Mastopexy or breast lift is a cosmetic surgery performed to correct ptosis or sagging of the breasts. During the procedure, the surgeon pulls the breast tissue and cuts some excess skin in order to produce a new breasts form. A breast lift can also be used to correct and reduce the areola if it is enlarged or point down. Thanks to this operation, women are able to rejuvenate their figure as well as to achieve a better breast profile. In some cases, the surgeon may suggest combining this procedure with breast implants surgery. This way, he/she will not only lift the bust but also add more volume and fullness to it.
Women normally choose breast lift procedure because they want to get rid of sagging and excess skin that falls below their breast creases. Some of the common reasons for this problem are pregnancy, breastfeeding or weight loss. However, many times the drooping of the breasts is just genetic or because of the natural ageing process. The sagging and loss of breast skin elasticity not only cause shoulder or neck pain but also reduces beauty in the breasts and affects the patient’s self-confidence.
Up to 75% of women have this problem after pregnancy or weight loss, and many of them undergoing breast lift surgery to correct it.
If you are also considering such a procedure, then you will probably want to know what to expect after a breast lift, how long is the recovery, how long does it last, and so on.
To find out the answers to these and other important questions about breast lift surgery, continue to read this article.
What to expect 24 hours post-op a breast lift?
When you wake up from breast lift surgery, you are most likely to experience pain, discomfort and fatigue, as well as sensitivity in the breasts or loss of sensation. Also, you will be wearing a surgical support bra that will be placed on you before you wake up. It is extremely important to wear it for six or eight weeks (depending on the surgeon’s recommendations) after surgery. You might be suggested not to replace the support bra with other garments or bras. During your recovery period, you shouldn’t wear bras that have an underwire since this is likely to rub on your incisions.
For the first few days after the surgery, you are most likely to have swelling and bruising, but you shouldn’t worry about that. They will disappear over time.
You will be asked to limit your activities and have a good rest for the first week after your breast lift. It is an essential part of your recovery – you are going to have sutures in the breast tissue, and you don’t want to hurt them. Try to keep your elbows tucked in at your sides and not overextending your arms over your head or flailing all around. Your plastic surgeon will prescribe over the counter pain relievers to manage the pain and discomfort in the first few days.
The discomfort, soreness, or swelling may still be present after one week. Your doctor may recommend placing ice packs on top and on the side of your breasts. To minimize tension on your incisions, it is better to sleep sitting up, so you don’t accidentally roll on to your breasts or on your sutures. If you don’t have drains, you might be able to take a shower two days after breast lift surgery.
After two to three weeks, you may feel ready to return to work and your daily activities. You can start doing a little bit more intense cardio like walking uphill, but you have to wait for a full six weeks before you resume any exercises or heavy lifting. It is also better to avoid chest workouts for a little bit longer. You don’t want these muscles to affect any repairs on the surgical site. However, even you feel well enough, resuming your activities must be done only at the discretion of the doctor. Make sure you strictly follow the post-op instructions given by your plastic surgeon.
On average, it takes six weeks to heal from a breast lift. However, breast lift recovery time depends on both the type of surgery you had and your body’s ability to heal. If you had just a breast lift surgery without breast augmentation you would probably return to your daily activities a little bit faster.
A breast lift itself is less painful, and the recovery process is quite fast. Most patients have it as an outpatient procedure, so they are back at home in the same afternoon or evening. There is typically no drain tube, so you can take a shower two to three days after your operation.
You might be able to return to work after two weeks if your job is in an office environment. If you do very physical work, then you may need to wait as long as two months before you do any heavy lifting. You can usually drive in one-two weeks after the breast lift procedure. Just make sure you are off on the medications.
Most of the bruising and swelling does go away after about two weeks, but things do continue to evolve in terms of the breast shape and in terms of the incision maturing, especially within the first six months to a year. The shape continues to improve and change over time.
What do you need to remember? During the breast lift recovery period, you shouldn’t do very strenuous activity, anything where you are lifting things over 5 pounds. Take at least six weeks off to the gym, heal well and then move to your life and go back to all your normal activities.
One month after breast lift surgery, you may start scars therapy treatment. It may take several months or even years for the scars to completely fade.
Make sure you protect the scars from direct sun exposure.
Some of the risks related to breast lift surgery include:
If performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon, a breast lift is a safe procedure and gives nice results. However, as with any surgery, there are some risks of complications. To avoid them and have a quick and smooth healing process, you need to strictly adhere to all surgeon’s recommendations before and after surgery.
Breast lifts usually leave permanent scarring, but you can start treating it a few months after the procedure. Smokers usually have more noticeable scars.
Breast lift results may last anywhere between 10 and 15 years. They sometimes may last even longer, depending on the patient’s body. Other factors that usually affect the longevity of this plastic surgery are the quality of your breast skin and whether a breast lift procedure is done alone or is gotten together with breast augmentation surgery. If the skin is showing lasting damage, is thin and stretched, it may not withstand the weight of the breast implants or the biological weight of the breasts for too long.
Another important thing is that if you are performing both procedures, you have to be very careful with breast implants selection. Because the weight of the implant is directly proportionate to the speed of droopiness in the future – gravity is always pulling the implant weight down. In addition to those factors, your lifestyle is also very important. It is advised to wear a sports bra, especially when you are doing any heavy physical activities like running or lifting at the gym. The sports bra will cause less stretch on your breasts. In case you smoke, it will be better to quit that bad habit as smoking is something that has a really negative effect on the skin.
After a breast lift, it is good to make an effort and try to maintain your outcomes. It is not only the surgeon who produced good results; it is the responsibility of the patients to maintain those results.
You may want to get breast lift surgery for the following reasons:
Breast lifts procedures aim to restore the breasts position, achieving a firmer and aesthetically pleasing breast shape without sagging skin. This cosmetic surgery not only improve your appearance, but it will also allow you to wear the clothes you have always wanted (underwear, swimsuit) without worrying that something comes out or does not fit well!
Breast lift. As we mentioned, mastopexy (breast lift) is plastic surgery where the doctor reshapes and lifts the patient’s breast tissue (eliminates the skin that falls below the breast creases) in order to give a more aesthetically pleasing position of the bust. For women without the need to gain any volume, breast lift surgery is the best option.
Mastopexy with breast augmentation. In addition to lifting the breasts, the surgeon also uses breast implants to produce a greater amount of volume in the breasts. A breast lift procedure combined with breast augmentation is beneficial for patients with droopy breasts who would like to lift them and make them larger.
Breast reduction. It is a cosmetic surgery that reduces the size of the breasts. It is suitable for patients who suffer from large breasts and their breasts’ excessive size often leads to back and shoulder pain. Breast reduction can aesthetically reduce the size of the bust, improve the posture and body’s proportions. American Society of plastic surgeons suggests combining breast lift and breast reduction in case you want to achieve a smaller breast.
You will likely feel pain and tenderness during your first week following the procedure. This is the period when you will be the sorest and swollen. However, the recovery of breast lift is usually less painful than that on breast augmentation. You will be prescribed pain medication to help with the discomfort during your healing process. After one week, the pain should be lessened and completely go away in two weeks.
After two or three weeks following your breast lift surgery, you will have the strength to fully raise your arms. During that time, you shouldn’t lift anything heavier.
You can drive again, several days after your breast lift surgery, but not immediately. When you have been given anaesthesia, pain medication, and muscle relaxants, you will most likely feel dizzy and not be able to drive heavy machinery, including a car. That is why it is recommended to wait for at least one week.
Most patients don’t have a problem with breastfeeding after breast lift surgery. Nowadays, doctors have good techniques and skills which allow them to minimize injuring the milk ducts. However, you need to understand that although the chances are minimal, it is still possible to be not able to breastfeed. So if that is something very important to you may want to think twice about actually having such plastic surgery until after you are done having children.
A breast lift might successfully treat droopy breasts and bring them back up to your chest to where you want them. In addition, it usually doesn’t take too long to recover from such a cosmetic procedure. However, you need to understand that everyone is unique. This means that the recovery time, outcomes and their durations may vary from patient to patient. To get the best results, it is also important to find a highly experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon.