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Dr Bish Soliman’s Recommendations to Reduce Swelling and Bruising after Mastopexy

Breast lift surgery is a procedure that reshapes and lifts the breasts to a more elevated position. Considering it is a complex procedure, it’s natural for patients to experience some swelling and bruising during the recovery process.

With years of experience and a deep understanding of the nuances of breast surgery, Sydney Specialist Plastic Surgeon Dr Bish Soliman is dedicated to guiding his patients through their healing journey with advice and support.

What to Expect During Recovery after Breast Lift Surgery

Recovering from a breast lift surgery involves several stages, each marked by specific healing milestones and manageable discomfort. Dr Bish Soliman is committed to helping his patients experience a recovery process that is as comfortable and swift as possible.

  • Immediate Post-Surgery Period (Days 1-3): During the first few days after surgery, it is normal to experience moderate swelling and bruising. The affected areas may feel tight and tender as the body initiates the healing process. Dr Soliman provides detailed instructions on managing discomfort during this critical phase. Patients are advised to rest and limit movement to facilitate healing.
  • Early Recovery Phase (Week 1-2): As the initial week progresses, patients usually notice a gradual decrease in swelling and discolouration. It’s essential to follow Dr Soliman’s guidance on wearing compression garments, which help shape the breasts and reduce fluid build-up. Following the prescribed medication schedule to manage pain and inflammation is important during this time.
  • Mid-Recovery Phase (Weeks 3-6): By this stage, most of the bruising will have subsided, and swelling significantly reduced. Patients often begin to feel more like themselves and can start to engage in light activities. Dr Soliman emphasises the importance of continued adherence to recovery guidelines, particularly avoiding strenuous activities that could stress the healing tissues.
  • Late Recovery Phase (Weeks 6-12): This phase marks significant healing, with scars beginning to mature and fade. Patients can gradually resume regular activities, including mild exercise, under Dr Soliman’s advisement. It’s also a time when many patients begin to appreciate the full results of their surgery as the new contours of their breasts become more apparent.

Throughout each stage of recovery, Dr Soliman and his team are available to provide support and answer any questions. They ensure that each patient understands what sensations and changes are normal, and what signs might indicate a need for further medical attention. This careful monitoring and clear communication help optimise the recovery process, ensuring safety and optimal results.

Step-by-Step Guide to Reduce Swelling after Breast Lift Surgery

Following a breast lift surgery, it’s common to experience swelling as part of the body’s natural healing process. However, managing this swelling effectively is essential to ensure a comfortable recovery and to achieve optimal results. Dr Bish Soliman recommends a structured approach to minimise swelling during the post-operative period. Here’s a guide:

Immediate Post-Operative Care

Cold Compresses:

  • How and When to Use Them: Cold compresses can be very effective in reducing swelling and soothing pain. However, it is vital to use them correctly to avoid damaging the sensitive skin and tissues that are healing. Apply cold compresses for 20 minutes every hour on the first day, but make sure there is a protective layer such as a cloth between the ice pack and the skin to prevent frostbite.
  • Precautions: Never apply ice directly to the skin, and decrease the frequency of application after the first 48 hours to prevent reduced circulation which can impede healing.

Elevation:

  • Best Practices for Resting Positions: Keeping the upper body elevated is a key strategy to reduce swelling. You should sleep with your head and shoulders elevated on pillows, creating an angle of about 30 to 45 degrees. This position helps decrease blood flow to the area, thereby reducing swelling and pain.
  • Daytime Practices: Even during the day, try to keep the upper body elevated as much as possible. When seated, use pillows to support and maintain an elevated position.

Medications

Prescribed Medications:

  • Overview of Medications: Dr Soliman may prescribe medications such as anti-inflammatories and pain relievers to help manage post-surgical swelling and discomfort. It is important to follow the prescribed dosage and schedule to optimise healing and comfort.
  • Monitoring and Adjustments: Always report any adverse reactions to the medications, as adjustments may be necessary. Effective communication with Dr Soliman’s office is essential to managing any potential side effects.

Natural Supplements and Over-the-Counter Options:

  • Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Certain supplements like bromelain (found in pineapples) and arnica can help reduce swelling. Bromelain, for instance, has properties that help reduce swelling, bruising, and pain after surgery and can be taken in supplement form.
  • Considerations and Cautions: Always consult with Dr Soliman before starting any new supplements or over-the-counter medications to ensure they do not interfere with your recovery or prescribed medications.

Diet and Hydration

Foods to Include:

  • Anti-Inflammatory Foods: Incorporating foods rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties can aid in reducing swelling. Foods such as pineapples, berries, salmon, and leafy greens should be a part of your diet.
  • Protein-Rich Foods: Adequate protein intake is essential for tissue repair and muscle maintenance. Include lean meats, fish, eggs, and dairy products in your meals.

Importance of Staying Hydrated:

  • Hydration and Healing: Water plays a role in the healing process by helping to flush out toxins and reduce inflammation. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water a day.
  • Limiting Salt Intake: Reducing salt intake can also help minimise swelling, as salt can cause the body to retain fluids.

Activity Level

Encouraged Gentle Movements:

  • Promoting Circulation: Light activities such as walking can be beneficial in the first few days post-surgery. Gentle movements help promote circulation and reduce the risk of blood clots.
  • Guidelines on Activities: Start with short walks around the room or house, gradually increasing the distance as comfort permits. Avoid any strenuous activities or lifting heavy objects.

Guidelines on Resuming Normal Activities:

  • Phased Approach: Dr Soliman advises a phased approach to resuming normal activities. Light desk work can usually be resumed within a few days post-surgery, but any form of exercise should be avoided for at least 2-3 weeks.
  • Listening to Your Body: It’s imperative to listen to your body during recovery. If an activity causes discomfort, it’s a signal to slow down and give your body more time to heal.

Step-by-Step Guide to Minimise Bruising After Breast Lift Surgery

Bruising is a natural response to surgery and is particularly common after procedures like a breast lift. While it’s mostly a cosmetic concern, excessive bruising can be uncomfortable and prolong the appearance of your surgery results. Dr Bish Soliman has developed a detailed regimen to help his patients minimise bruising and enhance their comfort during the recovery process. Here’s how you can effectively manage and reduce bruising:

Compression Garments

Use and Benefits:

  • How Compression Garments Help: Compression garments play a role in post-surgical recovery by applying steady pressure to the surgical areas, which helps reduce blood vessel leakage and tissue swelling. This consistent pressure not only minimises bruising but also supports the newly sculpted tissues.
  • When to Wear Them: Dr Soliman recommends wearing compression garments continuously for the first 2-3 weeks after surgery, except during showering or as advised based on your specific surgical details.

Choosing the Right Garment:

  • Fit and Comfort: It’s important that the compression garment fits properly — not too tight to cut off circulation, but snug enough to support the affected area. Dr Soliman or his nursing staff will help you select the appropriate garment and ensure it fits correctly.

Avoid Certain Activities and Substances

Activities to Limit:

  • Physical Activity Restrictions: For the first few weeks after surgery, avoid strenuous activities that increase heart rate and blood pressure, as these can exacerbate bruising and swelling. Activities such as jogging, heavy lifting, or any vigorous exercise should be postponed until Dr Soliman gives the green light.
  • Handling of the Surgical Area: Be gentle with your movements and avoid any unnecessary touching or pressure on the surgical sites to prevent aggravating the bruising.

Substances to Avoid:

  • Medications and Supplements: Certain medications and supplements can increase the likelihood of bruising. Aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and supplements such as fish oil, vitamin E, and ginkgo biloba have blood-thinning effects and should be avoided unless Dr Soliman advises otherwise.
  • Alcohol Consumption: Alcohol can cause blood vessels to dilate and may increase swelling and bruising. It is advisable to avoid alcohol for at least the first week following surgery or until Dr Soliman specifies it is safe to resume.

Natural Remedies and Treatments

Homeopathic Remedies:

  • Arnica Montana: Arnica is a well-known homeopathic remedy that can significantly reduce bruising and swelling. Available in both topical and oral forms, it is recommended to start taking Arnica a few days before the surgery and continue for at least a week post-surgery, as per Dr Soliman’s instructions.
  • Bromelain: This enzyme found in pineapples is effective in reducing swelling, bruising, and pain after surgery. Bromelain supplements can be taken before and after surgery to help speed up recovery.

Topical Treatments:

  • Vitamin K Cream: Vitamin K is known for its ability to help blood clot and reduce bruising. Applying a topical Vitamin K cream directly to bruised areas can help speed up the clearance of bruising. It is safe to apply as directed by Dr Soliman, generally beginning a few days post-surgery once the incisions have closed.
  • Hirudoid Cream: This cream contains heparinoid, which dissolves blood clots and is used in the treatment of bruising. It can be applied to the bruised areas following surgery to aid in faster resolution of bruises.

When to Seek Medical Advice

Recognising Complications:

  • Normal vs. Abnormal Symptoms: While some degree of bruising and swelling is normal, excessive or increasing bruising, especially with pain or heat, might indicate a complication such as a hematoma.
  • Signs to Watch For: If you experience significant changes in skin colour, a sudden increase in swelling, or intense pain, these could be signs of infection or other complications requiring prompt medical attention.

Contacting Dr Soliman:

  • Communication is Key: Dr Soliman encourages his patients to contact him or his team with any concerns during the recovery period. It’s important to report any unusual symptoms or if the bruising seems excessive or unusually prolonged.

FAQs about Swelling and Bruising after Breast Lift Surgery

How long does it take for swelling and bruising to subside after a breast lift?

  • While recovery times can vary, swelling generally starts to decrease within the first few weeks post-surgery, with significant reductions after the first month. Bruising usually begins to fade within 2-3 weeks and should be much less noticeable by the fourth week. Complete resolution of swelling and bruising may take a few months, depending on the extent of the surgery and individual healing rates.

Can I use heat pads to help reduce bruising after breast lift surgery?

  • It is advisable to avoid heat on the surgical area immediately after the procedure as it can increase blood flow, potentially worsening swelling and bruising. Usually, cold compresses are recommended for the first 48-72 hours. If you wish to use heat, it should only be applied after this initial period, and only according to the specific instructions from Dr Soliman.

Are there any specific sleeping positions that help reduce swelling faster?

  • Yes, sleeping on your back with your upper body slightly elevated (about 30-45 degrees) can significantly help reduce swelling. This position helps improve lymphatic drainage and decreases blood flow to the area, both of which can reduce swelling. Avoid sleeping on your stomach or turning onto your sides where direct pressure can be applied to the breasts.

Is there a difference in the type of compression garment I should wear for swelling versus bruising?

  • Generally, the same type of compression garment can help manage both swelling and bruising. The key is to ensure the garment is snug but not overly tight, providing consistent and even pressure without restricting circulation. Dr Soliman will recommend the best type of garment based on the specifics of your surgery.

How can I differentiate between normal bruising and signs of a complication?

  • Normal bruising is usually blue or purple in colour, appears shortly after surgery, and gradually changes colour as it heals. If bruising increases dramatically, spreads rapidly, or is accompanied by severe pain, fever, or chills, these could be signs of a complication like a haematoma or infection. In such cases, it’s important to contact Dr Soliman immediately for evaluation.

Further Reading about Breast Lift Surgery with Sydney Specialist Plastic Surgeon Dr Bish Soliman

Medical References about Breast Lift Surgery

About Dr Bish Soliman

Dr Bish Soliman - Sydney Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, about us 01 2x
Specialist Plastic, Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgeon
FRACS (Plas), MS (Plas), MBBS (Hons 1), BCom

AHPRA Registered Medical Practitioner MED 0001679053 Specialist Registration in Plastic Surgery

Dr Bish Soliman is a Sydney-based Specialist Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon who performs aesthetic surgery of the face, breast, and body as well as skin cancer surgery.

He currently holds two consultant microsurgery positions in major Sydney hospitals performing complex microsurgical reconstruction including DIEP breast reconstruction.

After graduating from The King’s School, Dr Bish completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Sydney. After working briefly at a major Sydney finance firm, he decided to pursue his passion and long-term goal of a career in medicine. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame at the top of his class, receiving First class honours and the prestigious Bower and Sherrard medal. He then went on to complete his junior medical training at Westmead Hospital during which time he was awarded Junior Medical Officer (JMO) of the Year, as well as a finalist for NSW Doctor of the Year.

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Next Steps

Do your Research

  • All Surgery has risks and potential complications. Please read the risks and complications page
  • Visit our procedure pages and Blogs to learn more about your intended procedure

Making The Most Of Your Consultation

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  • Take notes during the consultation and review all the documents provided
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