More than 100,000 women choose to have breast lift surgery each year. The number of breast lifts performed annually has increased over 110% since 2000. Being a leading breast surgery center in Chicago, we see a fair amount of women who want to correct sagging, deflated breasts with a surgical lift. From what we see, a breast lift can also lift someone’s self-confidence and level of satisfaction with their appearance! We’d also like to lift stress off of patients during their recovery. One way we can do that is to provide a clear list of Do’s and Don’ts, which we’ll do here.
- Receive the help that you ask for. Many women have a hard time with this important post-op directive: ask for help. Women who have breast surgery are often instructed to have someone with them at all times for one week after surgery. Why? Because they should get help with everything. After breast surgery, your arms may have limited range of motion. You may feel tight, sensitive, and sore. Reaching for the chocolate you stashed on the top shelf of the cupboard is a no-no. Your helper can do it, but you may need to share your treat.
- Sleep reclined on your back. Sleeping on your back alleviates unnecessary pressure on the breasts and accidental tugging on your incisions. Sleeping reclined rather than flat helps swelling resolve more quickly. If you tend to move around while you sleep, you’ll need extra pillows stacked around you to help you stay on your back.
- Wear a sports bra. After surgery, a compression bra is applied. Your surgeon may advise you to wear this at all times other than when you bathe. Do it. Compression helps support healing incisions, presses excess fluid and blood away from the surgical site, and minimizes swelling and bruising more quickly.
- Follow all of your post-surgical instructions. We give patients instructions for a reason. Every single directive is meant to promote optimal healing. We’ve listed some of the instructions here; getting a helper, sleeping on your back, and wearing your compression. Your discharge paperwork will have additional directions that, if you follow them closely, should ease your recovery period.
- Rush back to your normal life. Remember that very first DO? DO receive help! This may sound repetitive but we’re listing this concept again for a reason. Many patients struggle with being off work and lying around the house taking naps and eating the chocolate they had stashed on the top shelf of the cupboard. We’re not taught to relax so when surgery forces us to do so, we may deal with emotions we weren’t expecting. Don’t rush. Your body needs you to slow down so it can heal.
- Let the bedroom get too steamy. Sex is one of the few activities that surgeons advise against after breast lift surgery. The good news is that, if you follow your post-op instructions to a T, your recovery should go smoothly and your surgeon can clear you for this activity sooner rather than later.
These Do’s and Don’ts are a short list of what you can expect after breast lift surgery. Your surgical team will provide you with all the detailed information you need to heal well after your procedure. Your only job is to follow them.