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A breast lift, or mastopexy, is a surgical procedure in which the nipple and areola are lifted, excess skin beneath the breast is removed and the remaining skin is pulled taut. This makes the breasts appear more youthful. However, patients must remember that although breast lift surgery is considered to be a relatively safe procedure, there is a substantial recovery period involved.
Following the surgeon's prescribed plan for recovery will help make the recovery process smoother and will reduce the risk of complications. Patients should listen to all post-operative instructions carefully and should take care to follow all of these instructions.
After breast lift surgery, patients may be able to get up and move about and engage in moderate activity such as walking, but they should plan on a full week of recovery time before returning to work. Most patients experience bruising, swelling and pain in the first couple of days after a breast lift surgery. However, the pain is usually not severe and can be mitigated through the use of prescription pain medications. Patients usually wear tight fitting bandages for a few days after the surgery. After the surgeon removes the bandages, the patient will be required to wear a soft support bra for three to four weeks. Stitches will be removed within one to two weeks after the breast lift surgery, but patients are advised to avoid activities such as lifting objects over the head for three to four weeks. For most patients, the swelling associated with the breast lift surgery is minimal after a few weeks, but for some patients this swelling might persist for six months. Patients who have prolonged swelling should avoid evaluating the results of the procedure until the swelling is eliminated.