Skip to main content

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

recovery from breast lift surgery
3 minutes, 28 seconds

Breast lift surgery can have a terrific long-term benefit of boosting your self-confidence. But even though it’s used for cosmetic reasons, it’s still a surgical procedure that requires recovery

While you may want to immediately get out of the hospital bed, it’s important to know about proper breast lift surgery recovery as well as how long the recovery time can last.

Why do people get breast lift surgery?

A mastopexy, commonly known as a breast lift, is a procedure done by a plastic surgeon to change the shape of the breasts. This is accomplished by reshaping the breast tissue as well as removing excess breast skin.

As you age, your breasts can lose their firmness and elasticity, often causing them to sag as time goes on. You may also go through a variety of bodily changes that affect your breasts as well. 

Reasons why breasts sag over time: 

  • Weight changes.
  • Pregnancy/breastfeeding.
  • Gravity.

Breast lift surgery often helps to improve both self-confidence and self-image. It’s not the same as a breast reduction or breast augmentation surgery, but a breast lift may be accomplished with either procedure.

It’s also important to remember that the results aren’t permanent. Even with the surgery, your breasts may still change and sag as you get older. The surgery can’t stop the natural elasticity loss that breasts may go through, especially for larger breasts.

What can breast lifts change?

While sagging may be the main reason people decide to get breast lift surgery, the procedure can actually adjust several features of a breast.

Possible breast lift surgery results include:

  • Decreased sagging.
  • Lifted areolas.
  • Raised position of nipples.
  • Smaller areolas. 

Breast lift surgery recovery time and process

Like any procedure, the recovery of a breast lift surgery can vary from person to person. Although you will notice immediate changes in their appearance, breasts can take anywhere from two months to one year before they have their final shape. There is a possibility of scarring, though they usually fade with time. 

Luckily, the actual procedure recovery period usually only takes a few weeks. But there are several side effects that may be prevalent during that period. Breast lift surgery recipients will often experience discomfort including: 

  • Soreness.
  • Swelling.
  • Bruising.

These side effects can be soothed by pain medication. If your breasts are feeling swollen or sore, placing ice packs on them can numb the pain.

Another part of the recovery process includes taking out small tubes that may be placed at the incision site to drain excess fluid and blood. The tubes are usually removed after just a few days following the surgery.

It’s also important to keep pressure off your chest as your breasts recover. This is accomplished by wearing either a surgical bra or an unwired bra for two to three weeks after the surgery. You’ll also need to sleep on your back with pillows that can prop up your body to keep your chest raised. 

Physical therapy and exercise after breast lift surgery recovery

Plastic surgeons recommend not partaking in strenuous physical activity or heavy lifting for up to four weeks after a breast lift procedure. The goal is to avoid any straining or bending while your chest recovers. But after you get your surgeon’s approval, and you’re ready to get your body moving again, physical therapy is a great place to start.

Physical therapy can be highly beneficial after recovering from breast lift surgery because it eases you back into exercise after being relatively off your feet for weeks at a time. A lack of exercise for extended periods of time can affect many aspects of your physical well-being. If you start right back up with intense workouts, you’re risking an injury.

Instead of jumping right into weightlifting or cardio at a gym, get slowly back into your exercise routine by properly working your body up to it with physical therapy.

Post-op physical therapy can help you with:

  • Strengthening exercises.
  • Stretches for flexibility.
  • Joint mobilization.
  • Balance training for coordination.

Alliance PTP is ready to help you find top-notch PT for breast lift surgery recovery

At Alliance Physical Therapy Partners, we’re proudly bringing together physical therapy practices across the country to help people get the high-quality PT they need. 

Want to see a physical therapist in person? We can put you in touch with an Alliance PTP partner that’s close to you and that can work with you to recover from breast lift surgery. 

Not keen on in-person PT sessions or not close to an Alliance PTP partner? No worries. We also offer effective and affordable virtual physical therapy through our Agile Virtual Physical Therapy platform. 

Come find help for your injury or chronic condition today!


Get Help at a Location Near You

Find a Location