How to speed up recovery from breast lift surgery

May 12, 2021

Undergoing any plastic surgery procedure requires a period of recovery. This is to ensure proper healing, so it’s important to always follow your doctor’s instructions. 

While you may want to get recovery over with as quickly as possible, it should not be rushed. Rushing can lead to various issues which end up lengthening the recovery process if something goes wrong. 

Recovery can be different for various plastic surgery procedures, so before surgery, your doctor will discuss with you everything involved in your procedure, from surgery to recovery. 


Breast lift surgery

Breast sagginess or drooping is a common issue many women experience. It can be caused by many factors, including weight loss or gain, pregnancy or nursing, or ageing. 

Some women can experience discomfort or dissatisfaction in the appearance of sagging breasts, leading to the decision for a breast lift.  

A breast lift improves the appearance of your breasts by making them look firmer and more youthful. It is a complex procedure involving the lifting of the breasts and tightening the skin. 

Before surgery, your doctor will carefully assess your breasts and determine the strategy to best suit your physical circumstances. 

For women who require only a modest lift, sometimes a breast implant, combined with internal lifting sutures, can provide the lift needed. This can result in minimal scarring. 

For those with more significant sagging, a formal breast lift or mastopexy will be required, either with or without an implant. 

The patient will undergo surgery under general anaesthesia or intravenous sedation. 

An incision is made along the natural contour of the breast to remove excess tissue and skin. The breast glandular tissue is then lifted and sculptured. Nipples are repositioned and the breast reshaped to create a higher and firmer bust line. Breast implants can be placed during a lift procedure for those who desire a fuller looking bust line. 

A breast lift is generally performed as a day surgery, taking about two to three hours. 


Breast lift recovery

Proper recovery following breast lift surgery is important. While you should not rush your recovery, there are some measures you can take to ensure your recovery is as easy as possible. 

Always make sure to speak with your doctor first, as recovery varies for each individual depending on the complexity of the surgery. 

Following your surgery, you will require numerous follow-up appointments to check your recovery. If you have any concerns, contact your doctor straight away. 

Take time off

The recommended recovery period for breast lift surgery is generally a week. It is important to rest and relax as much as possible during this time to allow your body to heal. 

You may go for short walks, but nothing too strenuous, and you should avoid lifting, bending and pulling actions. 

After this time, most patients can resume their normal routine, though make sure to get the go-ahead from your doctor first. 

Heavy lifting and strenuous exercise are not recommended for several weeks or until your doctor says it is safe. More vigorous activities may require up to six weeks’ recovery time. 

Managing discomfort

The first few days following breast lift surgery can be the most uncomfortable. Some patients may experience pain, discomfort or bruising and swelling following the procedure. This will generally go away within 48 hours. 

During this time it’s important to keep track of any unusual changes. If you experience any bleeding, discharge or increased bruising or swelling, contact your doctor immediately.  

Removal of sutures

Some of your sutures may be self-dissolving, while some may need to be removed. Your doctor will assess when your sutures need to be removed, but this will often be a few weeks after the surgery. 

If you do experience any scarring following removal of sutures, your doctor can often prescribe creams to help minimise their appearance. 

Wear a support bra

After breast lift surgery, your breasts will likely be covered with gauze and a surgical support bra, which you will likely need to wear for a few days. 

In most cases, your doctor will instruct you to continue wearing a soft support bra such as a compression bra or sports bra for a few weeks. This will support your breasts while they heal, helping minimise swelling, improve blood flow and provide comfort. 

Wearing a bra without an underwire will help your skin heal naturally into its new shape. You should avoid wearing a wired bra for at least three weeks or however long your doctor instructs. 

Sleep on your back

Following your breast lift, it’s important to avoid any pressure on your breasts while they heal. You should avoid resting on your stomach and chest as much as you can, so it is recommended you sleep on your back or your side. 

If you find sleeping on your back difficult, you could try positioning pillows around you to make it easier to sleep in the recommended position. 

Be careful while bathing

Keeping the area clean is important to avoid infection but you will need to be careful not to disrupt your sutures. 

As you are not recommended to lift your arms, you may need to take baths rather than showers and be assisted, especially for washing your hair. 

Avoid hot water, as this can worsen any swelling and your breasts will be more sensitive to higher temperatures. 


Your doctor will discuss your recovery with you before the surgery and will inform you of what you can do to help recovery go more smoothly. Following the instructions provided is crucial to ensuring a safe and speedy recovery following a breast lift. 

For a consultation on breast surgery in Adelaide, contact Dr Richard Hamilton