If sagging breasts are a concern for you, a breast lift may transform your life and boost your confidence. Ageing, pregnancy and weight loss can all affect breast shape and position. Breast lift surgery can lift and reshape your breasts into a higher, more youthful position. Recovery is so important in the outcome of a breast lift. Here are 7 things you can do to help you have an effective and safe recovery.
What is a Breast Lift?
A mastopexy, more commonly known as a breast lift, is a cosmetic procedure that addresses drooping and sagging breasts. Elasticity and firmness start to drop as you age, which can result in sagging breasts. During the process, your plastic surgeon lifts and reshapes your breasts. Your surgeon can also remove excess skin, depending on your needs. For more information, you can read our quick guide to breast lift surgery.
If you’re thinking about getting a breast lift, you also have the option to combine a breast lift with breast implants or fat transfer breast augmentation. This is called an augmentation-mastopexy. It’s also common to include a breast lift in a mummy makeover at the same time as other procedures, such as a tummy tuck or liposuction.
Breast Lift Before and After at the Harley Clinic London
What are the Risks of Breast Lift Surgery?
It’s a personal decision to undergo breast lift surgery. You need to understand and accept the risks associated with it. Every surgery has inherent risks. By doing your research and speaking to a qualified plastic surgeon, you can find out as much information as possible to make an informed decision.
Potential risks of breast lift surgery include:
- Poor healing
- Asymmetrical breasts
- Fluid accumulation
- Breast shape irregularities
How Long is Breast Lift Recovery?
Breast Lift Surgery Recovery Stages
Most patients take at least 2 weeks off work after breast lift surgery to recover. Although your recovery continues after this time, the first 2 weeks are where you have to adjust your life the most during recovery. In general, the full breast lift recovery time takes about 6 weeks. Here’s a breakdown of breast surgery recovery time to give you a good idea of what to expect:
- 1-3 days – you will feel some discomfort during the first few days. Your plastic surgeon will advise you on how to manage any pain.
- 1 week – after the first week, you should be feeling much more yourself. You should still avoid bending over, lifting heavy weights, and putting your arms over your head.
- 2 weeks – most of the discomfort should have subsided, and you should be able to return to work after 2 weeks.
- 1 month – you will be able to resume most normal activities except for lifting heavy weights or anything that puts a lot of stress on your chest.
- 6 weeks – you will be able to stop wearing your compression garment by this time. It’s important you wear your compression bra for several weeks to avoid putting stress on the incision site, reduce swelling, and produce optimal results.
In general, after 6 weeks, you can wear normal bras again, resume normal phsycial activties, and get back to sleeping on your side. Start using scar minimising treatments and get ready to enjoy your new contours. In 6-8 weeks, you can expect to feel completely normal as long as you avoid smoking and follow your post-operative instructions.
Breast Lift Scars
As your surgeon makes an incision, there will be a breast lift scar. However, your doctor will do everything in their power to create a naturally-concealed scar that fades well over time.
During a breast lift, your doctor will make a horizontal line across the breast crease. Typically, you will have a scar between the breast crease and the areola as well as around the areola. The scar looks like a lollipop because of its shape.
There are different types of breast lift techniques. Depending on the approach used, your breast lift scar could look slightly different. Another technique commonly used is called a doughnut breast lift. As the name suggests, the technique leaves a scar that hugs the edge of the areola, like a doughnut shape.
Breast Lift Recovery Photos
7 Breast Lift Recovery Tips
Here are seven breast lift surgery recovery tips to make your recovery as quick, comfortable, and easy as possible.
1. Don’t Sleep on Your Stomach
After your procedure, naturally, your chest will feel a bit sore and uncomfortable. Try to avoid putting pressure on your front. It’s a good idea to sleep on your back to aid the healing process. If you’re a front sleeper, it can feel very strange to sleep on your back. Try sleeping on your back a few weeks before your surgery so you can get used to the new position. Sleep is an important part of your recovery process, so finding a way to sleep comfortably after plastic surgery should be at the top of your to-do list.
2. Follow All Post-Op Instructions
You must follow all of your surgeon’s post-operation instructions. Stick to the guidelines as closely as possible. They may include taking certain medications for pain and avoiding smoking. Your post-op instructions are there for a reason; to keep you safe and help you achieve the best results possible. Instructions will include advice on sleeping position, health information, and any signs of infection to watch out for.
3. Take Up to Two Weeks Off Work
You need to get plenty of rest to kickstart the healing process. Don’t rush your recovery process, and ask for help where you need it. Take time off work and allow your body the chance to heal and get stronger.
4. Stay Hydrated and Eat Healthily
Another key factor in healing is staying hydrated and eating a healthy diet. Nourish your body with fuel that will help you recover. Drink lots of water and have healthy snacks on standby. Try to eat a varied diet with plenty of protein to promote healing. You want to feed your body with nutrients so that you can start your recovery on the best route possible.
Limit your salt intake to minimise swelling. Try to incorporate the following foods into your breast lift recovery diet:
- Lean protein
- High fibre whole grains
- Fresh fruits and vegetables
5. Care for Your Incisions
Keep your surgical incisions clean and watch out daily for any signs of infection. Depending on the incision, your surgeon may want you to keep your stitches dry. Stitches will dissolve in about a week. As with any surgery that uses incisions, you will have breast lift scars. But a great plastic surgeon will do their best to create neat scars that are naturally concealed in the creases of the body.
6. Wear a Compression Garment
In most cases, your surgeon will recommend that you wear a compression garment or supporting bra. This helps the breasts to heal in a natural way. A compression bra may look and feel a little odd, but it’s your recovery best friend. You don’t need to wear it forever, but you should be wearing it all the time for the first few weeks, except for showering. After 6 weeks, you can stop wearing your compression garment.
While it’s most important to wear your compression garment for the first 2 weeks, if you, can wear it for 4-6 weeks. Eventually, you will be able to wear those beautiful new bras, but in the meantime, the compression bra will help you to achieve optimal results after surgery.
7. Avoid Strenuous Movement and Exercise
Avoid lifting, exercise and strenuous movement for two to three weeks. You should steer clear of activities that require a lot of activity until six weeks after your operation.
Although you should avoid anything movement that could make you strain or pull incisions, you should still try to incorporate some gentle movement. Getting moving after surgery helps to kickstart the healing process, get your circulation flowing and prevent blood clots. It can be simple movement like walking to the bathroom or around the garden. Walk around the home in short bursts, but continue to take it easy as you heal.
The precise details of your recovery will be based on the technique used. By following your surgeon’s instructions and recovery plan, you can give your body the best opportunity to heal.
Other breast recovery tips include:
- Stick to your post-op follow-up appointments with your doctor.
- Keep fresh scars out of the sun, as this can result in permanent darker scars.
- Avoid any blood-thinning medication.
- Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol until your doctor gives you the all-clear.
Breast Lift UK at The Harley Clinic
If you’re considering getting a breast lift, our Harley Street breast clinic uses world-class facilities and techniques, always putting the patient at the heart of everything we do.
Book a consultation today, or contact the team at the Harley Clinic to start your journey.