Cosmetic Surgery Tips

How Long After Breast Lift Do Stitches Come Out

If your doctor closes your incisions with removable stitches, they will typically need to be taken out within 7 to 14 days. It is crucial to keep the area clean and dry to prevent infection and promote proper healing. Your doctor will provide you with specific guidelines on how to care for your incisions and when to schedule a follow-up appointment for stitch removal. By following these instructions, you can ensure that your incisions heal properly and minimize the risk of complications.

After undergoing a surgical procedure, it is important to follow the post-operative care instructions provided by your surgeon. Within two weeks of the procedure, any stitches that were placed will be removed, but there is no need to remove the surgical adhesive that has been applied to your wounds as it will eventually wear off on its own. It is crucial to leave the dressings or adhesive strips on your wounds for the duration of time that your surgeon instructed you to do so in order to promote proper healing. It is also a good idea to have extra bandages on hand in case you find yourself in need of them during the recovery process. By following these guidelines, you can help ensure a smooth and successful recovery from your surgery.

How Long After Breast Lift Do Stitches Come Out

A breast lift, or mastopexy, 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.

Strips of 1″ paper tape cover the incisions. 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.

Avoid stretching your incisions by engaging in strenuous activity too soon after surgery. To speed up the healing process, you should try going for short walks as soon as possible. One to two days after surgery, you may be able to resume light activity.

Your doctor may recommend a series of targeted exercises and breast massages. If your doctor has advised you to perform these at home, you should.

Inquire with your doctor as to when you can resume regular activities. There could be a delay of seven days to two weeks.

For three to six weeks, you shouldn’t overstretch your arms, lift heavy objects, or perform strenuous exercise. Blood pressure can rise and cause bleeding if you exert yourself too much.

Wait at least two weeks before driving again. If you’ve taken narcotic pain medication, you shouldn’t get behind the wheel. Your arm movement should be completely normal before you get behind the wheel again. Since steering and shifting gears may be challenging at first, take it easy.


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.

Wound Care

Your surgeon will want to see you again in a few days to take out the drains. Within 14 days of surgery, you’ll have your stitches removed. Surgical glue applied to wounds is temporary and will dissolve on its own.

Your doctor will tell you how long you should let the dressings or adhesive strips remain on your incisions. In case you need them, stock up on extra bandages. Every day you must replace them.

Make sure the wounds are kept dry and covered. Look for infection symptoms once a day (redness, pain, or drainage).

Wear a soft, wireless, supportive bra day and night for 2 weeks after you no longer need dressings.

After 2 days, you may take a shower (if your drainage tubes have been removed). Wait until your doctor removes your stitches and drains before taking a bath, soaking in a hot tub, or going swimming.

Scars from incisions often take a year or more to become barely noticeable. To lessen their visibility, take care of the scars as your doctor has instructed. Use a high-SPF sunblock (at least 30) to prevent sun damage to your scars whenever you go outside.

Other Self-care

Make sure you eat healthy foods, including lots of fruits and vegetables. Drink plenty of fluids. A healthy diet and plenty of fluids promote bowel movements and prevent infection.

Your pain should go away over several weeks. Take any pain medicines as your surgeon told you to. Take them with food and plenty of water. Do not apply ice or heat to your breasts unless your surgeon tells you that it is OK.

Do not drink alcohol while you are taking pain medicines. Do not take aspirin, aspirin-containing medicines, or ibuprofen without your surgeon’s approval. Ask your surgeon which vitamins, supplements, and other medicines are safe to take.

Do not smoke. Smoking slows healing and increases your risk for complications and infection.

When to Call the Doctor

Contact your health care provider if you have:

  • Increasing pain, redness, swelling, yellow or green drainage, bleeding, or bruising at the incision site
  • Side effects from medicines, such as rash, nausea, vomiting, or headache
  • A fever of 100°F (38°C) or higher
  • Numbness or loss of motion

I Regret My Breast Lift

Recovery after Breast Lift FAQs 

How long does it take to recover from breast lift surgery?

  • Firstly, it is important to understand that everyone heals at a different pace. Your incisions will heal in about 3 to 4 weeks. Expect to feel completely normal in 6 to 8 weeks’ time frame. If you smoke after surgery and are noncompliant with surgery instructions, this can take months.

How painful is breast lift recovery?

  • Most patients report mild to moderate pain during the first three days of recovery. After that, the pain is negligible. Make sure you take your pain killer medications on time.

What can I expect after a breast lift?

  • Here is a typical summary of what to expect post breast lift surgery:
    • 2-3 Days Post Surgery: You will experience mild to moderate pain. 
    • 1 Week Post Surgery: Pain declines while swelling/bruising persists. 
    • 4 Weeks Post Surgery: You will begin to feel fairly normal again. 
    • 6 Weeks Post Surgery: You can continue with your exercise routine and get back to most of the usual tasks. 

When can you raise your arms after a breast lift?

  • Avoid raising your arms for at least 10 days after the breast lift surgery. 

When can I sleep without a bra after a breast lift?

  • You can sleep without a compression bra 2 weeks after the surgery. However, if you can, continue wearing it for four to six weeks. 

When do stitches come out after breast lift?

  • Most surgeons use dissolving stitches. If your surgeon has used any non-absorbable sutures, they will be removed by 7 to 14 days, after your wound has completely healed. 

How long after a breast lift can I drink alcohol?

  • It is best to avoid alcohol for at least 4 weeks after the surgery as it can interfere with the natural healing process. 

How long does bruising last after a breast lift?

  • For most people, bruising will subside by the 2 to 3-week mark. 

How long does it take for swelling to go down after breast lift?

  • Most of the swelling will subside after week 2. The rest of the swelling will go down by the three-month marker. 

How common is tissue necrosis after a breast lift?

  • Tissue Necrosis is the death of tissue is caused by poor blood supply. This is more common in Smokers. Please dont smoke before or after surgery. The complication of nipple necrosis in breast reduction and mastopexy procedures has been reported in the literature to range up to 2.1%. – Healing of Bilateral Nipple Areolar Complex Necrosis by Secondary Intention

Can I sleep on my side after breast lift surgery?

  • No, you shouldn’t sleep on your side after the breast lift surgery for at least a month as it can put an excessive strain on your breasts. 

How should you sleep after breast lift surgery?

  • It is advised to sleep on your back in a slightly alleviated position. 

When can I wash my hair after breast lift surgery?

  • You can wash your hair three to five days after the surgery. 

How long do I wear a sports bra after a breast lift?

  • Surgeons recommend wearing supports for a minimum of six weeks. 

Is there scarring after a breast lift?

  • You will have some scars after a breast lift surgery. They do fade over time. You can also talk to Dr Carmen about scar minimisation options. 

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