Breast Lift and Augmentation Recovery

Is recovery the same as for just a breast lift if you get a breast lift and augmentation at the same time? Does it take longer, cause more pain... any differences?

Doctor Answers 16

How does the recovery from a Breast Lift differ from a Breast Augmentation?

Both #BreastLifts and #BreastAugmentations are #outpatient procedures under intravenous sedation and local or general anesthesia. The patient will go home in a bra or with only light dressings over the incision lines. Sutures are dissolvable but an ending knot, if present is removed within 1-2 weeks. Initial discomfort is easily controlled with oral #medication. Light activity may be started 7-10 days after surgery. If your work keeps you sedentary, you may return whenever you feel up to it. If your work is strenuous, wait until your work activity does not cause any superficial #pain. Do not begin light aerobic exercise for 3 weeks and strenuous exercise for at least 6 weeks. Let your body tell you what it can tolerate. Further instructions are provided prior your release. It is always recommend to call and see your surgeon to discuss your concerns on #recovery.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 77 reviews

Post-Operative recovery after breast lift with implants

Post-Operative recovery after breast lift with implants:In general the healing is approximately the same time, perhaps a few more days for the combined procedure and not much difference in discomfort
Here are the instructions we give to my patients -
The patient will go home in a bra or with only light dressings over the incision lines.
Patients can usually return to work in one week to ten days. Sutures are dissolvable but the ending knot is removed within 1-2 weeks.
Initial discomfort is easily controlled with oral medication. Light activities may be started in 7-10 days with light lifting of 20 pounds or less from 10 days to 3 wks. After 3 weeks progressive exercise with running and lifting of heavier weights after 6 weeks.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 107 reviews


It really depends on a few factors. Adequate pain control is likely the most important. Individual pain tolerance differs greatly. I find that women who have had children generally have less post-op pain, as they have a much higher pain tolerance. From a surgical point of view, there are several things the surgeon/anaesthesiologist can do to decrease your post-op pain.

I generally perform breast blocks prior to making any incisions with a mix of short- and long-acting local anaesthetics. I have found this greatly reduces post-op pain. I also encourage patients to take the prescribed pain killers regularly every 4 hours especially for the first 24-48 hours. If you don't stay on top of the pain in the immediate post-operative period, it is extremely difficult to "catch-up". Most of my patients experience very little post-op pain after breast augmentation.

Of course, the type of augmentation you have will also determine your post-operative discomfort. Larger implants, and subpectoral implant placement will also increase post-op discomfort. This doesn't mean you shouldn't get large implants, or place them under the muscle - you simply need to know what to expect. Many women also experience difficulty with sleeping in the first few weeks after augmentation due to the weight of the implants on their chest. This is more significant in back-sleepers.

To answer your question about time off work, my experience has been that there is a huge range. I have patients that go back to work the next day (against my advice), and I have had patients take as much as 2 weeks off of work. It really depends on what you do for work, and how you feel. As for taking care of your kids, if your implant is placed under the muscle, it will be a few weeks before you feel comfortable enough to pick them up.

As for scars, I tell patients it will take a year to see the absolute final result. Practically, however, by 3-6 months the scar will be very close to the final result. I suggest 3M paper taping, and have a specific scar massage protocol I use to help speed scar resolution.

I hope this helps. Good luck!


Asif Pirani, MD, FRCS(C)
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Recovery after combined Breast Augmentation & Lift

Although some surgeons do not like to do these procedures together, if done properly, the results are excellent. The surgeon must take the time in the operating room to sit you up and reassess the placement of the nipple after placing the implant and partial closure. To do this does take more time than just placing the implant and closing the skin as marked preoperatively. However, this is still less time and less expensive than doing two separate procedures. The other thing that helps is to release the breast tissue from the muscle to allow it to move upward. This is the reason I like a subglandular (on top of the muscle) placement of the implant. With this placement of the implant, recovery is 24-48 hours.

Robert T. Buchanan, MD
Highlands Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Breast Lift and Augmentation Recovery

Thank you for the question. Maximum discomfort will occur in the first few days after surgery and will subside the following weeks. Six weeks after surgery, your incisions will heal over and it would be safe to slowly resume regular activity. Breasts could be sore, tight, swollen and bruised for several months. It will take approximately three months for your breasts to settle. Hope this has helped.

Rady Rahban, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 78 reviews

Recovery Following Breast Lift & Augmentation

         The recovery for breast lift combined with breast augmentation is very similar to an isolated breast lift recovery with one major exception. When breast implants are placed beneath the muscle, patients tend to have more post-operative pain and discomfort.


         In many cases, management not only requires narcotic pain medications, but muscle relaxants as well. The vast majority of patients are able to return to work in about a week with either procedure. In six weeks, patients should be able to resume all of their normal activities including heavy lifting.

Recovery after Breast Augmentation/ Lifting?

The recovery period  after breast augmentation/lifting is similar to breast augmentation alone in that much of the discomfort and resulting limitation in activity is related to the sub muscular (dual plane) positioning of the breast implants.

From the standpoint of incision line healing and potential complications associated with the longer incisions associate with breast lifting, the breast lifting part of the procedure does add some additional need for care.

However, I have found that patients are able to return to work in approximate the same period of time after either one of the operations.

I hope this helps.

Recovery from a breast lift and augmentation

You may have more pain with the augmentation, especially if the implants are placed under the muscles. However, oral pain meds should cover this well. Also, it may take longer to recover if the implants are placed under the muscles. Soreness may be an issue in the immediate post-operative. The overall recovery is very tolerable, and you should be back to work in about a week. Good luck!

Breast lift augmentation and recovery

 The recovery from a breast augmentation and a combined lift is a bit more than a standard breast augmentation.  There is a bit more pain with a breast augmentation that is added to the lift.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Recovery from breast lift and augmentation

 When doing a combined lift and augmentation, the vast majority of the recovery comes from the augmentation, not from the lift.  This is especially true if the implants are placed below the muscle which is my preferred position for all implants.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.