Girlfriend's Guide to a Breast Lift
by Shelby Barone
It has been three weeks since I had my mastopexy (breast lift) with Dr. Niccole at CosmetiCare, and I’m finally starting to feel like myself again. At first, I was nervous about publicly talking about my procedure, because it is something that nobody seems to talk a lot about having done.
After going public with news of my breast surgery, I was overwhelmed with how many women have had it done or are wanting to have it done. The one thing that I wish that I had was advice from a friend who had gone through the same surgery as mine, so I wrote this guide to all of you who are thinking about having a least invasive breast lift.
This is what you need to know:
A mastopexy is much different than an augmentation. All of my friends who had augmentations talked about how quick & easy it was. A breast lift is a much more in-depth procedure.
Talk to your doctor in advance about also having an implant put in during your surgery. I had detailed discussions with Dr. Niccole about whether or not to put in an implant along with my lift. We decided to go forward with the implants so that my breast would have a better shape, and the implant will help to hold the breast up.
There is no easy way to say it – they are going to cut your nipple off. They will cut it off and reposition it higher. Your nipple will still work, and you can still breastfeed if you decide to have another baby.
It is going to hurt. I am not going to lie. I was in a lot of pain for the first 48 hours. The best thing is that they provide pain medication so that you’re not too uncomfortable. My nurse recommended that I stay on top of my pain medication for the first 48 hours and not wait to feel pain – it was some of the best advice I received.
You might have drains. The worst part about my entire procedure were the drains – but they were necessary. I had two tubes coming out of the sides of my breast to drain fluid. My husband would help me drain the reservoir every couple of hours. I had the drains in for a couple of days, and the minute they were removed, I was one happy mama.
Your breasts are going to look bigger than you expected. The days following my surgery, my breasts looked huge, funny shaped, and high. They were just swollen. As the swelling has been going down, my breasts are starting to become the size I expected, and they are dropping into the perfect position.
The cuts! You will have a T-shape cut on your breast. The incision will go around your nipple, down the breast, and then along the underside of your breast. I got a chance to get a look at the incision when they changed my steri-strips last week. They are a little frightening to see at first, but there are a lot of options to prevent scarring (stay tuned for me to share more once I begin treatment).
You’ll not be able to do anything for at least a week. Dr. Niccole is very conservative and advised my husband to take over with the family needs. No lifting, running around, doing laundry – anything. I laid in my bed for the entire first week, and it helped my healing process. Plus, I liked having the week off. I have continued to “milk it” and taking it easy. The doctor said that I could get back to my normal activities 4-6 weeks after surgery.
Once you get back on your feet, you’ll get tired real fast. I walked the red carpet at the World Premiere of Moana one week following my surgery, and I had to stop and take a lot of breaks. My work would only allow me one full week at home, but if you can, I recommend staying in bed for two weeks.
No sex!! Make sure that your husband is super happy before your surgery, because you can’t have any sex for 4-6 weeks. Sorry husbands…
No alcohol, vitamins or protein powders. I was told to cease my protein shakes and the occasional glass of wine two weeks before surgery and two weeks following my surgery.
Clothing. You won’t be able to lift your arms for a good two weeks. Purchase a couple of shirts that have a front zipper or button down.
Bras. I purchased a couple of bras that have a full zip in the front. I was able to find them at a fitness clothing store. About one week following my surgery, I started wearing a “cheap” supportive bra from Target (no underwire). You don’t want to spend a lot on
bras because the size of your breasts will change during the healing process.
Sleeping. You will need to sleep elevated for the first couple of weeks. No laying on your side or stomach. I purchased a “chair pillow” that helped me to sleep elevated. Even at three weeks, now that I am allowed to lay flat, I do get some swelling in the morning. So, for comfort, I am still sleeping elevated.
One thing that has saved me is a heating pad. I still use it on my back to help with any discomfort that I experience.
You might experience random shooting pains. It only lasts a few seconds, and it is just your nerves fighting with the implant. I’ve only had it happen a couple of times, and it is not too bad.
I was advised that I might not have any sensation in my nipples for awhile, but I sure feel them when I get cold – and it is somewhat uncomfortable. I have just been keeping myself warm to avoid this discomfort.
No pets. If you have pets – it is important not to be around them. You don’t want them in your bed or near you for the first couple of weeks to avoid the risk of infection.
Showering. This will be a challenge. For the first week, I couldn’t shower because of my drains, and my husband would wash my hair in the sink along with giving me a sponge bath. Once I got my drains out, I was able to shower, but not allowed to get my breast wet. You’ll have to shower with antibacterial soap for the first couple of weeks and don’t be surprised if it dries out your skin. Once you are showering on your own, washing your hair will be hard because it hurts to lift your arms. I took a friends advice and went to the dry bar to have my hair shampooed every couple of days for the first 2 1/2 weeks.
I am sure that I will have some more tips that I’ll add as the weeks go on, but this pretty much sums up what you’ll need to know about your first three weeks.
Are you ready to have beautiful breasts after having your babies? Schedule a consultation with Dr. Niccole atCosmetiCare or have a virtual consultation with him from the comfort of your home.