Breast lift is a very popular surgery to treat saggy breasts. If aging, gravity, weight loss, pregnancy, nursing, or other factors have caused your breasts to become loose and hanging, the breast lift procedure can restore your breasts’ youthfulness. After the procedure, your breasts will become perky, tighter, firmer, and voluptuous. While the aesthetic results of breast lifting are impressive and reliable, the patient is required to follow a stable and healthy lifestyle to sustain the results.
Like all other plastic surgery procedures, there is a recovery period for breast lifting as well. During this time, the patient must take enough rest to recover properly. In order to sustain the results of breast lift surgery, the patient should religiously follow the surgeon’s instructions. To increase the chances of getting best results, a patient should get the right information from a plastic surgeon on what to expect immediately after breast lift surgery and during the recovery period.
Tips to ensure sustainability of breast lift surgery
Immediately after surgery
After the breast lift surgery, the patient is likely to experience swelling, pain, bruising, and discomfort. To reduce the pain during the first few days, it is advisable for a patient to use pain medication as recommended by the plastic surgeon. Also, breast lift patients are normally advised to avoid sleeping on their stomachs during the first week after the procedure. This helps prevent the application of pressure on the breasts.
Until the sutures are removed during a follow-up with the doctor, the patient should stick to sponge baths to avoid infection and other possible complications. Your doctor may also recommend you to wear surgical bras for a week or more after the surgery. The surgical bras will accelerate the healing process and save you from potential complications.
After the removal of the sutures, most patients find it easy to do light jobs as long as a surgical bra or a sports bra is worn. Other heavy and strenuous activities should be avoided for the first few weeks after breast lift. You should also avoid bending, because it can negatively affect your breasts during the recovery period.
Furthermore, you must avoid smoking and alcohol intake during the recovery period, as they can interfere with the healing process, which can in turn negatively affect sustainability of the achieved results.
Four weeks after the surgery
Depending on how the patient’s body responds to the surgery, full recovery from the breast lift surgery may take 1 to 3 months. The bruising and swelling will gradually subside during this period. You should avoid wearing underwire bra for 2-3 months after the procedure, as it can affect your breasts in negative ways.
Numbness and changes in sensation of the breasts is a common side effect. The condition is mostly temporary and should take you 1-2 months to regain the natural sensation of your breasts. You should avoid weight lifting, jumping, running, sports, and other high endurance activities for the first 2 months following the surgery.
Scarring after the surgery
Breast lift surgery involves placement of incisions on your breasts, leaving behind scars. The incision points may vary depending on the type of breast lift technique used. There are three common types of breast lift techniques:
• Traditional method/Inverted-T
• Vertical lift
• Periareolar lift
A periareolar breast lift involves a circular incision around the edge of the areola. This technique is suitable for women with mildly sagging breasts. On the other hand, the vertical lift involves two incisions; one incision runs from the areola down to the inframammary fold and the other is placed around the edge of the areola. Inverted-T or anchor breast lift involves the use of 3 incisions. Anchor breasts lift leads to the emergence of relatively more prominent scars.
You should discuss the types of incisions with your plastic surgeon in advance of the procedure, and if you have zero tolerance for scarring, do not shy away from communicating this upfront to your surgeon. Although it is impossible to avoid scarring, the surgeon can provide you some tips to improve the appearance of the scars.
In order to sustain the results achieved with breast lift surgery, you must stop smoking. It is always advised to stop smoking before the surgery and remain a non-smoker after the surgery. During the consultation, the plastic surgeon will ask about your smoking history and you will be advised to discontinue the habit. Smoking after breast lift surgery worsens the scars and also prolongs the healing period.
Do not tan
Breast lift surgery patients should not expose themselves to the sun after the procedure, because it can shorten the life of the results. Additionally, it can worsen the appearance of the scars, making them darker and visible. Be sure to cover the breasts during the first 5 months after the surgery. Also, use sunscreen to protect the incisions against the sun.
Use of specialized bras
Normally after breast lift surgery, a patient will get a surgical bra to use for the first few days during the recovery period. This surgical bra may sometimes lead to discomfort after removal of the sutures, and that’s when it’s advisable to look for specialized bras. Make sure to wear a comfortable bra instead of an underwire bra during the recovery period. Wearing sports bras during this period can provide sufficient comfort to your breasts.
It’s not advisable to do heavy exercises during the recovery period as it can negatively affect sustainability of the achieved aesthetic outcomes. High endurance activities during the recovery period can lead to excessive swelling, pain, bleeding, and prolonged healing. Be sure to avoid running and lifting heavy objects during the first few weeks after the breast lift surgery.
Stick to a recovery plan provided by your plastic surgeon. However, there are some light exercises you can do two days after breast lift surgery like exercising on a stationary bicycle and other activities that do not require bending or stretching. After you have completely recovered and your breasts are in shape, you can resume your daily routine and exercise. It is advisable to join an exercise program to stay healthy and in shape. Regular exercises will help prolong the results achieved via breast lifting.
The incisions placed during the breast lift surgery should be kept dry during the first seven days following surgery. Stick to your plastic surgeon’s advice when it comes to bathing. If your plastic surgeon has instructed you to use sponge bathing, then you must do exactly that. For speedy recovery, your wounds should not be wet as it can lead to potential complications like infections, which can in turn affect the sustainability of the results.
When exactly you should resume work after breast lifting depends on the nature of your job. If your job involves strenuous activities, then you’ll have to be patient and wait for full recovery, or until the time your plastic surgeon clears you for approval. The best way to know whether you can go back to work is by consulting with your plastic surgeon. It’s also important to avoid having sex during the recovery period, particularly during the first 2-3 weeks following the intervention.
Take care of your breasts
The best way to take care of your breasts after breast lift surgery is by sticking to the post-operative care instructions provided by your doctor. Be sure to eat balanced diet and spend a healthy lifestyle. It is worth noting that massive weight fluctuations can negatively affect the results. If you want to sustain the results after breast lift surgery, be sure to follow a healthy lifestyle.
The breast lift surgery has a history of delivering good, reliable, and sustainable results. However, that’s possible only if the operation has been undertaken by a board-certified and experienced plastic surgeon. In order to ensure the sustainability of the results, you must be sure to follow your surgeon’s instructions to the letter. Furthermore, much of the success and sustainability of breast lift depend on how much you care for your breasts during the recovery period.
The tips provided above will help you have a smooth recovery and sustain the results. You should also make sure to ask your plastic surgeon for tips and advice. Remember, it is very important to follow a healthy lifestyle, as bad habits can ultimately affect the aesthetic results.