- What is a breast lift?
- Breast lift considerations
- How to tell if you should get a breast lift
- The different types of breast lifts
- How to choose the best surgeon for your breast lift
- What you need to know about breast lift surgery
- How to maintain your post-op breasts and possible complications
- Some more questions about breast lifts
What you need to know about surgery
How to get ready for surgery
You will be provided with extensive preparation instructions from your surgeon. You may also be given dietary requirements and weight benchmarks to reach before the surgery.
Your surgeon will ask the following of you prior to the procedure:
- Stop smoking for at least six weeks (if you smoke)
- Keep hydrated
- Avoid aspirin as this can increase bleeding
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Eat a high-protein, low-sodium diet
Your surgeon will also ensure that you have arranged for someone to drive you home after the surgery as you will have limited use of your arms and will still feel drugged from the anaesthetic.
During the breast lift surgery
Your surgeon will often ask you to be at the hospital, office-based surgical suite or ambulatory facility, a few hours before the procedure. You will also not be able to drink or eat anything at least six hours before.
Upon arrival at the hospital, you will then be admitted and asked to change into the not-so-flattering surgical robe and underwear. Your surgeon will then meet you in your room and talk to you about the length of the surgery and the plan of action. He/she will try and make you feel as comfortable as possible. He/she may also draw the incision marks on you prior to the surgery.
You will also meet your anaesthetist as you will be under general anaesthetic for the length of the procedure. Once in the operating room, various monitors will be placed on your chest and back to check your heart, pulse, blood pressure and oxygen levels. The surgery will take about one to two hours, depending on the extent of it. Once beginning the operation, your surgeon may adapt the chosen technique to ensure the best results.
After the surgery, your surgeon will wrap a bandage around your breasts or you might have to wear a surgical bra. You will then be wheeled on the hospital bed into the recovery room where you will be closely monitored as you begin to wake up. You will most likely be allowed to go home within a few hours, but your surgeon may have other recovery plans, it is best to speak to him/her about the process after the operation. You may also have drains in to collect excess fluid from your breasts, these will have a long pipe going into a hole in your breast with a small bag at the end of it, for the collection of the fluid. Some doctors prefer not to use these. You will normally have these removed one week after surgery.
What to expect after surgery
Your surgeon will normally prescribe pain medication as you will be in a lot of pain and discomfort. You will also experience swelling and have very little movement of your arms. Try and take it easy for the first few days. You are able to walk around, but you will still be in pain. It is sometimes best to have someone stay with you to help carry things, reach items higher up (it will be sore to lift your arms) and help you to sit up from lying down.
You will be expected to sleep on your back for the first few weeks after surgery. It helps to surround yourself with pillows that will prevent you from rolling onto your side or stomach. You will have to wear and sleep in your surgical bra for about four weeks. Some surgeons may issue two bras so that one can be washed while you wear the other one.
It is possible to return to work after about four days of recovery, but this is purely dependent on your surgery and recovery. Often having another surgery in conjunction with a breast lift, such as breast augmentation, may result in a longer recovery time. Exercise should be limited in the first four weeks, after which you can start easing back into your exercise routine. Speak to your surgeon about recovery and exercise. You will be allowed to wear an underwire bra eight weeks or possibly sooner after your surgery.
Your surgeon will typically want to see you once a week for the first four weeks, and then at six months and finally, at one-year post-op. However, depending on the surgeon and the procedure, these assessments may vary.
Some settling of the breasts will occur in the weeks after the surgery, but the nipple placement should remain intact.