What instructions do you have for my breast lift recovery?
Day-of-Surgery- Breast lift is performed as an outpatient procedure. After an hour or two in the recovery room, you will be able to go home in the company of a friend or family member.
When you wake up from your procedure, you will be in the recovery room and will be wearing a soft surgical bra or a sports bra.
Sleeping- During the first week after breast lift surgery, try to sleep on your back to reduce discomfort.
Painkillers- You’re likely to feel sore for a few days, but you should be up and around in 24 hours. The prescribed painkillers can control some of your discomfort from breast lift surgery.
Showering- Remove your dressing, sponges, and gauze pads on the third post-operative day. You may now take a shower. After showering, simply pat your incisions dry and replace your surgical bra, a sports bra, or feel free to wear no bra at all. Do not wear a bra with underwire.
First Post-op Visit- Orange County plastic surgeon Dr. Agha prefers to see you on Day 5 for your first post-operative visit.
The skin of your breasts may become shiny. This is a result of the swelling that occurs after surgery. Within a few weeks, the edema and swelling will subside, and the skin will look more normal.
You may also experience a burning sensation in your nipples for about two weeks, but this will subside as bruising fades.
It is quite common for the two breasts to heal differently. One may swell more, one may feel more uncomfortable, or the shapes may differ initially. After complete healing, they should look remarkably similar and natural.
Swelling in your breasts may take three to five weeks to subside.
Driving- You may drive when driving does not cause pain. This usually occurs in 7-10 days if your car has power steering. It is not safe to drive a car within 24 hours of taking pain medication, as your reflexes and alertness may be altered.
It is important that the surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, abrasion, or motion during the time of healing.
Activities- During the first week after surgery, you will want to avoid activities that raise your blood pressure. This could cause bleeding at the operative site, which could result in a hematoma (collection of blood). Walking is an excellent form of exercise. During the second week, cardiovascular activities, such as riding a stationary bicycle or brisk walking, can be initiated. Running at this point may be premature. Avoid exercises that directly stress the area of your surgery for a full four weeks. Avoid heavy lifting, contact sports, and jogging for up to six weeks. Six weeks after surgery, you will be nearing your pre-operative level. During the early phase of healing, you must avoid irritation around the operative site, as this can worsen swelling and fluid accumulation. This could cause the development of a seroma (fluid collection) or cause problems with the wound (dehiscence or opening of the suture line, or widening of the scar).
Work- You should be able to return to work within a few days to a week, depending on the level of activity required.
Scarring- Every person’s body is different, and many factors contribute to scar healing. Your scars will be firm and pink for about six weeks. Non-smokers and those who follow the Enhanced Recovery Nutritional Supplements routine have a better chance of having rapid healing and thinner scars. Expect to wait at least nine months before your scars lighten in color and become as flat as the rest of your skin. During this time, you must protect them from the sun. Even through a bathing suit, a good deal of sunlight can reach the skin and cause damage. Wear sunscreen with a skin-protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 at all times when in the sunshine.
Sensation- The regeneration of sensory nerves is often accompanied by tingling or burning sensations or shooting pains. As the nerves regenerate, the nipples commonly become hypersensitive. This will subside with time. You may find that gentle massaging helps. If, however, this is accompanied by swelling or redness, infection or bleeding, then you will need to see Dr. Agha at the office.
Follow-ups- Regular check-ups protect against complications and will be scheduled as needed.
Mammogram- Routine mammograms should be continued after breast lift for women who are in the appropriate age group.
Emergencies- Some discomfort is expected following your surgery. However, be sure to tell us if:
There is an increase in swelling, pain, redness, drainage, or bleeding in the surgical area.
You develop fever, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, or a general ill feeling.
If you experience shortness of breath, chest pains, or unusual heartbeats, seek medical attention immediately. Should any of these complications occur, you might require hospitalization and additional treatment.
Do you have more questions about what to expect during your recovery from your breast lift procedure? Please call (949) 644-2442 to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Agha to discuss your breast lift procedure at our Newport Beach breast lift facility.