Recovery after a breast lift can take time, but there are ways you can help ease your recovery and speed up the process.
Breast lifts are considered a relatively safe procedure but, as with almost any cosmetic procedure, it has the potential to cause complications. If you follow the aftercare advice given by your cosmetic surgeon and our top tips in this blog post, the chances of your recovery going smoothly should increase.
What is a breast lift?
A breast lift helps reshape the breasts if they have dropped over time and aims to bring them higher up on the chest. This is different to breast augmentation, which mainly focuses on shape and size.
A breast lift is carried out by a plastic surgeon to alter the shape of the breasts. A plastic surgeon raises the breasts by removing extra skin and reshaping the breast tissue during a breast lift. The term “mastopexy” also refers to a breast lift.
If your nipples point downward or your breasts sag, you might decide to get a breast lift. Additionally, a breast lift may improve your confidence and self-image.
Your breast size won’t change after a breast lift. However, breast augmentation or reduction can be combined with a breast lift.
What is the fastest way to recover?
Sadly, there is no “fastest” way to recover from an invasive procedure such as a breast lift.
Directly after a surgical breast lift, the incisions will be covered with thin tape, followed by a larger dressing over the lower breasts. These must be kept on for ten days, after which they should be removed by your medical practitioner for an inspection of the healing. Then, for three weeks, a surgical bra must be worn. This will hold the shape of the breasts to ensure that healing can happen naturally without the weight of the breasts getting in the way.
The healing process can take up to 12 weeks, but may take longer – this always differs between patients and can be affected by bumps, knocks and exertion, which you should avoid at all costs. Taking a week off work following a breast lift is often recommended.
Regardless of discomfort, you should not attempt to remove any bandages, tape or wrap yourself. Instead, allow your practitioner to do so. To remove dressings yourself can seriously inhibit the healing process, leaving breast tissue damaged and causing it to form in an undesirable way.
When washing, make sure to keep your chest dry and away from water or dripping hair. Instead, have gentle baths and wash carefully, avoiding the affected area. If water and soap get into the scarring areas, this can slow healing, damage the supporting wraps and cause infection.
You should also avoid any strenuous activity for the duration of the healing process. This includes sports and exercise, heavy lifting and stretching in day-to-day activities.
One person’s recovery can differ from another’s, so it is vital that you ask your cosmetic surgeon for their advice on how to ease and quicken your recovery post-surgery. Take a look at our tips below on how to aid your recovery.
- Follow your doctor’s advice. It is integral that you listen to your surgeon’s advice above all others, as they are the ones who have performed the surgery.
- Use your compression garment as much as possible. It may not be the most comfortable item of clothing to wear for extended periods of time, but it aids in swelling and bruising around the operated site.
- Rest is absolutely vital to your recovery, so much like an injury or general surgery, you should allow your body to relax and focus its resources and energy on healing.
- Eat well. Your body needs the correct nutrients in order to heal efficiently. It is important to stick to a healthy diet during your recovery to help your body as much as possible.
- Stay mobile. While intense exercise is completely off the table for several weeks after surgery, walking around can help prevent blood clots. Keep exercise to a minimum, but gentle walks around your home can aid in keeping your blood moving.
- Do not drive. Driving can put you at unnecessary risk when healing from liposuction, so ensure that you do not drive while you are recovering, especially while you are on pain medication.
- Do not drink or smoke. Drinking and smoking hinders your healing process, so be sure to stay away from cigarettes and alcohol.
By Michael Saul, Partner at Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors