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Breast Surgery FAQs

Breast Reduction

Does a breast reduction or lift mean my breasts will stay the same size for the rest of my life?

Mostly, as long as you stay the same size and weight, but not if you put on excessive amounts of weight. Also with the onset of menopause breasts can grow but this is usually associated with weight gain.

Can I drive my car with power steering straight after surgery?

No, handling a steering wheel, even with power steering, can put strain on the incisions. You should not drive for at least two weeks after surgery.

Will I need to wear a special type of bra?

You may need a surgical bra to support your breasts. Your doctor might instruct you to wear a bra day and night for the first four weeks. As the swelling goes down, the size and shape of your breasts will change, so it’s best to wait until your new breasts have settled before purchasing bras. The bra worn for the first month will be supplied by the nurses at your first postoperative visit.

Breast Lift

Does a breast lift mean my breasts will stay the same size for the rest of my life?

Mostly, as long as you stay the same size and weight, but not if you put on excessive amounts of weight. Also with the onset of menopause breasts can grow but this is usually associated with weight gain.

How long can I expect to be off work?

For the average women doing non-strenuous clerical-type work, you should generally be able to return to work approximately five to seven days after surgery. If your job requires heavy lifting or similar strenuous activities it will be longer. This is something you must discuss with the doctor, since each woman and her situation is different.

How long will my stitches be in?

Stitches used are usually dissolving and these will not have to be removed. In the event that sutures need removal, this is done between seven to ten days after surgery.

How long will it take for the swelling to go down after surgery?

Although swelling is minimal after breast repositioning, there will be some puffiness. You can expect most of this to be gone after one month.

How long must I wear a special bra for after breast repositioning (mastopexy)?

For the first month after surgery, you must wear the non-stretchable bra, both day and night. This will be supplied by nurses at your first postoperative visit. You should remember, though, now that you have a breast of relatively normal volume, this will always require a good bra support to reduce the degree of sagging. Gravity over the years takes its toll, and any breast of reasonable volume will eventually show some degree of droop without good support; sometimes even with good support!

How is the size, shape and position determined?

This is discussed at the preoperative visit. The more information you give to your surgeon the more likely he is to achieve your objective.

How will I feel?

Naturally you may feel “woozy” as the anaesthetic wears off. You may feel some soreness, swelling or discomfort, but this is quite natural. You may also feel tired and exhausted after surgery, but this and the soreness is normal and will last only a short while.

How long will it be before I can start normal activities?

Following surgery, your surgeon will give you specific instructions regarding your participation in everyday activities, athletics and sexual relations. Generally it is one month before you can engage in normal sporting activities.

Will I be able to breast feed?

This depends on your potential before the operation and the style of operation you decide on after discussion with the doctor.

Will I have feeling in my breasts and nipples?

There may be reduced feeling right after surgery. With few exceptions, experience shows sensation in both areas will improve in a few months although there is a small risk of loss of sensation.

Breast Augmentation

How long can I expect to be off work?

For the average women doing non-strenuous clerical-type work, you should generally be able to return to work approximately five to seven days after surgery. If your job requires heavy lifting or similar strenuous activities it will be longer. This is something you must discuss with the doctor, since each woman and her situation is different.

How long will my stitches be in?

The stitches used are usually self-dissolving, and do not need to be removed. Occasionally sutures that do not dissolve are used and will need removal about 7-10 days after surgery. There can be loss of nipple feeling after this surgery.

How much sensation will be left in my nipples after surgery?

Sometimes this may be temporary loss of feeling which is transient. More infrequently a permanent degree of loss of feeling can occur. In most cases, however, normal sensation should gradually return over a six to twelve month period. It should be anticipated that there will be some patches of skin numbness, particularly on the inner and lower portions of the breast but these are normally temporary and will disappear after about six months.

Is this breast operation dangerous?

Any surgery carries some risk, however, surgeons doing breast implants in modern surgical facilities do not consider it dangerous. You should check your surgeon and anaesthetist’s skills and credentials as well as those of the surgical facility to ensure the minimum of risk possible.

Can breast implants cause cancer?

In the hundreds of thousands of cases where breast implants have been used, there have not been any reported cases where cancer was attributed to the implant.

Does the implant prevent breast feeding?

No, the implant is usually placed either between the breast gland and the pectoral muscle or under the muscle and does not interfere with the normal functioning of the milk ducts.