Breast Reduction Surgery Recovery Tips

The shape and size of the breasts play a crucial role in women's body style, so many women undergo breast cosmetic surgeries to have perfect breasts. Breast enlargement can be due to heredity or postpartum physical changes; however, you can reduce the size of your breasts through breast reduction surgery, also known as reduction mammoplasty. If you want to know about the most common types of plastic surgery, follow this article.

Reduction mammoplasty requires special care; otherwise, the patient may face some complications. However, reduction mammoplasty is one of the most common surgeries that, if performed by an experienced surgeon, are risk-reducing problems.

Continue reading to find answers to your breast reduction recovery process questions.

Breast Reduction Surgery

Breast Reduction Result

A successful breast reduction surgery can lower chronic back, neck, and shoulder pain and enhance your self-image. Also, it will reduce your skin irritations and improve general health and hygiene. Unfortunately, you cannot see the actual results of the surgery right away, and you should wait at least a month before enjoying its final result. Remember that factors such as aging, pregnancy, breastfeeding, hormone changes, and unbalanced BMI can affect the long-lasting results of reduction mammoplasty.

Week by Week Breast Reduction Recovery Timeline

Following the procedure, the following timeline will help you recover from breast reduction surgery as quickly as possible.

Right after reduction mammoplasty 

When the surgery is over, your healthcare provider will wrap your breasts with a bandage and a surgical bra to hold them tight. Also, a drain will be placed in your body to avoid the accumulation of blood and fluid under your skin. Usually, the doctor gives you a painkiller and some antibiotics right after surgery to prevent future pain and infection. 

Week One

During the first week after the procedure, make sure to focus on getting enough rest and healing. Your breasts may feel tender or swollen immediately following surgery. Physical exercise may cause some soreness for a few days, although this can be controlled with painkillers. Record the post-operative care instructions given to you for the incision site. Wear compression garments all day, except during taking a shower.

Eat healthful foods, drink plenty of water, and avoid intense exercise. Follow your medication routine. Start taking quick, gentle walks after your surgery as soon as possible. Start each day with 10 minutes and work your way up to 30 over time. Avoid smoking and vaping if you want your breasts to heal and reduce the chance of complications.

Week Two

Within 7 to 10 days, the stitches are removed. After surgery, swelling, discomfort, and bruising can linger for a few weeks. You should notify your surgeon of any stinging pain after breast reduction, increased discomfort, or redness surrounding the incision.

Dissolving stitches are frequently used, and any sutures that need to be trimmed are carried out at the first post-operative visit. Due to its elevated and red appearance, the scarring becomes noticeable first. The scar will gradually fade or lessen with time, usually over a year.

Week 3-4

You'll notice that the swelling is reducing within the following two to four weeks after the treatment. It can be helpful to take photos of each stage to keep track of the swelling and healing process during your recovery. As your incision begins to heal, you may frequently see yourself scratching the surgery site. However, do your best to avoid scratching it as it will eventually get dry. It is advised to put on a bra that compresses the surgical area. Drink plenty of fluids, especially non-carbonated water and other liquids that help to reduce swelling, and consider limiting your sodium intake.

Week 6-8

Care must be taken carefully since the breasts haven't entirely recovered. When interacting with them, use caution. You should feel normal and be able to resume most of your regular activities. Benefits of this surgery may start to be felt, such as less neck and back pain, better-fitting clothing, and easier movement. Continue wearing the compression bra as well as loose-fitting clothing.

After Six Weeks

The incisions might require up to six months to heal completely before the operation results can be seen. Even though you won't fully recover for a while, your body will keep recovering. You can likely resume a more rigorous training schedule and wear whatever clothes you like. 

Breast Reduction Post-Surgery Care

Some essential care after breast reduction include:

  • Pay attention to your physician's instructions and take the prescribed meds;
  • Avoid wearing underwire bras for a few months;
  • Consult your doctor about when you can drive;
  • Avoid doing heavy activities and jumping for at least a month;
  • Do not take a shower until your bandage is removed;
  • Drink plenty of water to speed up the recovery process;
  • After being discharged, ask someone to drive you home since you may feel dizzy due to anesthesia;
  • Consult your doctor about when you can have sex;
  • Avoid smoking and drinking for at least four weeks after breast reduction;
  • Avoid heavy meals and eat easy-to-digest dishes;
  • The patient should avoid heavy exercises such as aerobics and Pilates for at least a month;
  • Put two or three pillows around yourself while sleeping to protect your wound, chest, etc.

Breast Reduction Post-Surgery Care

What to Wear after Breast Reduction Surgery?

If you intend to undergo a reduction mammoplasty, you may wonder what dressing should be used after the surgery. Here is the answer to your question about breast reduction recovery:

Immediately after breast reduction surgery, the breast is covered with gauze dressings and a specific medical bra. After two days, the gauze is changed with a new one, and a bandage is used to keep the wound clean for the next 4 or 5 days. Meanwhile, you can use ABD, maxi, or nursing pads to control bleeding and protect the wound. When your drain is obliterated, you don't need to dress anymore.

Lose Weight Before Breast Reduction
Read more: What Clothes to Wear After Breast Reduction Surgery?

Suture Removal after Breast Reduction Surgery

Usually, surgeons use absorbable sutures in breast reduction surgery. However, the nonabsorbable sutures will be removed 5 to 10 days after the surgery. Removing stitches after breast reduction is not painful or discomforting for most patients. After suture removal, shower and clean the wound with hot water.

breast reduction recovery

Breast Reduction Surgery Scar

In breast reduction, the surgeons choose the location of the incision in such a way that it is hidden under the bra and swimsuit. Although the incision lines fade over time, you can use scar gels, laser therapy, vitamin E supplements, silicone oil-based creams, etc., to minimize the scars.

Usually, the results of reduction mammaplasty are life-long
Read more: Breast Reduction Scars: Are Mammoplasty Scars Permanent?

Diet after Breast Reduction Surgery

In breast reduction surgery, the excess fat, skin, and tissue of the breast are removed entirely and cannot grow back; the surgery results are almost permanent. However, if you follow an unhealthy diet and gain weight, your breasts may enlarge again. So, it is essential to have a low-calorie and nutritious diet for breast reduction recovery.

It is essential to have a low-calorie and nutritious diet after reducing mammoplasty.

Exercise after Breast Reduction Surgery

For a few weeks after breast reduction, you may feel pain in your chest, preventing you from moving your shoulders and arms. Light exercises at home can reduce breast, shoulder, and arm pain, but you must consult your doctor before beginning an exercise routine.

Generally, the breast reduction recovery period after reduction mammoplasty is 4 to 8 weeks, and it is recommended to postpone doing heavy exercises until after. However, 1 or 2 weeks after the surgery, you can do light exercises such as ambling and stretching to speed up healing and prevent blood clots. 

You may have heard conflicting opinions about doing or not doing this cosmetic procedure from those around you, but remember that people are only retelling their personal experiences. There is nothing to do but consult a surgeon and experienced breast specialist.

Showering after Breast Reduction Surgery

For showering after breast reduction surgery, consider the following tips for breast reduction recovery:

  • Avoid showering 48 hours after the operation because your incisions must remain dry. If you are urged to wash your body, you can shower only from your waist down;
  • You can take a shower 24 hours after removing the drains;
  • After drain removal, wash your body and dry it completely with a clean towel to prevent infection; 
  • Before taking a bath, take off your bra and bandages, and when you are out of the shower, wear a clean bra;
  • Since your chest is numb, check the water temperature with the back of your hand;
  • do not take a shower while you are alone. There must be at least one person at home when you are in the bathroom;
  • Use fragrance-free soap and shampoo to wash your body and hair;
  • Do not rub the incision site with a loofah and towel;
  • Wash your body with warm (not hot) water, and do not point the shower directly at your stitches;
  • Avoid using a hot tub and sauna for two months as they may cause infection;
  • Do not apply alcohol-based products on and around the incisions and
  • Before using lotion, cream, and deodorants, consult with your surgeon. 

Showering after Breast Reduction Surgery

Breast Reduction Surgery in Iran

Iran is a favorable destination for people who want cosmetic surgeries abroad. Breast Reduction in Iran is performed by proficient plastic surgeons and at a more reasonable price than in other countries.

Begin here to find more information about performing breast reduction surgery in Iran.

Breast Reduction Surgery in Iran

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FAQs on Breast Reduction Recovery

1) How long after breast reduction will I see the final size of my breast?

Although the swelling usually subsides a week after the operation, it usually takes three to four months to see your final size after breast reduction. 

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Read more: How Many Sizes Can You Lose with a Breast Reduction?

2) How long does the pain last after breast reduction?

You probably feel chest pain, tightness, and pressure for two to three weeks after breast reduction surgery.

3) Will the results of breast reduction last?

Breast reduction results are long-lasting in most women; however, it is always possible that your breasts return to their previous size over time.

4) What is the best age for doing breast reduction surgery?

You should be at least 18 years old for breast reduction surgery. In some rare cases where large breasts cause severe problems for the patient, they can undergo this surgery sooner.

5) How long does the recovery after breast reduction surgery take?

Depending on the surgery's extent and the patient's health condition, the recovery process after breast reduction will take six to eight weeks. If the patient gets infected or does not rest enough, this process will take longer.

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