Breast Lift Patient Information
- Surgery Options: Benelli or Vertical Breastlift
- Pre-Operative Instructions
- Personal Information Sheet
- Instructions and Medical History
- Activity Restrictions
- Sports Bra
- The day before your surgery
- The morning of your surgery
- Clothing and personal items
- Post-Operative Care
- Recovery Room
- How to sit up in bed
- Post-Surgery Medications
- What to expect
- Dressings & Wrap
We want our patients to be comfortable with the decision to have breast lift surgery. Please read this information carefully and ask us any questions you may have. During your visit, Dr. Zevon will show you before and after photos of patients who resemble you. We can put you in contact with patients who have had the breast lift surgery if you would like references. We will offer you a tour of our surgical suite, which is certified by the American Association for the Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgical Facilities. We will give you a quote for your surgery, and information about financing options if desired. If at any time you have questions about this surgery, please do not hesitate to ask them. You should feel comfortable discussing your goals and expectations with Dr. Zevon. An educated patient is the ideal candidate for plastic surgery.
Surgery Options: Benelli or Vertical Breastlift
Dr. Zevon will address what type of breast lift surgery is appropriate for you, vertical or “Benelli.” In a vertical breast lift, an incision is made around the peri-areolar region and vertically below it down to bottom of the breast. In a Benelli breast lift, an incision is made around the peri-areolar region only. In both versions of breast lift, excess skin is removed, and the remaining breast skin is tightened. Some patients are not good candidates for the Benelli breast lift: these include thin-skinned and lean individuals with excessive skin, extreme sagging and thin, flat breast tissue. Dr. Zevon will tell you which type of breast lift is best for you after examining you during your consultation. Regardless of which procedure you have, Dr. Zevon will make every effort to assure that the incision results in scars that are as inconspicuous as possible.
Please read and familiarize yourself with Dr. Zevon’s Breast lift Patient Information. By following all instructions carefully you will assist in obtaining the best possible result from your breast lift surgery. If questions arise, do not hesitate to communicate with Dr. Zevon and discuss your questions at any time. Re-read your General Instructions for Cosmetic Surgery.
Personal Information Sheet
Locate your Personal Information Sheet and complete it so that we will know who will escort you home after your breast lift surgery, how much time to call ahead for your pickup after surgery, and where you can be reached the night of your breast lift surgery. State law requires someone to pick you up after surgery with anesthesia. If you prefer to hire someone to perform this task, ask us for a referral to a nursing agency. Dr. Zevon will call you the evening after your surgery. It will be easier for him to reach you if you fill out the form completely and print clearly.
Instructions and Medical History
Read your green sheet of Pre-Operative Instructions and make sure you know where it is for easy reference. During the two-week period before your breast lift surgery, don’t take aspirin, ibuprofen, NSAIDs or Vitamin E, and don’t take any medications, vitamins, nutritional or herbal supplements without Dr. Zevon’s permission. When you arrived in our office the first time, you were given a Medical History Questionnaire, inquiring about any medications, allergies, personal and family medical history, smoking and drug use. If you aren’t sure you disclosed all allergies, medications, past medical history, existing conditions and smoking status, or if any of the foregoing have changed since your initial visit, be sure to discuss any omissions, changes and/or new information with Dr. Zevon.
Read the Activity Restrictions in your Post-Operative Instructions so you will understand what you will not be able to do during the first few weeks after your breast lift surgery. Since you will not be able to carry heavy weights and bags, make sure you have everything you need at home on a level where you can reach it easily. Collect phone numbers for home delivery of items you may want to have delivered. Since you may be at home for a few days, have some books, tapes, DVDs, CDs or other home entertainment on hand. Some breast lift patients feel more comfortable with ice on their breasts after surgery. You can use well-padded ice packs for this purpose or bags of frozen peas. Whatever your preference, make sure you have the ice readily available as you may wish to use it during your first few days at home.
We will give you a sports bra to wear after your surgery. If you like, you may wish to purchase another one for convenience so you can change, or if you want a bra in a different color. Choose any soft, supportive, broad-banded bra. You will have to wear the sports bra for several weeks, and should avoid wearing any underwire bras until you are well healed.
Fill your prescriptions before breast lift surgery and make sure you know where they are.
The day before your surgery:
Nothing to eat or drink after midnight. If your breast lift surgery is in the afternoon, ask us as to what or when you may eat or drink before surgery. It may be uncomfortable to raise your hands above your head for a few days after your breast lift surgery. If you prefer to wash your hair in the evening, do so the night before your surgery.
Make sure your escort has our address, directions to the office and information about parking if needed. Tell your escort we will have an extra copy of your Post-Operative Instructions for him/her to pick up and read. If your escort or location for the first night has changed, call our offices with the new information.
The morning of your surgery
Shower or bathe with anti-bacterial soap. Wash your breasts and under your arms thoroughly. You may want to wash your hair as it may be uncomfortable to lift your arms for a few days after your surgery. Do not apply any moisturizer, deodorant, talcum powder or other products afterwards. Do not use hairspray or perfume.
Clothing and personal items
Wear simple, comfortable, loose-fitting, dark colored clothing that does not go on over your head. Wear tops with easy to fasten front closures such as buttons or zippers, bottoms that are easy to pull on and comfortable, easy-fitting shoes and socks. Do not wear new clothes. Sweat pants are ideal. No high heels or pantyhose. Do not bring jewelry or valuables with you. Bring a case for contact lenses if you wear them, and bring glasses if you need them as it may be awkward to put your contact lenses in immediately after your plastic surgery.
You will feel sleepy or groggy when you awake from anesthesia. The length of your stay in the recovery room will depend on how quickly you feel ready to sit up and leave on your own. During this time, you will be monitored. You will spend at least 30 minutes to an hour in the recovery room. When Dr. Zevon thinks you are ready to depart, he will ask the OR nurse to help you get dressed. Your escort and our nurse will help you into your vehicle (car or taxi). Because you will be groggy, you should expect to move slowly and carefully. We will have a set of your Post-op Instructions at our reception desk for your escort.
When you arrive home, be prepared to rest in bed for 2 hours. Since you fasted before your breast lift surgery, you will be dehydrated. Drink plenty of fluids. When you awake from the 2 hour nap, begin to eat lightly. If you feel nauseated, lie on your back with your head down and remain still. Any sensation of nausea should pass by the morning after your breast lift surgery. If you feel okay, light activity is fine.
How to sit up in bed
The easiest way to sit up from lying on your back is to move your body parallel to the edge of the bed and swing your legs over the edge, bending your knees and placing your feet on the ground. Then use your abdominal muscles to sit up instead of pushing yourself up with your arms and chest muscles. If you have someone to help you, an easy way to sit up is to have someone else carefully support your back and to help you sit up.
After breast lift surgery, the period of maximum discomfort varies from patient to patient from 2 or 3 days to a week. Almost all patients feel comfortable by the end of the first week. Many breast lift patients return to work on Monday or Tuesday after Friday surgery. Most patients take the prescribed oral pain medication. DON’T DRIVE WHILE TAKING PAIN PILLS! In addition, placing ice bags padded with a towel over the breasts may relieve discomfort significantly. The period of greatest discomfort usually does not last more than 12 to 14 hours.
Take the antibiotics and pain medication prescribed by Dr. Zevon according to the pharmacy instructions. Don’t take the pain medication on an empty stomach, as this may produce nausea and vomiting. Have another adult give you the pain medication at the correct time and/or keep written records of how much you take and when you take it. You do not have to take the pain medicine if you are not in pain, but you must take all of your antibiotics. Do not drive while taking pain medication.
What to expect
Your breasts may be bruised (black and blue discoloration) and swollen after this surgery. The bruising may last for approximately 2 weeks. The swelling may diminish gradually during this time. Your breasts will be sensitive to direct stimulation, so you should avoid much physical contact. When your breasts are no longer sore, physical contact is fine. You may feel a burning sensation in your nipples; this will subside as the bruising fades. Sensory changes can result after breast lift surgery. Most of these changes resolve on their own over time. It is not unusual for the two sides to look different and feel different, but differences should be reported to Dr. Zevon during your post-op visits.
Your scars may be firm and pink for at least six weeks. Then they may remain the same size for several months. After several months, your scars will begin to fade, although they will never disappear completely. You should use sunscreen if you are in the sun in a bathing suit during the first year after your breast lift surgery. Ask us about hi-SPF sunscreens suitable for post-surgery patients.
Call Dr. Zevon if you have:
1. severe pain not responding to pain medication;
2. significantly more swelling and/or pain on one side than the other, or
3. if you have drains that are filling too rapidly (see DRAINS, below).
DON’T TAKE CHANCES! Call if you are concerned about anything you consider significant. During office hours, call 212.496.6600. After hours, call 917.612.3800.
Dressings & Wrap
After breast lift surgery, Dr. Zevon will apply gauze dressings, usually covered in plastic, and a sports-type bra.
One drain may be placed in each breast at the time of breast lift surgery. Drains are used to promote fluid evacuation and speed healing if fluid accumulates during or after surgery. When the drain is inserted, the bulb at the end of each tube is compressed to create gentle suction. As the fluid accumulates, the bulb expands. Empty the drain by opening the plug at the top and pouring out the contents, twice a day or when the bulb is half full. After you empty the drain, squeeze the bulb to re-compress it. Do not remove the bulb from the tubing. If the bulb fills rapidly after emptying, or you have to empty more than twice a day, call Dr. Zevon. You will be given a quick demonstration of drain care in the recovery room if you have drains.
Dressings and Wraps
Dr. Zevon usually covers gauze dressings with plastic, to keep the dressings dry so you can shower at any time. You can remove the sports bra for showering.
Sleep on your back or on your side, but do not sleep on your stomach for 4 weeks.
For planning purposes, you can anticipate that you will not be able to drive for a week or so. You may find that you are ready to drive in less than a week, or that you are not ready at the end of the first week. Dr. Zevon usually tells breast lift patients not to drive until they are recovered sufficiently that if they were driving and had a car accident they could truthfully state that they did not suffer diminished capacity due to recent breast lift surgery. Make sure you are recovered enough to drive safely before you get back behind the wheel. It is not safe to drive while taking oral pain medication.