Because breast lifts are typically performed under general anesthesia, you will likely be groggy immediately following surgery. The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis, meaning you should make arrangements to be driven home. Elastic bandages or special compression garments will likely be placed in order to reduce swelling and support the new shape of your breasts. You will need to continue wearing these items for about three to four weeks in order to maintain your breasts' new position and your comfort.
After your post-operative observation, you will be allowed to go home. You will probably experience some discomfort during the first couple to several days following surgery. Pain medications will be prescribed to help ease you through this period. Bruising, swelling, and tenderness are all common during the initial recovery period. It is important to get a lot of rest following surgery to help aid your body's natural healing process. Because healing demands so much energy from the body, it is important not to overexert yourself during this time. You may be asked to get up and move around some to increase circulation and reduce swelling; this should be done according to Dr. Davidson's recommendations. Sleeping in a semi-reclined position, limiting salt intake, and drinking lots of water can also help minimize the swelling.
Bathing will be difficult until the bandages come off, usually several days after surgery. During this time, you will be restricted to taking sponge baths. Once the compression garments come off, you will still need to wear a sports bra for the next few weeks. You should secure a trusted companion to look after you for the first couple of days after the procedure. They can assist you with tasks that may be difficult – especially because the range of motion in your arms will be limited– and watch for signs of complications.
Most women can return to work and resume normal activity within the first week after surgery, provided that their jobs are relatively sedentary. Even light exercise should generally be avoided for four weeks. A moderate exercise routine can be resumed somewhere between four to six weeks after the procedure in most cases. Pushing and pulling motions, heavy lifting, and anything else that puts considerable strain on the upper body should be avoided.
The results of your breast lift may not be immediately apparent. Once the bandages are removed, the appearance of your breasts will likely be distorted due to bruising and swelling. The presence of sutures and/or drain tubes may also look unusual to you. You will start to see more noticeable results after a few weeks. Your breasts will likely achieve their final look somewhere around six months after surgery. The scars will usually take longer to fade.