Breast Lift Side Effects

May 19, 2015

It is an unfortunate fact that dramatic changes in the shape of the body can cause the skin to lose elasticity. This is particularly evident in women’s breasts. Whether due to pregnancy and lactation, changes in body weight or the effects of aging, the human breast can easily start to sag and droop. Drs. Marcus Crawford and Steven Bailey have seen many such women who hope to restore their breasts to a more youthful appearance.

Because a breast lift surgical procedure is elective (as opposed to medically necessary to correct for injury or illness), it may be tempting for women to treat the procedure lightly. The truth is that a breast lift procedure is every bit as much a surgical procedure as a breast reconstruction procedure following a mastectomy. Drs. Crawford and Bailey think it is important to educate potential breast lift patients about all aspects of the procedure they are about to undergo. Part of this involves explaining the side effects associated with the procedure so that patients can understand the difference between abnormal risks and normal side effects following the surgery.

Bruising and Swelling

Bruising and swelling are the two most common side effects of any surgical procedure. They are part of the body’s natural response to having the skin cut open. Bruising and swelling occur because the body is trying to isolate the “injured” area from the rest of the body.

Patients should expect bruising and swelling to last for approximately one to two weeks following the procedure. Drs. Crawford and Bailey provide patients with a special compression garment, which is to be worn like a bra. This tightly woven, elastic garment will keep the amount and duration of bruising and swelling to a minimum. Applying ice packs or cold compresses once the incisions are fully healed over will also help reduce bruising and swelling. Some patients have also found that the herb Arnica montana is useful.

Pain and Discomfort

It is also normal for patients to experience some form of pain or discomfort for the first two to three days following a breast lift procedure. Again, this is part of the body’s natural response to any incision into the skin. Pain and discomfort occur because the nerves leading to the skin and underlying tissue have been severed.

Patients will be given a prescription for pain medication. Drs. Crawford and Bailey strongly encourage filling the prescription one to two days before the surgery, so that it will be ready immediately after the procedure. For milder discomfort, patients may also take over-the-counter pain medications such as aspirin or Tylenol.

Itching, Burning, Numbness

Once the bruising and swelling have subsided, the body then moves on to the next phase of healing. Once this phase is underway, patients may experience itching or burning sensations around the incision areas. They may also notice that parts of the breast may feel numb. These sensations are all related to the body’s attempts to either reconnect the severed nerve pathways or create new ones. Patients should expect these sensations to last anywhere from one to two months after surgery.

Drs. Crawford and Bailey’s goal is to have patients be happy with the outcome of their breast lift procedure. One way to ensure this is to have patients understand the side effects of the procedure that are part of the body’s natural healing process.


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