Cosmetic Surgery Tips

Breast Lift Recovery Week by Week

Breast lift surgery, also known as mastopexy, is a surgical procedure that raises and reshapes sagging breasts by removing excess skin and tightening the surrounding tissue. As with any surgical procedure, breast lift surgery requires a recovery period to allow for proper healing and minimize the risk of complications.

In this guide, we review the aspects of Breast lift recovery week by week, how long for breast lift incisions to heal, how long to wear surgical bra after breast lift, and why do you have to wear a compression bra after breast reduction.

A breast lift, or is performed as an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia. The procedure typically lasts one to three hours. After one or two hours in the recovery room, the patient is discharged to home. Patients are instructed to relax, but bed rest is not necessary. In fact, we prefer that you move around some. You may eat anything you want right after surgery. You may shower that day or the next day. There is very little wound care needed.

The incisions are covered by strips of 1″ paper tape. There is a large clear plastic dressing over the lower half of the breast. All of this will be removed approximately 10 days after surgery. There are usually only one or two sutures that need to be removed. The rest are buried under the skin and will eventually dissolve. Drains are typically not necessary. A surgical bra is worn for four weeks around the clock. Patients typically are off work for three to seven days. There are no restrictions after three weeks postoperatively. It usually takes 6 to 12 weeks for the breasts to achieve their final shape.

Breast Lift Recovery Week by Week

As one of the main concerns with mastopexy is scar quality, we have a special protocol that we use for the breast scars. When you are seen 10 to 14 days after surgery, we will remove the paper tape that we placed on the incisions in the operating room. Then, we will apply a clear plastic dressing called Tegaderm to the scars. You will be instructed to leave this on as long as possible. We would like for you to use the Tegaderm for a total of three months. Usually it will require changing every three or four weeks. The Tegaderm applied to the scar at the fold beneath the breast may require changing more frequently than the Tegaderm applied around the nipple. We have found that the use of Tegaderm for three months after surgery significantly improves scar quality.

Pain after mastopexy is usually very moderate. Often non-narcotic analgesics are all that is required. This allows for a faster recovery and reduces the side effects that are often seen with narcotics such as Demerol and codeine.


Early after surgery, the breast skin will be tight. The upper portion of the breast will be full, and perhaps rounded. The bottom portion of the breast will be flattened. This shape is temporary and as time goes on the upper portion will flatten and the bottom portion will fill out. As it does so a more desirable shape will be achieved. Unfortunately, the skin may continue to stretch and the breast may continue to sag beyond this desired endpoint. However, it will not return to the position and shape that it started from before surgery.

Tightening the breast skin forces the tissue into a smaller volume. It becomes more dense or firmer. This firmness is due to the external compression by the skin instead of a gain of internal cohesiveness by the breast tissue. Since the skin is weak to begin with, the early tightness is only temporary. If an implant is used the resulting tightness of the breast will depend on how much of the final breast comes from natural tissue and how much comes from the implant.

Breast Lift Recovery Tips

Congratulations on having your breast lift surgery! At this point, you should be feeling more comfortable and ready to get back to your normal activities.

Your incision(s) should be healing well, with no pain or discomfort. You’ll want to avoid strenuous activity for at least two weeks after your surgery, including vigorous exercise and heavy lifting. You can expect some swelling and bruising, which may take months to resolve completely.

You may feel numbness in the area around your incision and/or sensitivity to touch. You might also feel a pulling sensation when you move your arms or chest muscles, both of which can be expected as the incisions heal and scar tissue forms. This is normal—do not try to stretch or pull on anything that feels numb or painful!

Your surgeon will provide specific instructions about how to care for yourself during this time period, but here are some general tips:

Take it easy! Don’t overexert yourself; take it slow and steady until your body is fully healed from surgery.

1 Week After Breast Lift

Congratulations! You’ve made it through the first week of recovery, and you’re probably feeling pretty good about your progress. Your incisions are healing well, and you’re probably noticing that your clothes are fitting better than they did before the surgery.

You might also notice that your breasts feel tight or stiff in certain positions. This is normal, and it will slowly go away as your skin stretches back out to its normal shape. Just be patient and give yourself some time to heal. If you experience any increased pain or swelling in the days ahead, contact your surgeon immediately.

1 week after breast lift

The first week after your breast lift is complete, you can expect to have some of the following symptoms:

  • Swelling and bruising
  • Tightness in the surgical area
  • Soreness or tenderness in the surgical area
  • Temporary numbness or tingling sensations in the surgical area
  • Pain around the incision site (usually mild)

The first week after your breast lift, you will probably be sore and swollen. The pain generally starts on the second day and continues until the fourth or fifth day after your surgery. You may have some bruising around the incision sites, which should fade within a week or two.

You may feel like you need to sleep with a pillow under your arm to support it (your surgeon will likely recommend this). You can also wear an Ace bandage around your chest to provide additional support.

You should avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activity for at least four weeks following your surgery. Your surgeon may also advise you not to drive for a few weeks, so take public transportation if possible until then.

One week after your breast lift, you may be able to return to work. However, this depends on your job and how much time it takes you to get in and out of the car.

You should avoid strenuous activities for at least four weeks after surgery. You should also avoid lifting heavy objects or sitting for long periods of time during this period.

For the first two weeks, you’ll want to wear a tight bra and take any pain medications prescribed by your doctor as needed.

It’s important not to lie down flat for at least 24 hours after surgery. Instead, sleep with pillows propped up behind your back so that your head is elevated slightly above your heart. This will help reduce swelling in your breasts and prevent blood clots from forming in the veins that drain blood from the area beneath your breasts (the pectoralis major muscles).

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

The recovery process after a breast lift can be long, but there are many things you can do at home to help speed up the process and make sure your results are as good as possible.

The first few weeks after your procedure will be focused on getting rid of any excess fluid that’s built up around your incision area. This usually happens because of blood clots that have formed around the area where the skin was cut open—these clots prevent more blood from coming in, so fluid builds up instead. The fluid is usually removed by your doctor with small suction devices or large needles inserted into the incision site.

How long does it take for nipples to heal after breast lift? The answer depends on how much swelling you have—some women have no swelling at all, while others develop large amounts of swelling that may last up to six months or longer. In general, though, most women see significant improvement within just one month after their surgery has been performed. At this point they should also be able to shower normally (but only with water) and wear regular clothing such as bras and tank tops without any problems related to discomfort or pain when doing so; however

If you’re wondering how long it will take for your nipples to heal after a breast lift, the answer is—it depends.

The length of the healing process varies depending on how much work was done during your mastopexy, as well as what type of incision was used.

In general, though, you can expect your nipple area to look like this:

  • Swelling: Swelling in the area will generally start to go down after about one week. At this point, it’s safe to start applying ice packs if necessary (though be mindful not to apply them directly against any stitches).
  • Bruising: Bruising may last for about two weeks or more. It’s normal for some bruising to remain even longer than that. You’ll want to avoid wearing tight clothing during this time period because it could cause irritation or pain in your nipples.
  • Soreness: This feeling should disappear after about two weeks or so. It’s important not to massage your breasts during this time period because doing so could delay healing and lead to scarring or infection.

The amount of time it takes for nipples to heal after a breast lift depends on the technique used, but most patients will see significant improvement within the first week.

In general, you can expect to experience some swelling and bruising at least until your stitches are removed. Additionally, as the skin stretches over the newly-lifted breast, it may become red and irritated. This can last for several weeks after surgery.

Your doctor may recommend an ointment or cream to help reduce these symptoms.

Your healing process will depend on the type of surgery you had and how your body reacts to it. The most common types of breast lifts are

Mastopexy—where the nipple-areola complex is repositioned, usually in conjunction with breast augmentation.

Lollipop lift—where only a small amount of tissue is removed from each breast, leaving a small scar around the nipple.

Vertical mastopexy—where tissue is removed from under the areola, but not from around it. This leaves a scar across the bottom of your breasts rather than just underneath them.

Nipple incisions take about six weeks to heal completely.

how long for breast lift incisions to heal

The healing time for breast lift incisions can vary depending on several factors, including the extent of the procedure, the patient’s individual healing process, and how well they follow their surgeon’s post-operative care instructions.

In general, breast lift incisions will initially be red, swollen, and may feel tender to the touch. However, over time, the incisions will gradually heal and fade. Here is a general timeline for breast lift incision healing:

  1. First week: During the first week after surgery, the incisions will be covered with surgical dressings. You should avoid showering until your surgeon advises it is safe to do so. You may experience some discomfort or pain in the incision area, which can be managed with pain medication as prescribed by your surgeon.
  2. First month: During the first month, the incisions will start to heal, and the swelling will begin to subside. Your surgeon may remove the dressings and advise you to start wearing a surgical bra or compression garment to support the healing tissues.
  3. First six months: Over the first six months, the incisions will continue to heal and fade. Your surgeon may advise you to use silicone scar sheets or other topical treatments to help minimize scarring. You should also continue to wear a supportive bra or compression garment as instructed.
  4. First year: After a year, the incisions should be fully healed and the scars will have significantly faded. However, some scarring may still be visible. It is important to continue to protect your breasts from sun exposure to prevent further discoloration of the scars.

It is important to follow your surgeon’s specific instructions for incision care and to attend all follow-up appointments to monitor your healing progress. With proper care and patience, you can expect to see significant improvement in the appearance of your breast lift incisions over time.

how long to wear surgical bra after breast lift

Surgical Bra (first 2 weeks)

At the time of surgery, you will be placed in a special post-augmentation bra designed to support your new breasts. This bra also has a strap which presses down from above in order to help your implants reach their final position more quickly. This bra should be worn at all times, night and day, for two weeks. You may remove it to shower or to launder the garment.

Transition Bra (2) weeks to 3 months)

After two weeks, you may stop wearing the surgical bra and wear a non-underwire, supportive. This should still be worn both night and day for an additional two weeks. After four weeks from the date of your surgery, you may stop wearing a bra at night. Continue to wear a supportive, non-underwire bra for two more months before returning to underwire bras.

Bra Recommendations:

Long Term Bra (3+ months

Usually by three months after your surgery can return to wearing an underwire bra. However, underwire bras may rub on the incision site, potentially causing mild discomfort. Also, since the incision itself has less feeling than normal tissue, you may not notice site irritation. If you choose to wear underwire bras, pay attention to your incision site to ensure it is tolerating your bra.

why do you have to wear a compression bra after breast reduction

Nowadays, there’s an unlimited number of body-shaping surgeries that people can undergo, starting from Brazilian butt lifting to breast augmentation and breast reduction procedures. And although those surgeries are often associated with beauty standards, they’re critical for medical reasons most of the time.

For instance, people who undergo breast reduction surgeries often do them because they suffer from back pains and physical issues due to having huge breasts. The surgery consists of removing excess tissue and skin from the breasts, and luckily, it isn’t a high-risk surgery. But are the results permanent?

Well, the answer depends on your discipline afterward. The results can be affected by gaining weight, losing weight, and not abiding by the recovery rules, like wearing compression garments and exercising regularly.

What Are Compression Garments?

If you’ve researched body shaping surgeries, you’ve probably heard about compression garments before. They’re tight garments made from breathable fabrics, like nylon and elastin. Some are also made from moisture-wicking fabrics to ensure patients’ comfort.

Compression garments are a vital part of recovery from body-shaping surgeries, and they improve blood circulation, reduce swelling, and quicken the recovery period. Unfortunately, recovering patients often have to wear them for a few weeks or months after the surgery.

Many compression garments are available on the market, like girdles, binders, leggings, socks, and bras. However, each one of them works for a different body-shaping procedure.

They also come with many types of closure. For instance, some garments have Velcro closures, while some come with hook-and-eye ones. After undergoing breast reduction surgery, you’ll have to wear a compression bra for a while.

Why Wear a Compression Bra After Breast Reduction Surgery

Compression bras are crucial for a healthy and quick recovery from breast reduction surgery, and here are five reasons why.

1. Reduces Swelling

Swelling is an expected side effect of any surgery, and breast reduction procedures are no exception. However, you can keep the swelling at bay by wearing a compression bra regularly after your surgery. But how will it help?

It’ll apply pressure over your recently treated breasts, thus preventing fluids from building up and forming a seroma. As a result, this action will allow your disrupted tissues to get essential nutrients and oxygen.

The bra will bring post-surgery bruising to a minimum as it’ll prevent your blood from accumulating at the surface of your skin.

2. Quickens Healing

Compression bras make for a more comfortable and quicker recovery period, but how? For starters, swelling disrupts your recovery by preventing nutrients from reaching the damaged tissues. This way, the tissues take a much longer time to heal. So when compression garments reduce swelling, they quicken your healing process.

In addition, wearing a compression bra protects your sutures from stretching or opening, and it also minimizes the risk of bacterial infections due to contact with your incision site.

3. Improves Final Results

Although the final results after breast reduction surgery are often satisfactory, they might not be as permanent as you think. To maintain them, you’ll need to follow specific rules. For example, you’ll have to watch your diet, exercise more often, and wear compression garments.

Luckily, compression bras contribute to pleasing results by keeping your tissue in place during recovery. As a result, they don’t allow side effects like bumps formation and skin wrinkling. Instead, they help people with poor skin elasticity keep their contoured bodies.

Finally, people with recently healed wounds are at risk of developing keloids, which form firm lesions because of excessive scar tissue. Wearing a compression bra will help soften keloids and prevent their formation.

4. Lessens Post-Surgery Pain

Pain is a natural side effect of any surgery, especially during the first week or ten days. That said, wearing a compression bra can drastically lessen your post-surgery pain. This is because it’ll protect your recently treated tissues from being pulled or stretched by your movements. Accordingly, you’ll be able to move around comfortably.

So while many people complain about how compression garments are uncomfortable, they’re saving you from a much more bothersome recovery period.

5. Improves Circulation

Compression garments are famous among poor blood circulation patients because they apply pressure on weakened areas of your body. Therefore, they help your damaged tissues get the oxygen required for healing.

After any surgery, the risk of developing blood clots increases. However, your compression bra can bring this risk to a minimum by improving blood circulation. More so, proper circulation can help prevent bacterial infections and post-surgery swelling.

Timeline of Wearing a Compression Bra After a Breast Reduction Surgery

Most people who undergo body shaping procedures are often impatient about taking off compression garments. However, optimally, there are two stages after your surgery in which you have to keep the compression bra on your body.

Stage One

Your tissues and skin are often more sensitive during the first stage of your recovery because of accumulated fluids. Also, it contains more pain and discomfort.

It would be best if you never took your compression bra off during the first stage; the only exception is during showering. It’ll deal with the fluids buildup by mediating their drainage to the lymphatic system. Accordingly, the swelling and bruising of your skin will minimize. Most patients wear their stage one compression bras for about two to four weeks post-surgery.

Stage Two

During stage two of your recovery period, your body won’t have as many accumulated fluids. You’ll be more comfortable with your movements and incision site.

The compression garments you’ll wear are often more comfortable and looser during this stage. Your doctor might even allow you to wear a regular sports bra. In addition, you won’t have to wear them 24/7; you can take them off multiple times throughout the day.

The primary role of stage two compression bras is to support your breast’s new shape and size to prevent affecting the surgery’s results. And since they’re more comfortable than stage one bras, you can wear them long-term under your clothes. And optimally, you should keep wearing them till you fully recover.

How to Choose a Compression Bra

Buying a compression bra might seem like a breeze, but it has many aspects that you should consider before purchasing. Lucky for you, we’ve made a list of the essential features of a compression bra.

Front Closures

Compression bras with front closures will be your new best friend during the recovery period. They’re insanely easy to wear and remove, and you won’t have to strain any muscles in the process.

Front Closures are essential because if you strain your arms to close the bra from behind, you might stretch your sutures too far, leading to an unfortunate event like bleeding or opening. So for maximum comfort, you should prioritize front closures in your post-surgery bra.


Non-adjustable compression bras can be bothersome to wear during the first week or after your surgery. For instance, if you change your sleeping position and want to adjust your bra accordingly, you won’t be able to.

That’s why, ideally, you should look for compression bras with adjustable closures and straps. This way, you won’t have to make an extra effort while wearing or removing them.


Most post-surgical bras don’t have wires; however, you may come across one that has. So it’ll be best if you check this feature before purchasing. A compression bra with wires can uncomfortably press on your incision site and cause skin indentations. And unfortunately, you might not feel them cutting into your skin because of post-surgery side effects like numbness.

Breathable Fabrics

As a rule of thumb, compression garments made from breathable fabrics are always better for your recovery period. Breathable fabrics are more comfortable, reduce scratching and irritation of the skin, and lessen the risk of bacterial infections.

They’ll also come in handy if you decide to undergo your breast reduction surgery during the summer. If you sweat a lot, you won’t risk infections and discomfort.

Degree of Compression

Not all compression garments provide the same pressure; it differs according to your healing stage. To elaborate, if you had your surgery less than a week ago, you’d need to wear a tight compression bra. But if you had it a few weeks ago, you can opt for a more petite pressure bra.

You should consult your doctor to know what’s best for you because the final answer will depend on your condition.

Antibacterial Properties

Nowadays, many compression garments on the market come with antibacterial properties, and they protect sutures from bacterial infections and keep your skin well-ventilated as long as you’re wearing them. However, not all compression garments come with this feature.

It’s worth mentioning that although antibacterial compression garments are beneficial, they aren’t crucial to your recovery period. So, if they’re out of your budget, you’ll do well with a regular compression bra.


Some compression bras have long bands, while some have short ones. If you want to be highly comfortable during recovery, you should settle for an extended band; it won’t feel as restrictive as a short one, making for better adjustability.

More so, short bands wear out faster than long ones. And since you’ll be wearing your compression bra for quite a long time, you won’t be ecstatic if the band chafes midway through your recovery.


After breast reduction surgeries, people often choose the wrong bra sizes, and this is because they’ve become used to wearing a specific size, and it changes suddenly. Choosing the right compression bra size is crucial for your comfort and safety.

If the bra is too tight, it might affect your blood circulation negatively and impair the supply of nutrients and oxygen to your breasts. This process will lead to a much slower recovery. Not to mention, it might cause discoloration around your breasts. While it’s an average side effect after such surgeries, it’s often distressing to many people.

On the other hand, if your bra is loose, it won’t work efficiently as a compression garment because it won’t apply enough pressure on your healing tissues.

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