Breast Lift Recovery

You can’t have surgery without recovery, but when it comes to breast lift surgery, the recovery process is usually pretty drama-free. Just be sure you follow our surgeons’ care instructions to a T.

How will I feel after breast lift surgery?

You’ll wake up after surgery with your breasts placed in a surgical support bra, and they’ll be sore and swollen for a few days. We’ll prescribe pain medications to help you stay comfy during your initial recovery, but you probably won’t need them for more than 2 or 3 days. By the end of the first week, the bandages are off, and you’ll be feeling a lot better—just take it easy per our surgeons’ instructions.

After a breast lift, when can I….

  • Take a shower? Usually by day 7 (Only “bird baths” avoiding the breasts allowed until you’re cleared. Sorry….but it’s worth it, we promise)
  • Drive? After you’re no longer taking prescription pain medication, you can rotate your shoulders and neck around without hesitation, and you can wear a seatbelt comfortably
  • Go back to work? Typically within 7 to 10 days for a desk job; longer for more physical work
  • Pick up my kids? We know it’s hard, but you’ll need to wait about 2 to 3 weeks to let your incisions heal before lifting or straining.
  • Go for a run or bike ride? Resume exercise gradually after about 4 weeks; check with your doctor before engaging in an activity
  • Wear a regular bra? Soft, supportive sports bras only for 6 to 8 weeks (a front-closing bra is a life-saver!); then go shopping!

How long will it take to see final results?

Your improved breast shape will be evident immediately, but for the first few weeks, your breasts will look swollen, your incision sites will be bright pink (but don’t peel off the surgical tape to have a look), and your breasts may appear uneven. This is totally normal as each breast may heal at a slightly different rate. If you are having a breast lift with implants, your breasts may also appear too high on the chest at first; this is also normal, and your implants will settle over the course of a month or two.

Most post-operative swelling will subside over the first few months, and your breasts will look fantastic by 2 months out. However, your new breast contours will continue to improve subtly for up to one year. Translation? Your results will be more or less final about 6 months after a breast lift.

Will I be able to feel my nipples after a breast lift?

The Scoop



All the key facts you need

Tingling, numbness, and odd “pangs” in your breasts and nipples are normal as the internal tissues heal, so don’t worry. While a small number of patients have a permanent reduction in nipple sensation after a breast lift, this is uncommon and most patients experience full, normal sensation within months after surgery. Our surgeons take care to preserve the nerve and blood supply to nipples during a breast lift to minimize risk of sensation problems.

Got more questions about recovery? Contact us for a personal consultation with one of our plastic surgeons.