Guide to Preparing for Your Breast Lift (Mastopexy)

Breast lift surgery, or mastopexy, is a procedure aimed at elevating and reshaping sagging breasts, a common issue that arises due to factors like ageing, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and significant weight fluctuations. However, the success of a breast lift, like any surgical procedure, heavily depends on meticulous preparation. A well-prepared patient is more likely to experience a smoother surgery, a quicker recovery, and more satisfactory results.

In this blog, Sydney Plastic Surgeon Dr Jake Lim outlines the essential steps you need to take to prepare for your breast lift surgery, ensuring you are fully ready for this procedure.

Download Dr Lim’s 2024 Breast Lift Surgery Guide

Breast Lift Guide

Why Do You Need to Prepare for Your Breast Lift (Mastopexy) Surgery?

Preparation for breast lift surgery (mastopexy) is critical for several reasons:

  • It helps minimise the risk of complications during and after the procedure. Adhering to a preparation regimen can significantly reduce the likelihood of issues such as infections, poor wound healing, and adverse reactions to anaesthesia
  • Preparation enhances the surgery’s outcomes. For instance, maintaining a stable weight and avoiding certain medications can help ensure the best possible aesthetic results
  • Preparation eases the recovery process. Patients who diligently follow their surgeon’s pre-operative instructions often experience a smoother, quicker recovery with less discomfort and fewer limitations on their daily activities
  • Thorough preparation improves the overall surgical experience, reducing anxiety and ensuring patients feel informed, ready, and as comfortable as possible about the procedure

How Long Before the Procedure Should You Start Preparing for Breast Lift (Mastopexy)?

The preparation for a breast lift (mastopexy) surgery should ideally begin at least 4 to 6 weeks before the scheduled procedure. This timeframe allows you to make necessary lifestyle adjustments, manage medications, and address any health concerns that might affect the surgery or recovery process. Starting early gives you ample time to:

  • Undergo Medical Evaluations: Complete all required pre-operative tests and assessments to ensure you are fit for surgery
  • Adjust Medications: Consult with Dr Lim and your primary care physician to adjust or discontinue certain medications that could interfere with surgery or recovery
  • Implement Lifestyle Changes: Adopt a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet and quitting smoking, to enhance your body’s ability to heal
  • Prepare Your Home and Schedule: Arrange for a recovery area in your home and ensure you have help during the initial recovery period

Engaging in these preparations well in advance not only optimises your physical readiness but also helps you mentally prepare for the changes and challenges ahead.

Preparation Checklist – The Month before the Surgery

Preparing for a breast lift (mastopexy) surgery is a complex process that involves several steps to ensure you are in the best possible health for your procedure and to facilitate a smooth recovery. Here is a detailed checklist to guide you through the month leading up to your surgery.

Medical Evaluations and Health Optimisation

  • Complete All Pre-Operative Tests: Dr Jake Lim may request a series of pre-operative tests, including blood work, mammograms, or cardiovascular evaluations, depending on your age, health status, and medical history. These tests are crucial for assessing your fitness for surgery and identifying any potential issues that need to be addressed beforehand
  • Review Medications: Schedule a consultation with both your plastic surgeon and primary care physician to review your current medications. Some medications and supplements, especially those that can increase bleeding such as aspirin, NSAIDs, and certain herbal supplements, may need to be temporarily discontinued. Your healthcare provider will advise you on which medications to stop or adjust and when to do so safely

Lifestyle Adjustments

  • Diet and Nutrition: Focus on consuming a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals that support healing. Foods high in vitamin C, protein, and zinc can promote wound healing and enhance your immune system. Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water
  • Quit Smoking (Nicotine) and Limit Alcohol Consumption: Smoking can significantly impair your ability to heal and increases the risk of complications during and after surgery. It’s recommended to quit smoking at least eight weeks before your surgery. Similarly, alcohol can interfere with your body’s natural healing processes and should be avoided
  • Achieve a Stable Weight: Significant weight fluctuations after a breast lift (mastopexy) can affect the results of your surgery. Aim to maintain a stable weight in the weeks leading up to your procedure to ensure the best possible outcomes

Preparing Your Home

  • Set up a Recovery Area: Designate a comfortable space in your home where you can rest and recover after your surgery. This area should have all the essentials within easy reach, including pillows for elevation, a water bottle, medications, and entertainment options like books or a television remote
  • Arrange for Assistance: Recovery from a breast lift surgery requires that you limit physical activity, including lifting and straining, for several weeks. Arrange for a friend or family member to help with household chores, cooking, and childcare if applicable
Breast Lift Without Implants Patient 4 — Angle View
Breast Lift Without Implants Patient 4 — Angle View

Miscellaneous Preparations

  • Pre-Surgical Appointments: Attend any scheduled pre-surgical appointments with Dr Lim. These appointments are an opportunity to discuss any last-minute questions or concerns and to receive detailed instructions about the day of your surgery
  • Clothing and Supplies: Purchase any supplies recommended by Dr Lim, including a special surgical bra that you will need to wear during your recovery. Choose clothing that is easy to put on and remove without lifting your arms, such as button-down shirts or blouses
  • Transportation and Aftercare: Confirm your transportation to and from the surgical centre/hospital. It’s essential to have someone available to drive you home after the procedure, as you will not be able to drive yourself. Additionally, confirm any aftercare arrangements, such as follow-up appointments, and who will be staying with you for the first few days post-surgery

The month before your breast lift (mastopexy) surgery is a critical time for preparation. By completing these steps, you are not only ensuring your safety and health but also optimising your chances for a successful surgery and a smooth, efficient recovery.

Day before the Surgery

Fasting Instructions

The day before your breast lift (mastopexy) surgery is important for final preparations, particularly concerning your dietary intake. Dr Lim will provide specific fasting instructions, which are vital to follow for your safety during anaesthesia. Generally, you will be asked to refrain from eating or drinking anything, including water, after midnight on the night before your surgery. These restrictions help prevent the risk of aspiration (inhaling stomach contents into the lungs) under anaesthesia, which can lead to serious complications.

  • Hydration: While you should follow the fasting instructions precisely, it’s a good idea to stay well-hydrated in the days leading up to your surgery. Drink plenty of water the day before your fasting begins, but stop at the time advised by your surgeon
  • Medications: If you have been given permission by your surgeon to take any medications on the morning of your surgery, these should be taken with a small sip of water. Make sure to discuss this thoroughly during your pre-operative appointments to avoid any confusion

What to Pack

Packing for your surgery day requires thoughtful consideration to ensure you have everything you need for a comfortable experience and recovery. Here is a checklist of items to bring with you:

  • Government-Issued ID and Medical Documents: Bring any identification and medical insurance information required by the surgical centre/hospital, along with any pre-operative paperwork or test results
  • Comfortable Clothes: Choose loose-fitting clothes that are easy to put on and take off. A button-up or zip-front top is ideal, as you won’t want to pull clothing over your head after surgery
  • Special Surgical Bra: If Dr Lim has provided or recommended a specific bra to wear post-surgery, make sure to pack it
  • Essentials Bag: Include personal items such as lip balm (your lips can become very dry after surgery), a hair tie if you have long hair and any small items that might make you feel more comfortable
  • Entertainment: Consider packing a book, magazine, or downloading podcasts or music to your phone, along with headphones, to help pass the time while you wait
  • Contact Information: Have a list of emergency contact numbers and your surgeon’s contact information readily available

Day of the Surgery

On the day of your breast lift (mastopexy) surgery, arriving on time is essential. Your surgical team will provide you with a specific arrival time, which is usually a couple of hours before the scheduled surgery time. This window allows for any last-minute paperwork, pre-operative assessments, and preparations, such as changing into a hospital gown and starting an IV if necessary. Being punctual helps ensure that the surgical schedule runs smoothly and provides you with ample time to settle in and meet with your surgeon and anaesthesiologist before the procedure.

  • Preparation at Home: On the morning of your surgery, shower with antibacterial soap if instructed to do so by Dr Lim. Do not apply any lotions, perfumes, deodorants, or makeup
  • Fasting: Remember to adhere to the fasting instructions provided by your surgeon. Fasting is required to reduce the risk of complications during anaesthesia

The clothing you choose to wear on the day of your surgery plays an important role in your comfort and ease of changing post-surgery. Opt for clothing that is:

  • Loose-Fitting and Comfortable: Your clothing should be easy to put on and take off without requiring you to raise your arms or make difficult movements. This consideration is especially important after surgery when your mobility may be limited
  • Front-Opening: A shirt or top that buttons or zips up the front is ideal. This type of clothing avoids the need to pull garments over your head, which can be challenging and painful after breast surgery
  • Flat Shoes: Choose flat, comfortable shoes that are easy to slip on and off without bending over. Your balance may be slightly off after anaesthesia, and safe, stable footwear is essential to prevent falls

By following these detailed instructions for the day before and the day of your surgery, you can ensure that you are as prepared as possible for your breast lift procedure. These steps are designed to minimise your stress, optimise your comfort, and contribute to a successful surgery and recovery.

FAQs about Breast Lift Consultation


How do I prepare my body for a breast lift?

  • To prepare your body for a breast lift, start with achieving and maintaining a stable weight, as significant weight fluctuations can affect the surgery’s outcomes. Adopt a balanced diet rich in vitamins and proteins to support healing, and stay well-hydrated. If you smoke, it’s crucial to quit at least four weeks before the surgery to improve your recovery process and reduce the risk of complications. Engage in regular, moderate exercise to enhance your overall health, but avoid strenuous activities as your surgery date approaches. Lastly, ensure you follow any specific pre-operative instructions provided by Dr Jake Lim, including adjusting your medications and completing all required pre-operative tests.

How long does it take to heal from a breast lift (mastopexy)?

  • The healing process from a breast lift (mastopexy) varies among individuals, but most patients can return to work and normal daily activities within 1-2 weeks, with limitations on strenuous activities for at least a month. The initial swelling and bruising usually improve within the first few weeks, but it can take several months for the breasts to settle into their new shape and for the scars to mature and fade. Complete healing and the final results of the surgery may not be fully apparent until a year post-operation. Following Dr Lim’s post-operative care instructions is crucial for a smooth and efficient healing process.

What is the fastest way to recover from a breast lift?

  • To ensure the fastest recovery from a breast lift (mastopexy), closely follow Dr Jake Lim’s post-operative instructions, which may include wearing a support bra, managing pain with prescribed medications, and attending follow-up appointments. Keeping your body hydrated and consuming a healthy diet rich in nutrients that promote healing can also speed up recovery. Avoid strenuous activities and heavy lifting for the recommended period to prevent strain on your incisions. Proper wound care, including keeping the surgical area clean and dry, and avoiding smoking or alcohol consumption, will also aid in a swift and smooth recovery.

Further Reading about Breast Lift Surgery with Sydney Plastic Surgeon Dr Jake Lim

Medical References about Breast Lift (mastopexy) Surgery

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About Dr Jake Lim

Highly qualified and experienced specialist plastic surgeon Dr Jake Lim focuses on facial plastic, cosmetic breast and body contouring after significant weight loss

Dr Lim creates the best possible plastic surgery results for his Australia-wide and international patients.

Dr Lim is passionate about making sure each and every patient has access to the right information about available treatments and procedures and is able to make well-informed decisions.

At My Klinik, patient safety, education and achieving optimal results are our top priorities.

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