (25-to 45-degree angle) for the initial postoperative days or if you have significant swelling. Use wedge pillows with an incline design or sleep in a recliner chair.
- You will need to remove any surgical drains a few days after your surgery and change or remove your dressings.
- Avoid straining, bending, and lifting since these activities might cause increased swelling or even bleeding.
What can I expect during the first few weeks of my breast lift recovery?
- After several days, you should be able to move about more comfortably.
- You should be able to return to work after a week or so, depending on your job.
- You must not lift, drive, do laundry, or clean during the first two weeks.
- You may continue to experience some mild, periodic discomfort during your first few weeks of recovery, but such feelings are normal. If you have severe pain, contact your surgeon immediately.
- Generally, your surgeon will remove your stitches in stages over a period of approximately three weeks, beginning about one week after your surgery.
- You should avoid excessive physical activity for at least the first two weeks following surgery. After that, be extremely gentle with your breasts for at least the next month.
- Avoid hot showers, hot tubs, and saunas for two to three weeks.
- Avoid sexual activity for a minimum of two weeks, but your aesthetic plastic surgeon may advise you to wait longer. After that, take care to be extremely gentle with your breasts for at least the next couple of weeks.
- Your surgeon may ask you to wear a support bra for a few weeks until the swelling and discoloration of your breasts diminish.
- You may notice that you feel less sensation in the nipple and areola areas. This is usually temporary; however, it may take weeks, months, or even more than a year before sensation returns to normal.
- It may take some time for your breasts to assume a more natural shape.
- Incisions will initially be red or pink. They will remain this way for many months following surgery.