What does recovery from breast lift surgery involve?

We would advise you to get plenty of rest, do not overtax yourself and take things easy for some time. You will be advised to wear a sports bra for some time and to avoid exercise or other stressful activities.

Recovery time varies from one procedure to the next and between individual patients. Some people recover quicker than others and vice versa. During this crucial time make sure you have someone who can provide physical and moral support. This can be a stressful time as well so it is worthwhile having someone you can turn to. This doesn’t have to be your partner; anyone who is capable of dealing with stressful situations and provide a sympathetic shoulder to cry on!

You may find that you are rather low after surgery. This is a normal reaction to all the stress and anticipation you experienced beforehand. You would have been keyed up and now you have gone from that ‘high’ to a ‘low’. Don’t be surprised by this: you have undergone surgery which is stressful in itself not to mention all the other upheavals such as making arrangements before and after surgery.

You will be feeling very tired, sore and a bit off colour and the best thing to do here is to rest. Sleep as much as you need to. Drink plenty of fluids and when you feel like eating, have lots of fruit and vegetables as these will help your recovery.

You will have been given painkillers to take which will help to control any pain and discomfort. Do not take a shower for the first few days after surgery and wear a special surgical bra for the first few days.

Ensure that you have the following set up at home:

  • All the daily household jobs such as shopping, cleaning, washing up etc will be done by your partner or a close friend.
  • If you have a pet and live on your own, ensure that someone can keep an eye on him/her until you are better.
  • A ready supply of painkillers, other essential medication, dressings, creams, moisturisers and ice packs (to reduce any swelling).
  • Arnica (to reduce any bruising) and Vitamin C to help reduce any swelling although check with your surgeon first.
  • Bottled water, ready prepared meals and fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • Your favourite books, the TV remote control and an iPod or MP3 player.
  • Your GP’s contact number and your surgeon’s.
  • Light snacks such as soups, crackers etc.
  • Consider having in Arnica, to reduce bruising and Vitamin C to help reduce the swelling. St John’s Wort and Bromelain can also help. Check with your surgeon first before taking these.
  • Keep a night light on: this is handy if you have to get up in the night. You may feel a bit disorientated after surgery and this will prevent you from having a fall in the night.
  • Loose, comfortable clothing such as jogging suits, oversized shirts or pyjamas. You do not want anything which will rub against the surgical wounds.
  • You may find that you feel the cold a lot more after your surgery so keep a supply of blankets to hand, and a few, nice soft pillows.
  • Keep the curtains shut for a few days as you will be very tired and will want to sleep, at any time during the day.

You will have a light dressing over your surgical wounds which will be kept in place for up to two weeks following surgery. It will then be removed and the surgical wounds will be lightly cleaned and inspected. You are best wearing a light sports bra during this time until the wounds have sufficiently healed. This will probably be for a month. After that you can return to wearing your normal bra.

The scars will be small and will appear to be rather pink and firm for a few weeks. They will stay at this size for a few months and it can be two years before they completely disappear.

You may notice some fluids seeping from the wounds but this is entirely normal. If however, it is accompanied by severe pain or bleeding then contact your surgeon immediately.

Spend this time watching television or DVD’s if you prefer and reading. Try to avoid any lifting or carrying and if you play sport, then do not resume this until a few weeks have passed. It is a good idea to go swimming to start with to build up your stamina and fitness again.

You may notice that your breasts feel painful and swollen during your first period after surgery. Don’t worry, this is normal and is unlikely to happen during your next period. You may also notice some loss of feeling in your nipples or, they may become hypersensitive. Don’t worry, this usually happens after this surgery and will return to normal after six weeks or so. It can last for a year or more or never return in a small minority of patients.

You may feel a bit down or mildly depressed at this time. This is a normal reaction to the stress and trauma of surgery. You may feel guilty about the procedure, the cost or the fact that you have changed your appearance. Painkillers and/or medications can affect your emotions. This is understandable after what you have gone through and will disappear. It can help to talk with others at this time.

You should be able to return to work a week after your surgery. If you have a desk job then you will be able to resume your normal duties. If however, your job involves lifting and carrying then ask to undertake lighter duties until your wounds have sufficiently healed.

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