The day after breast lift surgery at the Denver-based Center for Cosmetic Surgery, I removed my bra in front of the mirror before a shower. I couldn’t help but feel anxious to see the results from my breast lift with augmentation surgery. The shape was better than I had imagined. The lower pole of my breasts was finally round and perky. I had soft fullness up top and great cleavage in my bra.
The two long, saggy, worn-out boobs that had been haggard from pregnancy weight gain and loss, followed by breastfeeding 2children, were gone. I mean to say, not a trace of those “grandma” boobs existed upon my 34-year-old frame!!! Hurray! Hurray! My breast shape finally resembled my age and the symmetrical aesthetic I had always wanted. At my post-operative visit it was hard not to give my surgeon a big smooch on the cheek after he had performed such amazing work. I was on cloud nine. After a week, I was back to work. My energy came back after about 2 weeks. No one would have ever known I had breast surgery. I looked great and felt great. However, after 4 weeks, my excitement oddly changed for the worse.
Roughly 4 weeks after my breast surgery, it was time for the Steri Strips to be removed. When your breast surgery is complete, the surgeon will cover the incision sites with Steri Strips. Steri Strips are thin, soft, gauze-like tape that add pressure and support to the incisions during healing. The Steri Strips had masked my breast lift incisions for several weeks.
Although I had seen other women post-breast lift surgery, I wasn’t prepared for how I would feel seeing those same anchor lift incision patterns on my own body. It was a lot to take in at first. I wasn’t mentally prepared to feel uneasy about the bright pink incisions. To be honest, I felt like Frankenstein’s Bride. Not because the incisions were gruesome, jagged, or abnormal; they were actually smooth, straight, precise, and bright pink. My brain had blocked out the incisions because they were covered for a good part of a month. Out of sight out of mind. Somehow, I had forgotten that I would actually have scars that needed to heal.
My doctor gently reminded me that my breast shape was attractive and re-iterated that the scars would fade over time. He was right. The scar tissue needed time to soften, flatten, and fade. It takes 12 to 18 months for a scar to begin to fade. Slowly, I began to understand that healing is a process; a journey, if you will. My mind and body went through a range of emotions and healing blocks. I now know this was normal, however, at the time I didn’t feel normal with the contrast of emotions ranging from elation to dissatisfaction.
It is human nature to want a quick fix. I know! I sure wanted one too. The body will heal on its own in its own time. Scars are a natural part of the healing process. Surgical technique, genetics, and skin tone play a huge role in scar quality. All 3 of the aforementioned are out of our control. What I found to be the best advice while I was healing is the quote, “Time is your friend.” For an impatient person like myself, this idea was a foreign concept. It soon became my mantra.
After about a year post-op, I realized that I hadn’t thought about my scars lately. They had faded to a light pink and then to a lighter skin tone. After 4 full seasons, I finally arrived at a place where I didn’t get into my head about looking into the mirror. The support from The Center for Cosmetic Surgery was awesome. They eased my fears throughout recovery and reminded me that the pretty breast shape after a breast lift far outweighs the time it takes for scars to heal.
With all of this said, I have a light complexion and blue eyes. Healing time can vary based on your skin tone and overall health. Be sure to stay current with your post-surgery appointments so that your surgeon can monitor your incisions and scar quality over time. Silicone sheeting, BioCorneum Silicone coating gel, and steroid injections can improve scar quality in cases where scars are slow to flatten and lighten.
~LR, CCS Patient