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Breast Lift Recovery: What You Need to Know

Age, pregnancy, genetics, weight loss, and gravity can take a toll on your breasts. Fortunately, a breast lift can have your breasts looking great again. But, getting a lift is just the first part of the process. The second part is your recovery, and you need to do a few things to make sure your recovery is successful. 

Here at the plastic and cosmetic surgical practice of Frederick H. Watkins, MD, in Rockville, Maryland, and McLean, Virginia, we take the recovery process very seriously. Led by Dr. Watkins, one of the country’s leading board certified plastic surgeons, we bring a personal touch and genuine concern to every aspect of our patients’ treatment and care, including home care. If you get a breast lift, here’s what you need to know about the recovery process.

Day 1

After waking up from your anesthesia, you’ll likely feel a bit groggy. After Dr. Watkins checks on you and is sure everything is fine, he’ll send you home with your friend or family member where you can rest.

If you’re like most women, you’ll spend the rest of the day and night sleeping without too much pain or discomfort.

Days 2-3

When you wake up the next morning, you’ll notice the gauze covering your chest and the elastic bandage holding it and your breasts in place. This will keep your stitches secure, help reduce inflammation, and stop your breasts from moving too much.

You may have some bruising, but this should start to subside in a couple days.

You may also have some discomfort or even pain. But don’t worry, Dr. Watkins will prescribe medication to keep with you if you need something stronger than over-the-counter medication.

The next few days will be about resting and taking it easy. And as you're resting, make sure to go over the detailed aftercare instructions about showering, washing your hair, activities to avoid, and other matters.

Day 7

On this day, you’ll have your first in-office post-operative visit. If there are any exposed sutures, they may be removed at this time. You’ll still need to keep the area protected with a soft bra (no underwires). A soft bra is recommended (no tight spandex sports bras). 

This is a critical step in your healing and recovery process. Giving your incisions a chance to heal without any tugging or pulling will ensure your breasts stay in the position you envisioned when you first consulted with Dr. Watkins.

Days 7-14

After Dr. Watkins takes out your stitches, he’ll let you know if you can go back to your regular activities.

Your breast tissue and nipples may still be reddish or pink and maybe even still bruised. Usually they’re still swollen, too. Swelling varies from patient to patient. Most of the swelling goes away by 3 months but there may be some residual swelling even past 3 months. 

Most pain should have subsided by now, but you may still experience soreness or tenderness. Some patients report some numbness, and if you do, be sure to let us know. Like the pain, numbness also typically goes away within the first few weeks. In rare cases, however, it may last longer.

4-6 weeks

One month after your surgery, you’ll be able to transition away from your postoperative bra and start feeling a little more like yourself again. In the mirror, you’ll definitely see the difference in your breasts’ height and position. Most patients are ready to resume heavier exercise by 6 weeks. 

As the weeks and months pass, any soreness will disappear completely, and your scars will go from red and lumpy to thin and white. Dr. Watkins is highly skilled at making small incisions and hiding them well, so you’ll be able to wear your bikini or low-cut top without fear. 

Life after your breast lift

Your breast lift results will be almost permanent. We say almost, because gravity and age will still be at work, and your weight can fluctuate, all of which can cause more sagging and shifting over time. But, you can look forward to enjoying your lifted breasts for years to come if you take the time and care needed to ensure a full recovery.

If you want to learn more about getting a breast lift, book an appointment online or over the phone with the practice of Frederick H. Watkins, MD, today.

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