Now that you’re through your top surgery, it’s time to focus on your wellness during the recovery phase. To download a copy of these recovery notes, please click here.


  • Do not lift more than 10lbs (or more than a gallon of milk) or perform any strenuous activities for 3-4 weeks after surgery.
  • Do not swim or use a hot tub until your wounds have healed. This will be about 4-6 weeks after surgery.
  • No reaching above head for 2 weeks.
  • Sleep on your back, not your stomach for approximately one week.


  • Sponge baths only until drains are removed. No baths, as we do not want your incisions submerged in water.

Drain Care

  • You may have a drain to remove fluids that collect under the skin.
  • Keep the bulb or container on suction at all times (meaning that the bulb is squeezed down flat). 
  • Empty the drains every 12 hours or more frequently if needed. 
  • Record the amount of liquid in the bulb, and bring the list with you to your post-op visits until the drains are removed.
  • If there is more than 100mL (a full bulb) in a bulb over 2 hours, please call the office.
  • To watch our drain care video with Nurse Jayme, click here.


Reasons to Call

  • Significant swelling, or swelling on only one side.
  • Fever greater than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius).
  • Skin redness and warmth(hot) around your wound.
  • A change in drainage color (green/yellow/thick) or foul-smelling odor.
  • Pain not relieved by pain medication.


  • Some postoperative pain is to be expected, your pain medication may take the edge off, but you may not achieve pain free. Call the office if you have severe pain that is not relieved by pain medication.
  • You may take non-aspirin pain relievers such as acetaminophen or Tylenol for lesser pain, but do not take this in addition to your prescribed pain medication (the prescription medication likely has Tylenol in it already).
  • Do not use aspirin or aspirin-containing drugs (Anacin, Bufferin, Bayer, Excedrin, etc), Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (Advil, Motrin, Ibuprofen) as these medications interfere with blood clotting and may increase bleeding risks.

Wound Care/Dressings

  • You will have ace bandages in place after your surgery. Please adjust these as needed to maintain compression. Underneath the ace bandages you have ABD pads, suture strips and yellow bolsters on the nipples. The pads may be replaced as needed, but the suture strips and yellow bolster need to be left in place.
  • Apply a small amount of gauze or ABD’s over the incisions if they are weeping fluid.
  • You will have two drains. Instructions will be given on drain care and recording of all output.
  • The surgical area may have numbness for a time after surgery. Avoid using a heating pad near the surgical area to avoid burning the skin.
  • Most of the stitches are dissolvable and do not need to be removed. We will assess the need to remove any stitches at your 2-3 week appointment.


If you have any concerns or questions, call us at 336-765-8620. We have a doctor on call 24 hours a day.