Over the years, many of one’s body parts begin to sag due to aging and the loss of elasticity in the skin or significant weight loss. The breasts are often where this first occurs due to pregnancy and nursing.
A breast lift or series of lifts can give the breasts a more youthful and “perky” appearance. This procedure lifts sagging breasts by taking away excess skin and re-positioning the remaining tissue and nipples to a more perky position. If desired, the areola size can be reduced during the procedure. In some cases, breast implants are inserted during the procedure to give the breasts a more rounded and natural appearance.
The dangers of breast cancer are not increased after this type of breast surgery, and self examination of your breasts post-operatively is still possible and important.
Breast Lift Recovery
Pads or fluffs cover the incision lines. Since the incision lines are usually quite long, blood dripping typically occurs. Patients may be instructed to shower the next day and then replace the surgical bra, the pads will not be needed.
A bra may be placed at the time of surgery or a day or two after. The bra serves as a “dressing,” holding the breasts in perfect position. If the bra is too tight or hurts, switch immediately to another bra that is more comfortable. A bra that is too tight can cause ulceration of the skin, and you cannot allow this to happen! Patients need to wear the bra at all times for at least 2 weeks.
After 2 weeks, if there are no complications during the healing process, patients may sleep without the bra. You should always have a bra on during the day for 3 weeks after surgery. It will probably be more comfortable if you do not wear an underwire bra.
Small amounts of oozing and bleeding are very common. If more than slow staining of the gauze occurs, apply firm pressure for 20-30 minutes before calling the office. If heavy bleeding occurs (very rare), apply firm pressure and call the office immediately.
Water does not damage healing incisions. Patients are allowed to shower or bathe when instructed and can leave the adhesive strips (steri-strips) in place if they are adherent. If they come loose, cut away curling edges.
You may drive if driving does not cause pain and you are no longer under medication. This usually occurs after 4-6 days if you have a car with power steering.
You may take gentle walks within a few days. Aerobic exercise should not take place for 6 weeks.
If you sit at work, you may return whenever you feel up to it. If your work is strenuous, you should wait until your work activity does not inflict any superficial pain. Do not begin aerobic or strenuous exercise for 3 weeks. Listen to your body and do not force any exercise.
The breast skin and tissue will begin to sag with time. No “lift” is forever. When sagging begins to occur again, a small skin excision or tightening normally solves the problem. Also, it is relatively normal for the two breasts to heal differently. One may swell more, feel more uncomfortable, or their shapes may differ initially.
Once healing is complete, they will look similar and natural. You must be patient, but if you are worried, ask the nursing staff.
Healing of sensory nerves
Tingling, burning, or shooting pains are a part of the regeneration of the sensory nerves. These pains will disappear over time and should not worry a patient.