For many people, breast reduction can help improve their body posture and enhance the body’s contour, as well as alleviate discomfort or pain. For those thinking about having this procedure, here is everything you might want to know about the breast reduction recovery.
How Long Does It Take to Recover From A Breast Reduction Operation?
The first twenty-four hours after surgery may be uncomfortable, with soreness complaints around the operation site. Like any surgical procedure, breast reduction recovery takes time. Here is what to expect after surgery.
Immediately After Surgery
You will wake up from the surgery covered in an elastic bandage over a wound dressing and gauze for protection. You will remain immobile for a day or two to help you regain energy. There may be sutures and drainage tubes that remain intact for about a week after the procedure. After the dressings and gauze have been removed, your doctor will recommend that you wear a surgical bra for the next few weeks to aid in proper healing and shaping the breasts.
The First Two Weeks
Within the first two weeks after the operation, you will return to your doctor to remove stitches. Your breasts will feel tender. You may notice mild swelling and bruising that tend to fade over time. As the incision spots start to heal, you will experience some itching and dryness. Doctors recommend increasing water intake and decreasing sodium intake to reduce painful swelling and dryness. You may also apply moisturizing lotion to relieve discomfort.
You should be able to return to work after one-two weeks, depending on your line of work. Work that requires heavy lifting or vigorous tasks is highly discouraged for several weeks after the breast reduction operation. Avoid strenuous activity for about six weeks to enhance recovery and ensure quick healing.
Long-term Breast Reduction Recovery Considerations
Everyone recovers from surgery differently. Women who have undergone the breast reduction procedure may report increased sensitivity in the breasts and nipple areas. Some patients experience numbness and tender breasts, especially during the menstrual cycle. Some of these after-effects may last up to a year after surgery. However, a significant number of patients do not experience any of these increased sensations. Depending on how you react to the operation, your doctor may offer pain relief options to help you recover comfortably.
In most cases, it could take anywhere from six months to a year for all swelling and tenderness to subside, and ultimate results to settle in.
Surgery leaves behind scars where the incisions were made. Breast reduction scars, like any other wound and operation scars, are permanent. However, as the patient recovers, the scars tend to fade to thin lines that are less obvious. Depending on the type of method used, the scars can remain visible, but sometimes they can be hidden under the breasts.
Traditional techniques involve making an incision across the breast area, vertically, which leaves an evident scar, in select patients. Modern techniques make tiny incisions to insert liposuction tubes that suck out the fat cells leaving tiny scars.
Talk With Dr. Rosenberg
Your doctor should walk you through the dos and don’ts during a breast reduction recovery period. At The Plastic Surgery Center of Maryland, we are happy to help you achieve your desired body goals. Call us today or schedule a consultation online.