BREASTREDUCTIONMIAMI.INFO —– A Weekly Guide on What to Expect During Breast Reduction Recovery

breast reduction recovery

breast reduction recoveryBefore you sign up for breast reduction, you should first have a good idea of what to expect during breast reduction recovery times so that you can adequately prepare for it.

Here is a weekly guide on what to expect during breast reduction recovery, including some tips to fast track your healing process.

Breast Reduction Recovery Times

Immediately After Breast Reduction Surgery

Right after breast reduction, you will be taken to the recovery room to be monitored closely because you’ve been given general anesthesia.

Many patients can go home within the day, but you need to have a friend or family member drive you home. It is also important to have someone watch over you during the first couple of days after your breast reduction.

You are most likely wearing a surgical bra that supports breast reduction healing, minimizes swelling, and avoids stress on the incision site. Underneath, your incisions are covered with Steri-Strips and gauze.

You may shower 24 to 48 hours after your surgery, in which case you may temporarily remove your gauze and surgical bra.

breast reduction recovery

Weeks 1-3

For the first few weeks after breast reduction, you will experience bruising, swelling, and pain in your operative area. Pain will subside within a few weeks while bruising and swelling may persist up to six months.

You might also experience itching on the incision site. You may apply a moisturizer around the incision to alleviate dryness and itching, but make sure that you check with your plastic surgeon first. Stitches are typically removed two weeks after breast reduction.

You should sleep on your back for the first 7-10 days post-op. Place pillows under your upper back and head to keep your breasts elevated and decrease swelling. Add pillows on your sides to support you.

Avoid lifting anything more than seven pounds, bending over, and raising your arms above your head until your plastic surgeon allows you to.

If there are no complications during breast reduction recovery, most patients can return to sedentary work within 10-14 days post-op. Also, ask your doctor when it’s safe to drive, but usually it’s two weeks post-op.

Weeks 4-6

Pain may still be present at this time, so make sure that you take your prescription pain medications as needed. Your breasts may also feel tender during your first menstrual period after your breast reduction, so any contact with your breasts should be gentle during the recovery times.

You can usually resume light exercises at week four, gradually advancing to more vigorous exercise by week six.

Months 6-12

At six months post-op, your breasts have pretty much settled to their permanent position. Swelling also starts to die down, and your final breast reduction results become apparent until one year post-op.

Another side effect that you may experience is altered sensation on your nipples and breasts – numbness for some, hypersensitivity for others. This may last up to a year post-op. However, those who experienced nerve damage during surgery might experience altered sensation permanently.

Scars also start to fade at this point, transforming from red and lumpy lines to thin, white, and almost unnoticeable lines.

Breast Reduction Healing Tips

  • Watch out for signs of infection on your incision sites. These signs include redness, swelling, warmth, pus or fluid drainage, and fever.
  • Always check with your plastic surgeon if you’re planning to take other medications and herbal supplements.
  • Eat foods high in protein to encourage breast reduction healing.
  • Drink plenty of water to help flush out anesthesia and pain medications. It can also prevent your body from retaining excess fluid that can further contribute to swelling.
  • Avoid smoking and drinking as these can impede your breast reduction recovery.
  • Walk around as soon as you can to prevent blood clots from forming, but don’t overdo it.

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