What to Expect After a Breast Lift

If you’re preparing for your upcoming breast lift procedure, you’re probably feeling a bit excited, slightly nervous, and a little unsure of what to expect. Perhaps you’ve done your research and surgery day is set, but you still have some questions weighing on your mind. Or, you could still be looking into a breast lift, trying to decide if the procedure is right for you.

Either way, it’s important to know what to expect after a breast lift surgery to ensure you are fully prepared and recover as quickly and smoothly as is possible.

Keep reading to discover what to expect after a breast lift, including the risks involved and anticipated recovery time, along with the top things you need to know about caring for and healing your breast lift scars post-surgery.

What to Expect After a Breast Lift Surgery

The first component you need to be aware of when considering what to expect after a breast lift is that everyone’s recovery timeline varies slightly. Some women bounce back to their regular selves in mere weeks, while other women take significantly longer to heal.

As you long as you are following your doctor’s instructions and taking all necessary precautions to ensure you don’t overexert yourself too soon, have patience with the process and your body’s timeline. You might feel like a brand new woman one day and be frustrated the next by what you perceive as a setback.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the primary risk factors to consider after your breast lift and the average recovery time you can expect post-procedure.

Risks After a Breast Lift

As with any kind of invasive surgery, you need to take any potential risks into account if you want to know what to expect after a breast lift. Prior to your procedure, you will sign consent forms confirming that you understand the surgery about to take place and any potential risk factors involved.

Here are the common breast lift risks to be aware of:

  • Infection
  • Hematomas or bleeding
  • Anesthesia risks
  • Insufficient incision healing
  • Asymmetries in the shape and contour of your breasts
  • Alterations in breast or nipple sensations
  • The death of fatty tissue deep underneath your skin
  • Accumulation of fluid
  • Loss (partial or full) of the nipple
  • The potential need for a revision surgery
  • Cardiac and pulmonary complications
  • Deep vein thrombosis

Always talk over any concerns or questions you might have with your physician in advance of your surgery. You will discuss the risk factors in detail with your cosmetic surgeon before you sign any consent paperwork, but you should never leave any questions unanswered if you truly want to know what to expect after a breast lift surgery.

What Is the Recovery Time for a Breast Lift

Recovery time is another key aspect to understand when assessing what to expect after a breast lift surgery. After your cosmetic surgeon finishes the procedure, they will apply bandages or dressings to the surgical sites to promote proper wound healing and recovery.

Throughout the duration of your recovery, you will need to continue wearing a support bra or elastic bandages to keep swelling down and maintain the right support for your breasts. The doctor may also insert a tiny tube into your breast tissue to inhibit fluid or blood from collecting.

Another thing you need to know when considering what to expect after a breast lift is that it is completely normal to experience discomfort and swelling post-procedure, particularly in that first week. In the initial few days after your breast lift, you will probably take doctor-prescribed pain medication to maintain your comfort levels.

You will likely still need to wear your compression bandages and surgical bra, and it is not uncommon for women to feel nauseous from the anesthetic during this period.

Once you hit the one-week mark, your pain levels should reduce considerably. You will still see swelling and bruising, but you will likely be able to return to work and perform light exercise such as walking. You shouldn’t lift heavy items, bend, or engage in other strenuous exercises at this point though.

By two weeks out from surgery, you will feel much more like your regular self. Most patients can get back to their normal exercise regimen by week four. The average recovery time for breast lift patients is around six weeks in total. Bear in mind, you may still exhibit occasional symptoms of healing after this point, but by the six-week mark, your physician should clear you to resume regular exercise activities, sleep on your stomach or side, and wear an underwire bra.

Breast Lift Scars

Here’s what to expect after a breast lift with regards to your incision scars.

How to Care for Breast Lift Scars

There a number of helpful ways you can care for your breast lift scars to help inhibit scar tissue formation and promote optimal recovery. One such way is to massage your scars. By massaging the scars in a circular fashion, you not only can reduce your discomfort and inflammation but also help promote the increase of collagen fibers that reduce the scars’ appearance.

If approved by your physician, silicone sheets can be helpful over the counter remedies to hydrate the incisions and fight excess scar tissue. Likewise, if your doctor approves, scar gels are a silicone-based remedy you use after the incisions heal to fade and shrink your scars.

The embrace dressings your surgeon will apply after your procedure will help ensure the incision edges stay tight together to promote healing and reduce the buildup of scar tissue. Expect to wear these for at least the initial weeks following surgery, but potentially up to a year.

How Long Does It Take for Breast Lift Incisions to Heal?

Breast lift incisions typically heal very quickly and should be healed in full once you hit the two-week point of your recovery.

How Long Does it Take for Breast Lift Scars to Heal?

If you’re wondering what to expect after a breast lift regarding scarring, it’s worth noting that the type of incisions the doctor uses during your procedure will directly impact how long they take to reduce and fade. Most breast lift incisions are thin, so once they heal, you’ll see a narrow red line remain.

Eventually, that thin, red scar line should morph into a soft pink color before turning white. Over time, your scars should also flatten and smooth. It could take as short a duration as several months all the way up to an entire year for the scars to lighten and fade. Women with very light or dark skin will tend to notice more visible scarring initially as well.

In general, horizontal incisions along the crease of the breasts will typically not be as noticeable as vertical incisions. If you’re concerned about what to expect after a breast lift with regards to your incision scars, speak with your doctor to discuss your lift technique options and the best incision type for your specific procedure.