Have you scheduled your breast reduction procedure and are now planning for your recovery?
Breast reduction surgery (also known as reduction mammaplasty) is a procedure that removes fat, tissue, and skin from overly large breasts. The surgery can produce outstanding results. The vast majority of patients are extremely happy with their new breast size and how they feel.
Breast reduction surgeries have a relatively quick recovery period, which involves moderate pain. Still, it’s important to plan ahead for your recovery time so as to ensure your comfort, avoid complications, and reduce the appearance of scars down the line.
How Long Is Breast Reduction Recovery?
As with many other plastic surgery procedures, you will be able to return to most of your normal routine activities after around two weeks post-breast reduction. The healing process requires time and patience.
Still, full breast reduction recovery and complete results will take several months. Most patients aren’t completely healed and don’t see their full results until three or four months after surgery.
What Is the Most Painful Day After Breast Reduction Surgery?
The first one to three days after surgery usually involve the most pain, but the overall soreness should be minimal. Fortunately, Dr. Smita can prescribe a pain medication to help mitigate your discomfort.
Will I Have Breast Reduction Scars?
Yes, because this surgery does require incisions to be made on the breast, you will have scars. However, there are several steps you can take to mitigate the appearance of your scars. For example, make sure you wear your surgical bra as directed, stay out of the sun, and do not strain or stretch your treatment area too much can help reduce the appearance of your breast reduction scars.
Breast Reduction Recovery Week by Week
Directly after surgery, Dr. Smita will put a compression bra over your bandages. This will help reduce swelling. In the immediate hours after your surgery, you will be relocated to our recovery room. There, you will stay and be monitored until we discharge you to go home with a trusted friend or family member.
Once home, for the first week, you will be sore and tired. This is a completely normal part of the recovery process, and you should allow your body to rest during this time. Do not exert yourself, stretch or strain near your incision sites, or overwork yourself in any way. Wear your surgical bra and bandages as directed.
Pain, bruising, and swelling are to be expected during this first week, but pain can be managed with a prescription pain medicine. Getting plenty of rest, drinking lots of fluids, and eating a healthy diet will help to expedite this sometimes uncomfortable (but short-lived) period.
Once you no longer require prescription pain medications for discomfort, you can return to work. Most patients go back to work on their second week of recovery. Keep in mind you’ll still need to be wearing a compression bra and paying attention to your activity.
Perform only light exercise and normal activities for the first weeks of your breast reduction recovery period (no weight lifting or cardio). Short, easy walks are good.
Never stretch, reach, or strain your upper body, and no heavy lifting. Because this includes avoiding lifting children and babies, most patients who have kids arrange for help at home.
After around a month of recovery, many patients should be able to return to moderate physical activity. Do not speed right into an intense workout, however. Rather, slowly ease into a moderate exercise routine, and closely monitor how you feel. Even at a month out from surgery, you are still in recovery, so you need to pay attention to your body and not push yourself too much.
You’ll notice that swelling persists even at weeks four and five of breast reduction recovery. However, bruising and pain should be gone, and you should be seeing more of what your full results will look like.
Week 6 and Beyond
If you choose to do so and feel comfortable, you can slowly ramp up your exercise routine or start a new one at this point. Many breast reduction patients find that they are finally able to exercise to their full capacity for the first time since youth.
Keep in mind that at week six, you still may have reduced nipple sensation. This should return after one or two months. As you continue in your recovery, you should see all swelling dissipate in around 3 to 4 months, and at this point, you should see your full results as well.
Remember that due to natural variances in people’s breasts, overall body composition, age, skin elasticity, and overall aesthetic goals, not everyone will achieve the exact cup size they desire. That is, we will do our best to meet the exact cup size you want, but once you’re fully recovered, your precise results may vary.
Most patients are able to achieve their goal of going down one to two cups sizes. You also get the added benefit of overall perkier breasts because your breast reduction surgery will include a breast lift.
FAQ: Breast Reduction Recovery
How long does it take for breasts to drop after reduction?
This depends on the patient and the way your particular plastic surgery is performed. Normally, patients see their full results after three to four months. Breast tissue should finally settle after around six months.
Take a look at some breast reduction recovery week by week pictures to get a better idea of how your breasts will look after surgery. The healing process is a critical period for any breast surgery and requires time and patience.
When can I lift my arms after breast reduction?
Be sure to avoid lifting your arms directly after breast reduction surgery for at least the first few days to a week.
How long is bed rest for breast reduction?
You’ll probably want to rest for most of the first few days after your surgery. However, this doesn’t mean you have to stay in bed all of the time. In fact, getting up to walk around for short distances every once in a while will help promote better blood flow (to avoid potential blood clot issues) and improve your recovery.
Can I lay on my side 3 weeks after breast reduction?
We usually recommend that you wait four to six weeks before returning to your preferred sleeping style.
What can I do 4 weeks after breast reduction?
After around four weeks of recovery, you should be able to return to light physical activity. Always check with your surgeon, however.
Schedule Your Reduction Mammaplasty Consultation
Breast reduction can change women’s lives for the better. If you have been struggling with symptoms related to having large breasts, discuss your situation with one of the top female plastic surgeons in New Jersey, Dr. Smita Ramanadham.
As an experienced board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Ramanadham has helped countless women feel more comfortable in their own skin with reduction mammaplasty. She can tell you if you’re a good candidate for surgery, what to expect during the procedure, and more on how to plan for the postoperative healing process.
When you’re ready to schedule a consultation appointment, give our office a call.