Going back to work after a breast lift

Going back to work after a breast lift

18th Apr 2018


Before deciding to undergo any plastic surgery, many patients are concerned about how much time from work they need to take after the procedure is performed. Some patients are worried that the recovery period will be too long and they won’t be able to get back to work after a reasonable amount of time, but usually, this is just a misconception. Of course, each body recovers at its own time. Even when undergoing the same plastic surgery procedure, some patients take longer than others to recover.

Going back to work after a breast lift is not dependent only on your body’s abilities to heal fast, but also the type of work that you are doing. If you are doing an office job that doesn’t require intensive movement, you can get back to work within a week or two after the surgery. But if your work requires a more intense level of physical effort, then it can take up to four weeks before you are prepared to go back to work. Let’s discuss more about the recovery period after the breast lift to better understand what happens during this time.

Things to consider

If you are tempted to undergo a breast lift surgery, you have to consider what kind of changes this will bring into your life. Several aspects need to be weighed in, such as:

–   The only person that has to be satisfied with the results of your intervention is you, not your partner or anyone else. It is never a good idea to undergo plastic surgery because your partner wants you to do it in order to make him happy.

–   The patient needs to understand and accept the fact that there will be scars left after the breast lift surgery. The improved aspect of your breasts has a price, and this is the permanent scars on the area operated.

–   Before a breast lift surgery, the patient needs to decide if the current volume of the breasts is satisfactory or if bigger or smaller breasts are preferred. The breast lift surgery can cause a minor reduction in the breast volume, so keep this in mind when considering your options.

–   Look for a plastic surgeon with whom you can easily communicate, understands your expectations, and understands what you will be faced with. All these will help you reduce the level of anxiety you might feel after the surgery, as well as the post-operative stress.


Depending on the position of the scars, the surgical options to perform the breast lift are:

–   With periareolar scar: the scar is positioned at the edge in between the darker part of the areola and the white skin surrounding it. This method is recommended for minor and moderate breast ptosis.

–   With periareolar and vertical scar: aside from the periareolar scar, the patient will also have a vertical scar starting from the inferior part of the areola and ending in the inframammary fold. This method is for moderate or severe cases of breast ptosis.

–   With an L or inverted T scar: this method is usually performed for severe breast ptosis. The scar is around the areola, vertically towards the inframammary fold and horizontally on the fold.

Technically, the higher the level of breast ptosis is, the most scarring it will result into after surgery. Introducing silicone breast implants can facilitate the selection of a certain surgical technique that will leave smaller scars, but this can only be done if the areolas are in their correct anatomical positions or on the inframammary fold. Keep in mind that using just breast implants without mastopexy won’t result in an elevation of the areolas or the mammary gland. Moreover, the volume they add to the breasts can determine the degree of sagging in a relatively short time.


The post-operative period is relatively uneventful for the patient. Some patients might experience pain during the first 24-48 hours after the surgery, but they can be kept under control with simple pain medication that will be prescribed by your plastic surgeon. The patient can have a shower shortly after the intervention as the scars are covered with waterproof bandages. Wearing an elastic bra is mandatory for at least three weeks nonstop and at least for another two weeks during the day. Bed rest is not necessary, and your plastic surgeon will advise you to start resuming your daily activities starting the next day. However, you should keep in mind to avoid strenuous physical effort for at least six weeks, as well as avoiding ample movements with your arms.

The girdle is mandatory during the recovery period as it will support your breasts and reduce the swelling and bruising. If wearing the girdle will make your return to work difficult, consider this aspect before scheduling your procedure.

Wound healing usually takes no longer than two to three weeks, but their appearance will continue to improve over the first year after the surgery when the cicatrization process is over. During this time, your plastic surgeon will recommend silicone gel sheets or creams that are meant to improve the aspect of the scars. The final shape of the breasts is visible in two or three months after the surgery when the inflammation has subsided and the mammary gland has adjusted to the new, elevated position.


For most patients, it takes no longer than one or two weeks to return to work after the breast lift surgery. However, how much time you need for the recovery is highly dependent on your body’s ability to heal and the type of work that is involved. If we are talking about an office job or any job with a low level of physical effort, the patient can resume work within the first two weeks following the breast lift procedure.


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