Breast Lift After The Procedure

After Breast Lift Surgery

The procedure itself will take approximately 3-4 hours.

Breast Lift timeline


  1. Get plenty of rest and limit yourself to light activities the first 10 days after surgery. Sleep and rest with head slightly elevated for the first 3 days.
  2. You may take a cool shower the day after surgery. Make sure you have someone helping you. Let water run gently over the drains exits. Dab dry. Place gauze over drain exit. Put your bra back on.
  3. Do not drive while on pain medications or with limited upper body mobility.
  4. Avoid lifting anything heavier than 5 pounds for 2 weeks.
  5. Wear a surgical bra 24 hours a day for 8 weeks unless Joseph T Cruise, MD instructs you differently.
  6. Avoid exposing the incisions to direct sunlight for at least 6 weeks. After 6 weeks, apply sunscreen (at least SPF 15) to the area of the incision, if you will be in the sun for extended periods of time.
  7. Do not smoke for at least 1 week after surgery.
  8. Do not use aspirin-containing products for at least 1 week. You may take Tylenol or pain medication as prescribed.
  9. You may apply ice or frozen peas or corn on the breast for the first 48 hours to decrease swelling. Do not apply it directly on your skin.
  10. Be sure to use all you medications as directed.
  11. It is not uncommon for a small part of incision to open up and look like a pimple at 4-8 weeks. This is called a Stitch Abscess - it is caused by a suture which is expelled by the body. Simply wash it with soap and water and apply Neosporin or Polysporin on it. If the redness is larger than a dime call the office.

Most Frequently Asked Recovery Questions

When Can I Drive?  Typically most patients can start driving at 4-5 days after surgery. Use your best judgment. If you feel comfortable and are not taking any medications that can affect clear thinking,  (i.e. Vicodin, Xanax) you can consider driving; otherwise wait for a few more days. Keep in mind you may feel restricted in moving your arms, which can hinder your driving ability and reaction time should an issue arise on the road.

When can I return to work? After a breast lift, some people with sedentary jobs go back to work as early as 5 to 7 days. It is not uncommon to still have a lack of energy and pain or discomfort, so it's important to be sure your work load isn't too strenuous. If your job requires heavy lifting, excessive use of your arms, or physical activity, it may take as long as 4 weeks to return to work. Please discuss any concerns or questions regarding time off work with Joseph T Cruise, MD. The majority of Joseph T Cruise, MD's breast lift patients return to work after 1 week as long as reaching above shoulder level is avoided.

When can I work out or perform physical activity? Heavy lifting, yoga, and other excessive physical activity must be avoided for 6 weeks.

When can I go in the hot tub/pool? We advise refraining from hot tubs, pools, and the ocean for up to 6 weeks. Joseph T Cruise, MD advises each of his patients individually regarding the appropriate recovery instructions.

What is the total recovery time? The average patients' total breast lift recovery time is 3-6 months, with incisions taking a year or longer to fade. Total recovery time will vary depending on the specific procedure or combination of procedures you had. A breast lift with augmentation quite common, and the body's adjustment to the breast implants can take as long as 3 months. A breast lift alone may take a little less time to completely recover. The most important thing to remember is that breast lift scars will take longer to heal in terms of appearance. Scars get better with time and in some cases may take up to one year for optimal result. Joseph T Cruise, MD uses specialized techniques during surgery and tapes the incisions after surgery to ensure the best chance of healing in a manner that results in the least visible scarring possible.


  1. Immediately after surgery, some patients feel groggy or nauseous. These feeling normally subside by the next day.
  2. Many patients experience some pain for the first 3-4 days and soreness for the first 2 weeks
  3. Most of the time the breasts are very swollen and tight for the six week. Do not be concerned as they will drop with time. At your follow up appointment Joseph T Cruise, MD will show you how to massage them to make sure you positioning is appropriate. The body heals asymmetrically. One breast might be swollen, hurt more and appear higher or lower than the other, this is completely natural.
  4. Swelling and bruising usually clears up within 2 weeks.
  5. Pink scars will eventually fade to an unnoticeable color. It may take up to a year for the scar to fade to its minimal color.
  6. Some firmness may develop. Once the tenderness subsides, you may begin to massage the breasts to help soften them. After 3 months you should massage your breasts daily during your shower for 30 seconds for the rest of your life.
  7. Your nipples might become hyper sensitive or lose sensation for the first 3 months. This usually goes away.


Post surgical complications are rare and are often easily solved by the doctor if you notify us. Call us if you experience any of the following after your breast lift:

A temperature of 101 F or higher, increased local redness or warmth, chest pain, shortness of breath, legs swelling, calf pain, or if you feel that anything might be wrong. Please call the office during regular business hours @ 949-644-4808 . In addition, call if you have continuous discharge from the incision line, if one of the breasts appears significantly larger and more tender, if the pain increases instead of decreasing after 5 days or the breasts become red.


Blood Clot
  1. It is important to walk at least every 2 hours while you're awake to prevent blood clotting- do not over do it. Right after surgery you will be instructed to walk around every 1 hour.
  2. Pay specific attention to Leg Swelling. If you notice swelling on only one leg or calf pain contact the office.
Drain Function
  1. Make sure that your drains are functioning.
  2. Empty drains every 8 hours or when they become more than half full and write down amount of drainage.
  3. Do not be concerned if the fluid from the body comes around drain.
  4. You may need to milk the tube if it appears to be clogged.
  5. Drains come out at about 2-3 days, depending on amount of drainage.
  6. Note - the drain is always uncomfortable but it is absolutely necessary to prevent fluid accumulation.
  1. If you are constipated at day 2 stop taking Vicodin or Darvocet.
  2. Encourage walking, drinking a lot of fluids, consider laxative( Ex-lax or Correctol).
  1. Make sure to cough and breath deep as fever is usually in lungs for the first 3 days after surgery.
  1. You can take a cool shower the day after. Dab dry. Make sure you have someone helping you.
  2. Walk every hour while awake for the first day and then every 2 hours
  3. Sleep at 45 degree angle for the first 3 nights.
  4. Begin massage after the first post-op visit.
  5. Regarding exercise: If it hurts don't do it. Wait for your body to tell you what you can do.
  6. You can exercise areas other than your chest at 2 weeks.You can work out your chest at 8 weeks.
Wound Care
  1. Make sure your bra is on as directed.
  2. Keep surgical area clean and dry at all times.
  3. At 2-3 weeks after surgery take you steri-strips off. Start applying surgical tape for 3 months. The tape will be provided in the office.

Joseph T Cruise, MD is known as one of the best breast lift surgeons in Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Huntington Beach, Orange County, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Beverly Hills.