Any type of surgery involves recovery that must be handled carefully to obtain the best results with the least discomfort. If you’re about to undergo breast lift surgery – or mastopexy – here’s some tips to let you know what to expect and how to deal with it.
Immediately after surgery
As mastopexy involves incisions, there’ll be some pain. The pain levels vary between individuals, but many patients are surprised by how tolerable it is. To help you to get through the first few days easily, it’s a good idea to plan ahead.
- A lot of post-mastopexy pain is down to swelling, so buying two or three compression bras (in three different sizes, as the swelling subsides quite quickly) before the operation will be helpful;
- Preparing cold compresses is also a good idea. Applying the compress for too long or too frequently can interfere with healing. There are specialised compress packs for breast surgery patients, but you can also use regular ice packs;
- Elevation is important. You should prepare your bed before you go into hospital so that you’ll be sleeping at an angle of 25-45 degrees; this helps to reduce swelling and improve circulation in the breast area.
Sort out pain relief beforehand
Although everyone’s pain varies, your surgeon will have a good idea of what to expect, so discuss it and get your prescriptions ready.
You will have some scars, so ask where and how big they’ll be. Surgeons aim to make incisions under the breast crease only, but this isn’t always possible. A good surgeon, like Gary Ross, who has performed many a mastopexy in Manchester, will explain where the scars will be and why.
Immediately after surgery the incisions will seem prominent, but they will fade, especially if you care for them after they’ve healed.
- Don’t smoke! Even one cigarette a day can have an adverse effect on healing and increase the chances of infection. You should aim to quit before surgery and to avoid cigarettes afterwards;
- Eat properly – you should eat well, with extra protein, and take a multi-vitamin to aid healing;
- Avoid the sun as this can make scars darker. If you do go topless in the sun, wear a high-factor sunscreen over the scars.
Over-the-counter scar treatments
Only consider these once the incisions have closed, and only use with your surgeon’s approval. There are many oils and creams on offer, as well as silicone sheets, and these can help to reduce the prominence and redness of post-surgery scars.
These aren’t necessary for mastopexy, but you will probably want some degree of compression immediately after surgery. You’ll be wearing a surgical bra after the op until you have your first shower on the second post-operative day and you can wash and replace this one, or wear a similar sports bra with wide straps. You’ll want to avoid underwired bras.
Avoid exercise for the first week and make a plan with your surgeon to ease you back into your old regime over a period of six weeks.