Guerra Plastic Surgery Center
Call us at (480) 568-2523

Breast Lift Recovery Specialists

Heal quickly with our experienced breast lift surgeon.

Recovery Step by Step

Overview on the recovery process.

The recovery process for Breast Lift is different and more prolonged than when compared to a Breast Augmentation recovery. The reason for this is that you have the breast implant which adds volume and improves the cleavage, expanding or stretching the tissues. At the same time you have the Breast Lift procedure which tends to tighten the tissues, shorten the levels of sagginess, and improve the actual position of the breast itself. These two opposing forces will lead to a different kind of a recovery with Breast Lift when compared to breast implants only.

actual patient photo
Dr. Aldo in a post-operative recovery room with an actual breast surgery patient.

Q&A with Post-Op Team

  • How far apart will my Post-Operative appointments be?
  • Our breast lift patients will be seen every single week after the surgery for 3-4 weeks consecutively and we recommend that you don't miss any of these appointments. At each appointment, very important parts of the recovery will be performed to take care and assure that your wounds are healing fine. During the first week we will check your dressing. The second week, we start to remove sutures. By the third week, all of the sutures will be removed. Importantly, the fourth week you can be cleared to start the popular embrace® Active Scar Defense or other scar therapy to treat your breast lift incisions. All of these appointments are critical for the most desired outcome.
  • What happens if I have any questions or concerns after hours?
  • If you have an emergency situation you can call our office for the after hours on-call service. Otherwise, if you have questions such as a small amount of bleeding, drainage, or other concerns regarding pain control or your wound, you can call our office at any time during normal business hours. We will take time at each of your visits to answer all of your questions for after care.
Guerra Plastic Surgery actual patient post op patient
Actual Guerra Plastic Surgery post operative patient.

Phase 1: Breast Lift Recovery

The first week after surgery.

As soon as you leave the operating room, you begin to enter the recovery process. We want you to have outstanding pain control. At the surgical center, you will be given two important medications: pain medication and antibiotics. When you get home your priority is a muscle relaxant. It is the most important medication that leads to pain control and a better experience. You can do some limited light duty activity: no heavy lifting, and do not raise your arms fully above your head. When you shower, you must dry your breast lift wounds completely.

Q&A with Post-Op Team

  • When can I take a shower after my Breast Lift?
  • The soonest you can take a shower after your Breast Lift surgery is 48 hours (2 days) after leaving the operating room. If you are feeling groggy, wait a full 72 hours (3 days) or until you feel you have made more progress in your recovery. Any steri-strips or any tape left on the skin should not be removed, but make sure they are completely dry and that there is no water left trapped under the dressing.
  • How long do I need to use ice packs?
  • Ice therapy is beneficial, but do not use ice cubes as they can create a frostbite condition on the skin. Instead, use frozen peas or frozen corn as it is more malleable and can get around and into your cleavage and roundness of your breasts. Leave it on for 20 minutes, and take it off for 20-40 minutes before reapplying.
  • What type of medications will I receive for my surgery and how often should I take them?
  • You will receive several important medications and ALL of them should be taken as prescribed unless directed by Dr. Aldo or one of the nurses or medical assistants in the office. We believe having good pain control is important, but we try to use a low narcotic approach to reduce chances of a medical drug addiction. The most important medications for relieving pain is muscle relaxant, moloxicam and gabapentin (nerve pain). All of these medications are safe to take in the first 24 hour period up to three days. Most of our Breast Lift patients will have a low narcotic or no narcotic prescription for a faster recovery.
Actual patient wearing a breast band.
Our actual patient wearing an elastic breast band.

Phase 2: Breast Settling

Second to third week.

Typically 7 days from the surgery, it is when the implant starts to settle and the skin and soft tissue begins to stretch. The Breast Implants allow the breasts to grow from a small cup to a bigger cup, and also leads to stretching of the skin and soft tissue. At the same time, the Breast Lift has tightened the skin so one of the two opposing forces will be stronger than the other and ultimately lead to the most desired breast shape achievable.

What are some of the things the patient needs to do to achieve the most desired result? The patient needs to massage the breast lightly. In the second week, we will show you very gentle massages, and add an elastic breast band to reduce swelling and begin to settle the implant to the appropriate level. It takes about 2-3 months to settle nicely; don't be disappointed that the implant is high after a few weeks, that is completely normal. More vigorous massage exercises will be encouraged each week, and longer periods of time wearing the breast band will be encouraged. We also recommend a muscle relaxant should be taken every night for 20 days until a better breast implant position is achieved. Avoiding trauma to the dressing and the breast from the bra and excessive physical activities will be critically important in breast lift recovery.

Q&A with Post-Op Team

  • When do I wear my breast band?
  • Elastic breast bands are important for most breast operations. Some patients will not need an elastic breast band if they are happy with their upper pole volume after 7-10 days. On the other hand, most patients will experience an implant that looks high and tight which is normal for this surgery. An elastic breast band will help you by performing several important actions in your recovery. The first thing is that it will help pressure the swelling out of the tissues, help move the implant down, and sometimes help stabilize the implant laterally. Patients feel a lot more comfortable in their breast band. If the breast band is worn too tight, there can be too much pressure, too much pain, so you need to make sure you give yourself plenty of break in between wearing the breast band. Most patients will start wearing it only 6 hours a day for the first 3-5 days then move to wearing it 12 hours a day for the next 2-3 weeks. In some cases, the patient will need to wear it 24/7. All of these points will be discussed with you on an individual basis with the doctor at the time of your followup appointment.
  • When do my sutures come out?
  • Sutures are removed along with the steri-strips 7-10 days post-op. At this appointment new steri-strips will be applied and will be removed within 7-10 days at your next post-op visit.
  • When can I drive after my Breast Lift surgery?
  • You can drive after Breast Lift surgery but not immediately after. Most of the time after the patient has been exposed to anesthesia, pain medications and muscle relaxants, they will feel dizzy and will not be able to operate any heavy machinery including a car. We ask patients to wait for 5-7 days. If for some reason you cannot wait that long, we ask that you notify us to be sure it is something that is discussed with the doctor.
  • What type of Breast Massage will I be performing and how frequently?
  • There are several types of breast massages performed whenever a person receives breast lift surgery or breast implants in a breast augmentation only. These are critical and important in the entire recovery process. The average patient does not begin massaging until about 3-4 days after the surgery, until the pressure and pain has been relieved. We start with a very gentle massage called the "piano". It's not any harder than if you were playing the piano with your fingers on top of the breast. Most patients will massage for 5-10 minutes 2-4 times a day.

    After a week of recovery, we may recommend a more vigorous massage applying a little bit more pressure on top the breast implant and massaging the sides of the breast and slowly walking down the implant down the chest. This will be supplimented by the elastic breast band as well.

    Massaging techniques do vary depending on the goals. There are massaging techniques for better cleavage, to lower the implant faster, and to relax the pectoralis muscle if it is tight. All of these techniques are discussed on an individual basis with each patient with the entire post operative team and the doctor present.

model breast massage
Breast massages are recommended for MemoryGel® and saline breast implants.
EO2 System for Breast Lift Wound Healing
Revolutionary EO2 System for faster Breast Lift wound healing.
  • What is EO2 wound therapy?
  • We have EO2 wound therapy and Dermabond® tape to prevent and treat wound healing delays with Breast Lift. Studies performed at Harvard University have shown that patients who have a breast reduction or an anchor pattern Breast Lift or a vertical pattern Breast Lift can have issues with wound healing in a delayed manner. Small open wounds sometimes require antibiotics and in addition require dressing changes or EO2 are important to treat right away and also prevent. We use Dermabond® to prevent those wounds and leave it on for 21 days. It protects you from rubbing the bra from excessive activity causing weakness in the skin soft tissue closure. However, if you do experience a small wound we will discuss therapy to heal that as fast as possible. For most patients, we can heal the wound within 3-4 weeks. Some patients may need EO2 therapy which is 100% oxygen delivery in a fashion that allows the skin cells to heal much faster reducing the level of discomfort that the patient experiences, expediting the healing process overall.
model at desk job
Return to light activity after breast lift surgery, Model.

Phase 3: Return to Activity

3-12 weeks after breast lift surgery.

We allow the average patient to resume some aerobic activity by 21 days after a breast lift. The recovery is different from patient to patient due to how fast the patient heals. At the 3 week mark, the patient should refrain from serious vigorous activity, but by 6 weeks the patient can return to more aggressive activity.

Q&A with Post-Op Team

  • What is the best scar therapy treatment?
  • The most effective scar therapy that we have used in over 15 years of private practice is embrace® Active Scar Defense. It is our #1 treatment for all types of incisions. It is especially good for Breast Lift incisions and it is highly recommended for all patients. embrace® has to be applied at the appropriate time, the remodeling phase of wound healing. That phase does not tend to occur until 14 or even 21 days after the operation.

    We will see you every week for the first 3 weeks, removing sutures. Once you're done with Dermabond® tape, your sutures are removed, and all the glue is off your skin, then we can begin scar therapy to achieve the most desired results possible by minimizing tension to get the body to heal appropriately in a more expedient fashion.

embrace dressings at different sizes
embrace® dressings come in different sizes.

#1 Scar Therapy for Breast Lift Incisions

embrace® Active Scar Defense is the most recommended scar therapy option for treating breast lift incisions at Guerra Plastic Surgery Center. We have been using embrace® since 2014 and we are the top embrace® practice in the United States.

Call us at (480) 970-2580 or contact us online to learn more about using embrace® Active Scar Defense to treat your breast lift incisions.

Before after breast lift incision treated with embrace
Breast lift vertical incisions after 1 year treated with embrace®.
actual patient photo
Actual patient, breast augmentation with silicone breast implants.
  • When can I resume Vitamins and Herbal Supplements after Breast Lift?
  • Many patients ask about what types of vitamins and supplements they can take after Breast Lift and other types of surgery that we perform. Any herbal medications or weight loss supplements should be avoided until 6 weeks after the operation.

    However, patients will benefit from some vitamins useful to wound healing and creating solid beautiful scars. Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Zinc, Bromalin are recommended at 3 weeks into the recovery period, but it is important not to take them until they are discussed with the doctor.

  • When can I work out/exercise after my Breast Lift surgery?
  • You can not work out or exercise after surgery until cleared by the doctor. The reason for this is that early exercise and micro trauma to the incisions can lead to open wounds, which we want to avoid at all costs. We take great care during the operation to close your incisions as nice as possible, provide you with excellent wound healing regimens and vitamins to lead to a good wound. So it is important not to exercise in the first 21 days. After that, the doctor can discuss a plan with you to return to light exercise activity. You can return to your regular physical regimen in 6-8 weeks.

Phase 4: Clearance

3 months after surgery.

We want to make sure that wounds have completely healed, the breast implants have descended nicely into the pocket, and the shape, size, and cleavage looks as appropriate as planned. Before that, the tissue is healing, they are very sensitive to excessive exercise, and they are sensitive to undue forces which could cause delays in the incision. Once you reach 3 months, most patients are able to get cleared for full exercise, are looking very good, can fit into a nice bra/bikini/swimsuit, and begin to enjoy the result of their breast lift operation.

Q&A with Post-Op Team

  • When can I wear my normal underwire bra?
  • Underwire bras are a bigger issue for Breast Lift than a Breast Augmentation because the underwire can create points of pressure, which affects and delays wound healing. Underwire bras should be avoided for at least 6 weeks after breast lift to achieve desired results, or when the doctor clears you to wear one.
No Underwire Bra Actual Patient
Actual Guerra Plastic Surgery patient wearing a no underwire bra.

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