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How Long Does It Take To Recover After Breast Lift Surgery?

Most women considering a breast lift procedure to address sagging breasts, worry about the expected recovery time of this cosmetic surgery. If you are considering breast lift surgery (mastopexy), chances are that you have some questions about the healing process.

Knowing how long it takes to get back on your feet is important, as you will need to make arrangements accordingly. In this simple guide we’ll provide you with a clear understanding of what to expect in the days, weeks, months, and beyond post-surgery.

First Two Days of The Breast Lift Recovery Time

You will have a follow-up appointment with your doctor the first or second day after the breast lift procedure.

The doctor checks how your breasts are healing. Things like colour of the surrounding skin and if your nipples are getting blood are routinely checked. Bruising is normal, but your doctor ensures that there isn’t any sign of infection or other problems. This also gives you a chance to talk to your cosmetic surgeon about any concerns you may have.

If you had any drainage tubing attached, these will be removed at this appointment.

Three to Five Days After Surgery

You will be uncomfortable for a few days after the surgical procedure. This is normal, since your body saw some major changes. You will need support around your breasts during this time. Your doctor may provide a surgical bra or recommend a bra with specific features.

What bra to wear after breast lift surgery?

Breast lift patients should consider the following when looking for an after-surgery bra:

• Front closure, zipper or hooks in front instead of behind
• Supportive, sport bras work well
• Larger than normal to fit surgical dressings
• Avoid molded cups
• Avoid under-wires

Buy a few different bra sizes ahead of time. The size and shape of your breasts will change, and you may find that your bra size is different.

How Painful Is Breast Lift Recovery?

2-3 days following their breast lift surgery, most mastopexy patients report mild to moderate pain. The pain should ease off after that and your plastic surgeon can prescribe pain medication to relieve your discomfort.


Your doctor may prescribe pain medications for your recovery. These will help with the pain and help you relax. If you have any questions or concerns about your pain management, talk to your doctor. Most surgeons prescribe pain medication for the first week of recovery.

Two to Three Weeks After Breast Lift Surgery

Your doctor will remove your stitches within the first two to three weeks after your breast lift surgery. This can be uncomfortable. You may feel a slight pulling sensation. However, most patients don’t have a problem with it.

You will notice the shape and size of your breasts starting to improve in about two weeks. This will continue as time passes. The swelling will go down, your incisions will continue to heal, and your breast skin coloring will go back to normal.

Your doctor will check on the symmetry of your breasts. If there is a slight asymmetry between them, a minor procedure corrects the problem. The nipple may need repositioning. You may need other adjustments, but these can wait until you’re fully recovered.

When to Resume Normal Activities?

Most doctors will tell you to plan on at least a week of breast lift recovery time, but sometimes it can take up to three. Depending on the nature of your job, you might be able to return to work after a week. Social outings and other light activities can also be resumed after a week or so. Avoid strenuous activity such as exercise or any lifting for four weeks.

One Month After Surgery

By now your incisions are fully healed. The scarring is minimal, and a good cosmetic surgeon will make the incisions on the underside of the breasts, where they are not noticeable. You can wear low cut tops without fear of someone seeing your scars. You may need to continue to wear the supportive bras for a few months after the procedure. The numbness in your nipples might last for about six weeks.

Years After the Cosmetic Surgery – Breast Lift Results

The result of a breast lift surgery is raiesed and firmer breasts. While you can maintain noticeable results long-term with diet and fitness, this is not a permanent procedure. Factors such as natural aging and changes in weight can cause your breasts to sag again. However, there is a follow-up procedure some women choose to undergo that is not as invasive to improve the look of their breasts.

Related: Is a Breast Lift Permanent?

About Breast Lift Scars

Many women worry about scarring. Generally, the incisions are made on the underside of the breasts. A good surgeon will do their best to make sure the scars are in an inconspicuous area, allowing you to comfortably wear even low-cut tops without them being noticeable. Breast lift incisions will fade with time, especially if you follow the recovery directions given by your cosmetic surgeon.

When will breast lift scars go away?

Breast lift scars will probably be visible for up to a year after surgery, and they will begin to fade after that point. Incision scars are permanent, but keep in mind that they are not going to be obviously seen by anyone because of their location. Your scars will become far less pronounced after a year, but they will not become totally invisible or faded.

How long does it take for nipples to heal after breast lift?

Generally, most individuals experience initial recovery within the first six weeks, but individual healing experience of the nipples and breast skin may vary. It is common to experience numbness in your nipples as the nerves recover from the surgery. Partial numbness is temporary and it may take two to three months to regain sensation, however, the area around the nipples may take longer.

Read more about breast lift scars and their potential treatments here.

Breast Lift Consultation in Barrie

Dr. Kenneth Dickie offers patients a personable approach to cutting-edge surgical and non-surgical procedures.  Our plastic surgery private facility is located in Barrie, fourty minutes north of Toronto.

Schedule a personal consultation with Dr. Dickie, or call us at the phone number posted at the top of the page.

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