Post Breast Surgery care and Scar management.
Wednesday 8 February 2017

Following any type of surgery there is a recovery process to follow that will allow you to heal and return to normal. We understand that you may be concerned about what to expect following breast lift surgery, so, we’ve broken down the before and after of surgery and what you should expect.

We want you to have as much information as possible to help you make an informed decision.

This information will also enhance your experience, making sure that you get the most out of your breast lift and recover quickly.

Following surgery we’ve found that it is important to break the recovery process into 4 main areas: pain, scars, bras and exercise.

Managing Pain Post-Surgery

As breast lift surgery uses an incision pattern there will always be some post-procedure discomfort. The amount of pain post-surgery varies heavily from patient to patient, however it is surprisingly tolerable in most breast lift patients. There are some things you can do to make those first few days more tolerable.

Wearing a compression bra should help manage some of the swelling and help reduce pain Cold Compresses - ice the area for 20 minutes, then remove the compress for 40 minutes, after which, you can repeat. Never apply the compress to bare skin. Cold compress is usually not effective after 24 hours post-surgery Stay Elevated – for the first few days make sure that you sleep at an incline — somewhere between 25 and 45 degrees. This will help reduce your swelling and improve your circulation. Discuss Pain Management Beforehand Pain management is a very personal topic because no two people’s pain is the same. Before your procedure make sure to discuss pain management with your surgeon. Sometimes, part of a breast lift plan involves prescription medication to handle discomfort and pain during recovery.

Handling Breast Lift Scars

The incision pattern of breast lift surgery will cause some scarring. Where the incisions are located is variable and should be discussed with you before the procedure so you are prepared.

Keep in mind that your surgeon should always try to use the minimum amount of incisions that will ensure an attractive outcome and will try to hide incision lines within the crease of your breast, but that is not always possible.

Don’t Smoke

For the best results after surgery you need to avoid tobacco at least two weeks before and after your breast lift. Even one cigarette per day may have an effect on healing.

Smoking can lead to poor scar healing or higher incidence of infection, making breast incision lines more prominent.  A major part of your ‘breast lift’ before and after planning should be to quit smoking.

Take Care of Yourself

It’s also important to make sure that you’re getting the proper nutrition. During your recovery period make sure that you’re taking a multi-vitamin and eating a balanced diet.

Avoid Tanning

Exposure to the sun can cause your scars to darken. Make sure that once your incisions have closed that you wear sunscreen over them. This will make sure that your scars stay on track to fade and don’t worsen.

OTC Scar Treatments

There are a variety of scar treatments on the market that can be used once your incisions have healed. While it may be tempting, you never want to use any creams or gels not prescribed by your doctor before your incisions have healed.

Many patients report good success using silicone gels and sheets to reduce the appearance of their breast lift scars.

Specialised Bras for Breast Lift Recovery

Specialized bras are not necessary for breast lift recovery. A surgical bra will be placed on you during surgery but it may not be the most comfortable support system for you. It is important to have mild compression and support in the early phases of recovery but this does not mean that you cannot adjust or exchange the surgical bra if it is uncomfortable.

Some women feel better with a lot of support, some prefer minimal structure to the bra. There are as many bras as there are body types and sometimes you may need to try several before you find the right fit. Do not plan on spending a lot on these first stage bras, the appropriate size will change as the breasts heal and swelling decreases. Because a lift often does not alter the size of the breast you may be able to fit in the bras that you already own. Patients may return to wearing bras with underwires but not until cleared by the surgeon.

Exercising After Breast Lift Surgery

Many patients find it difficult to give up their daily run; however it’s incredibly important that you cease any strenuous activity for a period of time after your procedure. In order to get the best breast lift results you need to allow your body to heal. Exercise and other high intensity activities can cause damage to the surgical site and increase swelling.

You and your doctor will put together a plan to help guide you through recovery and back to your daily activities. Everyone’s recovery plan is different but typically you should be able to be back to full activity within four to six weeks. There are some exercises you may be able to do however almost immediately, for instance exercise on a stationary bicycle.


Preparing for the before and after of a breast lift is just as important as the procedure itself. Trying to shorten your recovery is only going to leave you less satisfied.

This is why it’s crucial to consider the before and after of breast lifts when trying to decide if the procedure is right for you. In order for the process to go smoothly, all aspects need to be looked at– preparation, the surgery itself and recovery.

By giving yourself the information you need to make an informed decision, you can enhance your experience and your results. Don’t rush– make sure that you are ready to decide, have found the breast lift surgeon that’s right for you and that you know what to expect.


To find out more about breast surgery:

Email: to request a call back. We also run ‘Meet the Surgeon’ events – a 10 minute one-to-one chat with a consultant cosmetic surgeon to discuss your plans.

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