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.
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 the best 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.
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 best breast shape achievable.
What are some of the things the patient needs to do to achieve the best 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.
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.
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.
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 best results possible by minimizing tension to get the body to heal appropriately in a more expedient fashion.
embrace® Active Scar Defense is the best 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.
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.
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.
Schedule your personal breast lift consultation today!
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