Your Chicago Mastopexy Surgical Experience
The goal of your plastic
surgeon and the entire staff is to make your surgical experience as easy and
comfortable for you as possible.
Depending on your age, or if you have a history of breast cancer in your family, your plastic surgeon may recommend a baseline mammogram before surgery and another mammographic examination some months after surgery. This will help to detect any future changes in your breast tissue. Following a breast lift (mastopexy), you will still be able to perform breast self-examination. Mastopexy surgery will not increase your risk of developing breast cancer.
If you are a smoker, you will be asked to stop smoking well in advance of surgery. Aspirin and certain anti-inflammatory drugs can cause increased bleeding, so you should avoid taking these medications for a period of time before surgery. Your surgeon will provide you with additional preoperative instructions.
Breast lift surgery is usually performed on an outpatient basis. If this is the case, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery and to stay with you at least the first night.
What will the day of surgery be like?
Your mastopexy surgery may be performed in a hospital, free-standing ambulatory facility or office-based surgical suite.
Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. Often, a general anesthetic is administered, so that you will be asleep throughout the procedure.
Alternatively, a breast lift may be performed using local anesthesia and intravenous sedation. When surgery is completed, you will be taken into a recovery area where you will continue to be closely monitored. Sometimes, small drain tubes will have been placed in your breasts to help avoid the accumulation of fluids. Gauze or other dressings may be placed on your breasts and covered with an elastic bandage or surgical bra.
You may be permitted to go home after a few hours, unless you and your plastic surgeon have determined that you will stay in the hospital or surgical facility overnight.
How will I look and feel initially?
The day after surgery, you will be encouraged to get out of bed for short periods of time. After several days, you should be able to move about more comfortably. Straining, bending and lifting must be avoided, however, since these activities might cause increased swelling or even bleeding. You may be instructed to sleep on your back to avoid pressure on your breasts.
Any surgical drains will be removed within a few days of surgery, at which time your dressings may also be changed or removed. You may be instructed to wear a support bra for a few weeks, until the swelling and discoloration of your breasts diminish. Generally, stitches will be removed in stages over a period of approximately three weeks, beginning about one week after surgery.
You may notice that you feel less sensation in the nipple and areola areas. This is usually temporary. It may, however, take weeks, months or even more than a year before sensation returns to normal. Your breasts may also require some time to assume a more natural shape. Incisions will initially be red or pink in color. They will remain this way for many months following surgery.
When can I resume my normal activities?
After breast lift surgery, it is often possible to return to work within a week or so, depending on your job. In many instances, you can resume most of your normal activities, including some form of mild exercise, after several weeks. You may continue to experience some mild, periodic discomfort during this time, but such feelings are normal. Severe pain should be reported to your doctor.
Any sexual activity should be avoided for a minimum of one or two weeks, and your plastic surgeon may advise you to wait longer. After that, care must be taken to be extremely gentle with your breasts for at least the next several weeks.