Recovery After Mastopexy – Breast Lift Surgery – Tips, Timeline and Healing


A Breast lift surgery, medically known as Mastopexy, is one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries for women. It essentially makes your breasts look lifted and more shapely. It is ideal for women over 40’s, new mums, those with ptotic breasts and anyone who has lost a lot of weight. Dr Carmen Munteanu is a Breast Lift expert and Specialist Plastic Surgeon in Melbourne. Here is an article about what to expect. A Breast Lift Timeline and her best Tips for recovery after breast lift.

Download Dr Carmen’s Guide to Breast Lift Surgery – Mastopexy

Guide Breast Lift


Timeline for Recovery after Breast Lift

Your outcome of the breast lift surgery is not only based on the experience and expertise of the surgeon but also on how good you are at following the post-surgical instructions. It is necessary to pamper yourself with the ultimate care for the first six weeks following the surgery if you wish to achieve great results. 

Dr Carmen and her team will guide you thoroughly in terms of what you should eat & drink, your sleep schedule, how much activity you should do, medications and caring for your incisions. Follow the instructions carefully and you will get an optimal result.

Here is a brief overview of the post-surgery timeline: 

The Day of Breast Lift Surgery

Most of Dr Carmen’s patients can go home after a 1 or 2 night stay in hospital. You will need a responsible person to drive you home as you may feel quite numb. Moreover, you may still be feeling the after-effects of anaesthesia. Before coming in for the surgery, arrange for someone to drive you home ahead of time. On the first day, your breasts will be covered in post-op bandages and a surgical bra. In some cases, small drainage tubes will be attached near the incisions which will get rid of excess fluid in your body. All you have to do during the first day is rest. 

Three Days after the Breast Lift Surgery

You may experience mild to moderate discomfort during the first three days of the surgery. Any pain will be most pronounced during these days. You might feel a bit nauseous. Don’t worry as it is a common side effect of anesthesia. Dr Carmen will ask you to come in for a follow-up visit where your drainage tubes and bandages will be removed. Continue wearing your compression bra. Take a sponge bath during the first three days and skip the shower. 

One Week after Breast Lift Surgery 

The discomfort should subside significantly as soon as you reach the end of week one. You will able to move a bit around the house. Avoid bending over, lifting heavy weights and raising your arm above the head. It is generally advised to take around two weeks off from work but you can sometimes resume working after discussion with Dr Carmen if your work is not physically intensive. You can start walking lightly around the house.

Two Weeks after Breast Lift Surgery

Your discomfort should be gone by week two. Strenuous activities are still prohibited. Any stitches that are not self-dissolving will be removed by the end of week 2. Your incision will begin to heal during this time. You can resume your regular showering routine. Avoid bathing, swimming pools and saunas as they can still lead to infection. 

One Month after Breast Lift Surgery

You will begin to feel like yourself and will be able to resume most of your activities. Avoid Lifting weights and highly intensive sports that put stress on the chest area. You can resume bathing at this point as your incision sites should be fully healed. Most of the swelling will be gone by around month. 

Six Weeks after Breast Lift Surgery

You can stop wearing your compression bra. Yayyy! It’s time to finally wear all those stunning bras you have been planning to wear. You can return to your normal activities. Sleep on your side if you wish to. You can start using scar minimisation treatments such as creams, massage oils and silicone tapes with Dr Carmen’s recommendation. Always wear sunscreen while going out as it can help prevent your scars from darkening. 

Top Tips for Recovery after Breast Lift

Now that you know more about the recovery period. Here is a list of instructions you need to follow closely to speed up your recovery. 

1. Make Post-op Arrangements in Advance

You need to arrange for a friend/family member or someone responsible to drive you home on the day of your breast lift surgery. You will also need someone to help you with the household chores, make your meals and help with the kids (if you have any) for the first few days after the surgery. Prepare your recovery room in advance; make a comfortable sleeping space, have a table beside your bed with all the necessities and make sure that everything is easily accessible within arm’s reach. 

2. Prepare Early – Go Shopping!

Go shopping and buy all the groceries you will need for the following month or two after the surgery. It is not fun to run around buying household supplies and food items when you are in the healing phase. So, stock up and you will be good to go. Buy some new comfy clothes too.

3. Get any Medical Lab Tests Done before surgery

Get any medical tests done required by your surgeon so that you are not worrying on the last few days gathering any lab reports. 

4. Your Nutrition helps healing and scar results

First things first, you need to consume a healthy diet before and after the surgery. Do not eat sodium-rich foods as they can worsen the swelling. Eat things that are rich in fibre and drink lots of water. Do meal prep for a week or two so that you don’t worry about cooking after the surgery. Good nutrition helps wound healing. Poor nutrition encourages wound breakdowns.

5. Avoid Smoking and Alcohol 

Both smoking and alcohol can significantly interfere with your healing process and cause bruising. Hence, you will be asked to quit smoking and alcohol before and after the surgery for as long as possible.  Smoking reduces blood supply to your wounds and delays healing. This can result in complications like tissue death, dehiscence and poor quality scar outcomes. Don’t smoke!

6. Move ASAP and take gentle Walks – to help avoid clots

Start moving gently and aim to take short walks around your home. It is very important and helps to prevent blood clotting. Do not opt for strenuous exercising, simply walk lightly around your house in short bursts.  

7. Sleep well

Avoid sleeping on your side or stomach as it will put a strain on your breasts and may impact your incisions. Aim to sleep on your back with a few pillows propped up underneath your head. Good sleep is one of the most important aspects of effective healing. 

8. Showering and Bathing tips

Have a shower the day before your surgery to clean and scrub the surgery site really well. This may help prevent infections. For the first few days, you won’t be able to shower. Hence, you’ll need a sponge bath. After three days, you can start showering but do not aim the water directly at your breasts. Do not have a bath for around a month as it could lead to infection.  

9. Take your Medications

Do not, I repeat do not skip on taking your medications. You will be prescribed pain killers as well as antibiotics. Take them regularly if you don’t wish to experience pain and unwanted infections. Take the course of pain killers and take them regularly as directed – before any pain begins to worsen.

11. Attend Your Follow-Up Visits – Don’t miss any!

Dr Carmen will ask you to come in for two to three follow-up visits. Never get lazy and skip your appointments as it can lead to problems. Dr Carmen and her team will make sure that there are no signs of infections or complications and that you are recovering at a normal rate. 

10. Start on the Scar Minimisation Treatments

After the four to six weeks mark, you can start with your scar removal measures. Most likely, your surgeon will get you started on the silicone tapes as well as ointments. Avoid excessive sun exposure, always wear an SPF while going out. Sun can darken your scars. 

Do and Don’ts after breast lift surgery

  • These are the top dos and don’ts of a breast lift surgery:
    • Dos
      •  Wear your compression bra for at least six to eight weeks after the surgery. 
      • Keep your incision sites clean and dry at all times. 
      • Take time off from work to rest and recover. 
      • Take short walks around the house. 
      • Limit your salt intake to minimize swelling. 
    • Don’ts
      • Don’t sleep on your stomach or side as it puts intensive pressure on your breasts. 
      • Don’t lift anything heavy. 
      • Don’t smoke or drink for a few weeks after the surgery. 
      • Do not do strenuous exercises for at least 2 to 3 weeks after the surgery. 
recovery after breast lift - Best Breast lift Surgeon in Melbourne

Recovery after Breast Lift FAQs 

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

  • Firstly, it is important to understand that everyone heals at a different pace. Your incisions will heal in about 3 to 4 weeks. Expect to feel completely normal in 6 to 8 weeks’ time frame. If you smoke after surgery and are noncompliant with surgery instructions this can take months.

How painful is breast lift recovery?

  • Most patients report mild to moderate pain during the first three days of recovery. After that, the pain is negligible. Make sure you take your pain killer medications on time.

What can I expect after a breast lift?

  • Here is a typical summary of what to expect post breast lift surgery:
    • 2-3 Days Post Surgery: You will experience mild to moderate pain. 
    • 1 Week Post Surgery: Pain declines while swelling/bruising persists. 
    • 4 Weeks Post Surgery: You will begin to feel fairly normal again. 
    • 6 Weeks Post Surgery: You can continue with your exercise routine and get back to most of the usual tasks. 

When can you raise your arms after a breast lift?

  • Avoid raising your arms for at least 10 days after the breast lift surgery. 

When can I sleep without a bra after a breast lift?

  • You can sleep without a compression bra 2 weeks after the surgery. However, if you can, continue wearing it for four to six weeks. 

When do stitches come out after breast lift?

  • Most surgeons use dissolving stitches. If your surgeon has used any non-absorbable sutures, they will be removed by 7 to 14 days, after your wound has completely healed. 

How long after a breast lift can I drink alcohol?

  • It is best to avoid alcohol for at least 4 weeks after the surgery as it can interfere with the natural healing process. 

How long does bruising last after a breast lift?

  • For most people, bruising will subside by the 2 to 3-week mark. 

How long does it take for swelling to go down after breast lift?

  • Most of the swelling will subside after week 2. The rest of the swelling will go down by the three-month marker. 

How common is tissue necrosis after a breast lift?

  • Tissue Necrosis is the death of tissue caused by poor blood supply. This is more common in Smokers. Please don’t smoke before or after surgery. Also avoid being in the presence of other people who are smoking. Secondary smoke is almost as bad. The complication of nipple necrosis in breast reduction and mastopexy procedures has been reported in the literature to range up to 2.1%. – Healing of Bilateral Nipple Areolar Complex Necrosis by Secondary Intention

Can I sleep on my side after breast lift surgery?

  • No, you shouldn’t sleep on your side after the breast lift surgery for at least a month as it can put an excessive strain on your breasts. 

How should you sleep after breast lift surgery?

  • It is advised to sleep on your back in a slightly alleviated position. 

When can I wash my hair after breast lift surgery?

  • You can wash your hair three to five days after the surgery. 

How long do I wear a sports bra after a breast lift?

  • Surgeons recommend wearing supports for a minimum of six weeks. 

Is there scarring after a breast lift?

  • You will have some scars after a breast lift surgery. They do fade over time. You can also talk to Dr Carmen about scar minimisation options. 

Further Reading about Breast Lift Surgery with Dr Carmen


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Dr Carmen Munteanu – Specialist Plastic Surgeon

She is one of Melbourne’s most experienced and sought-after female Plastic Surgeons who offers aesthetic breast surgery and body contouring. That includes Breast Reduction, Breast Lift, Breast Implant Surgery and Body Surgery.

With over 25 years of surgical experience in Plastic Surgery, Dr Carmen firmly believes that a good surgeon is first a good doctor. She will always take into consideration all the health aspects and personal circumstances of each patient.

A dedicated Specialist Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeon, Dr Carmen is renowned for providing exceptional care, support and helping achieve realistic goals for her patients.

About Dr Carmen

What to do next

Conduct Research:

Get a Medical Referral before your consultation with Dr Carmen

  • A GP referral is now essential to see Dr Carmen for any type of surgery.

Making The Most Of Your Consultation

  • Please arrive slightly early for your in-person consultation with Dr Carmen – Car parking is available on-site in Mitcham.
  • You are welcome to bring a friend or relative to help consider the information and discuss your options.
  • Please be aware you may need to undress for a physical exam so wear simple clothes.
  • Photos will be taken as part of your consultation, please try and wear black underwear.
  • Ensure you also take a lot of notes during the consultation and thoroughly examine all the documents provided.

Want more information before scheduling your consultation?

How to Book your Consultation with Dr Carmen

  • You can book your consultation with Dr Carmen Munteanu by paying the $300 cosmetic consultation fee in advance – when you make your appointment.

‘Your Goal is my Priority’
– Dr Carmen Munteanu

M.D. FRACS(Plas) Plastic, Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgeon

Contact Dr Carmen

Call 1300 652 468 to arrange your consultation or email us for more information. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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