Is the recovery painful after a breast lift?

Is the recovery painful after a breast lift?

19th May 2019


When undergoing surgery to improve one’s health condition, we rarely wonder about the level of pain associated with it. We know that pain will be present, but we also understand the health benefits that will occur after the surgery and concentrate on those. This is the same advice I give my patients when it comes to pain after the breast lift surgery.

No surgery is without pain. Realistically speaking, even a simple scratch from a papercut can result in a few days of pain, redness, and inflammation in the area. So, yes, patients undergoing plastic surgery such as the breast lift will experience a certain level of pain and discomfort.

To understand what to expect during the recovery period after the breast lift, first, let’s see what happens during surgery.

The procedure is performed with the patient under general anesthesia, and the whole surgery often doesn’t last longer than two hours. The plastic surgeon will make one and up to three incisions in different parts of the breasts to be able to detach the skin envelope from the mammary gland tissue. The incisions will be made accordingly to the surgical plan discussed during the pre-operative consultation. After the skin and underlying fat tissues are detached from the mammary gland, the plastic surgeon will re-center the mammary gland on a higher position on the chest to ensure a perky appearance of the breasts. The skin envelope is then re-draped on the mammary gland, and the excess tissue is removed. When implants are used to add more volume to the breasts, the plastic surgeon will use the same incisions to insert the implants in pockets made especially for them either behind the mammary gland, the pectoral muscle, or in a position between them. When the procedure is done, the incisions are sutured and dressings are applied.

When the breast lift is performed without implants, we have just the skin and fat tissues that are injured during the procedure, and this is often associated with a mild level of pain and discomfort and a shorter recovery period. But if the patient has decided also to get implants during the breast lift, the recovery period might be more painful, especially if the submuscular placement of the implants was preferred.

Generally speaking, the recovery period after the breast lift is not overly painful. The plastic surgeon will also prescribe pain medication to alleviate the pain and discomfort, so make sure to take them according to the instructions. If you know you have a low tolerance to pain, make sure to mention this to your plastic surgeon during the pre-operative consultation as he might decide to prescribe you stronger pills. However, it is important for you to understand that the pain after the breast lift will only be present for a few days, and even something as simple as an ice pack applied on the operated area can make it better.

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