The size and shape of the breasts can differ a lot from one woman to another. Furthermore, throughout a woman’s life, aging, breastfeeding, weight fluctuations, and some other factors can reduce breasts’ firmness and size and hence make breasts sag and droop and the nipples point downward.
During breast lift surgery, the plastic surgeon removes the excess skin, reshapes the tissues and repositions the nipples to restore the youthful shape of the breast. If you are thinking of undergoing breast lift surgery, here are 8 things you should know beforehand.
1. Breast lift will not increase the size of your breasts
Before undergoing the surgery, you should know that this procedure differs from breast augmentation. While the latter involves adding more volume to your breasts, breast lift focuses on changing the shape of your breasts and making them look more youthful and perkier.
In fact, this surgery might even slightly reduce the size of your breasts. Consult with your surgeon and let them know what you want. If you are not satisfied with both the shape and the size of your breasts, you can choose to undergo a breast lift with implants, or a breast lift with fat transfer, which combine both breast lift and augmentation.
2. Your breasts will look bigger for a few weeks
Even if you choose not to get implants or fat injection, you might notice some increase in the size of your breasts. This increase is caused by the swelling and might last for a few weeks, thus you should not be worried. It is likely to feel pain and soreness after the surgery, and your surgeon will prescribe pain killers for you.
Keep in mind that you must not put ice packs on your breasts. Although ice packs are commonly used to minimize the swelling, using them after breast lift reduces the blood flow to the incisions. If necessary put cold compress on your breasts for 20 minutes, remove them for 40 minutes and repeat the process if needed.
3. You need to wear a comfortable bra after surgery
The surgeon will advise you to use a post-operative bra after the operation. If you find it comfortable, continue to wear it; if not, you can buy your own bra from a local shop. Choose a bra that gives you support without adding too much compression.
Due to the swelling, you might need a bigger bra that will not suit you after healing. Therefore, no need to buy a lot of them after the operation.
4. You need to stop exercising for a few weeks after surgery
You can walk right after the operation. However, you must avoid all kinds of intense physical exercises, such as running and biking for 6 weeks. You must not try to lift any heavy objects including lifting your kids and the heavy bags of groceries.
you must avoid any sexual activity for a couple of weeks. Also, try to avoid upper arm movements for the first 2 weeks. Consult with your surgeon before going back to work.
5. Smoking and alcohol are two no-noes for some time
Smoking can slow down the healing process, and surgeons often ask patients to quit smoking a month before the surgery. Keep in mind that this also applies to the other alternatives, so you cannot use nicotine patches or nicotine gums.
Many Surgeons will urge you to quit alcohol for at least 4 weeks after the procedure. Alcohol can interfere with some of the medications and expand the blood vessels, therefore, it will increase the swelling. Some surgeons allow moderate drinking after two weeks, so you should consult with your doctor before drinking.
6. You can’t sleep on your belly during recovery time
During your recovery, it is recommended to sleep on your back. Some surgeons recommend sleeping with your head elevated, however, it is ok to lay down on your back without extra billows under your head. If you are used to sleeping on your belly or the side, try to change the way to sleep. Sleeping on your side or on your stomach puts more pressure on your breasts.
Also read: How to sleep after breast surgery?
7. Vegetables and water are vital for fast healing
Healthy foods are very important during recovery. You must have proper nutrition to accelerate the healing process. Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, especially the ones rich in vitamin K.
Water is essential to the healing process. Make sure you stay hydrated all the time. And try to avoid high salt consumption because salt can make the swelling even worse.
8. There will be some scars
Every surgery, including plastic surgery, leaves scars. However, the surgeon tries to make the incisions in certain places so to make the scars less visible. The scars will be red and lumpy at first but will improve throughout the recovery and become white and thin. However, a breast lift surgery will leave a permanent scar on your breasts, which will be more or less visible. So it’s up to you to decide whether the benefits are worth the scar.
In this regard too, it is very important to stay hydrated, eat healthily and avoid smoking during the recovery. Furthermore, you must not expose your breasts to sunlight or use a strong sunblock on your scars for 18 months following the surgery.
Although the surgery will give your breasts their youthful look back, it might not prevent future sagging. The results of a breast lift surgery might be further affected by age-related factors that lead to sagging. If you want the results to last longer, it is recommended to have stable weight. So if you are planning to have a weight loss (or weight gain) program, it is recommended to put of the surgery until after the program.
Keep in mind that the size of the breasts plays a key role in the sagging of the breasts. It is absolutely normal for the result of women with smaller breasts to last longer. However, the following sagging will not be the same as it was before the surgery. And maintaining your weight can help you make the results last longer.