Post-operative recovery guide after breast reduction

Post-operative recovery guide after breast reduction

26th Oct 2018

Breast reduction is known in medical terminology as a reduction mammoplasty. The procedure is recommended for women who experience physical or psychological difficulties due to overly large breasts.

You might think that with the breast augmentation procedure becoming more and more in demand with each year, there aren’t any women interested in undergoing the exact opposite process. But women looking to undergo breast reduction choose the procedure due to strong reasons such as the impossibility to deal with the excessive weight of the bust on a daily basis. This weight that is constant is causing back, neck and shoulder pains and can lead to deformations of the spine. There are also the dermatological conditions that occur on the inframammary fold because of overly large breasts.

When is the time for a breast reduction surgery?

From an aesthetic standpoint, the reduction of the breasts is performed at the same time with a mammary lifting procedure and can bring numerous benefits to women confronted with disproportionate breasts and severe breast ptosis. The procedure has a strong medical indication when one or several of these situations occur:

– Overly large breasts and the chest is disproportionate to the rest of the patient’s anatomy

– The breasts are big and sagging, with the nipple and areola complex facing down

– Breasts are visibly asymmetric

– The patient suffers from back, shoulder and neck pain due to the weight of the breasts

– Rashes and dermatological conditions on the inframammary fold due to lack of oxygenation and constant perspiration

– The size or weight of the breasts prevents the patient from engaging in physical activities

Patients desiring to undergo a breast reduction surgery are often advised to wait until they are done having children. An ulterior pregnancy can negatively impact the results of the procedure. Weight gain and weight loss can also alter the outcomes, especially if the weight fluctuations are significant and occur suddenly.

However, when it comes to breast reduction, it is not only the aesthetic aspect that needs to be considered but the functional one as well. This means that the procedure is performed even on teenagers and young women who desire to have children in the future. But with the reduction in the size of the breasts, they get relief from the constant discomfort and pain.

Post-operative recovery guide after reduction mammoplasty

The patient can be required to spend 24 to 48 hours in the medical facility if an important amount of tissue was removed or if the patient has an underlying medical condition that requires her to be under medical supervision. Antibiotics will be administered during and after the procedure. Also, an elastic bandage will be placed over the surgical wounds. For the first few days, the breasts will be swollen and painful.

After the patient is released, antibiotics treatment needs to be taken for about five days to prevent infections. The sutures are removed during the first two weeks after the procedure; your plastic surgeon will tell you exactly when after the first follow-up consultation that usually happens during the first week following the procedure.

You will be required to wear a sports bra or a special post-operative bra. At first, the bra needs to be worn non-stop to give your breasts support and help reduce the swelling. After a few weeks, the plastic surgeon might recommend you to wear the bra only during the day. But the bra will be worn for about two to three months to ensure a smooth recovery and a good aesthetic result after the surgery.

Certain changes in sensation in the nipple and areola can also occur. In a vast majority of cases, they are temporary and will disappear without additional treatment within the first six months following the procedure. In some cases they are permanent.

Your plastic surgeon will advise you to avoid overextending your arms and perform any intense physical exercises during the first few weeks after the procedure. It is important to pay attention to this recommendation as otherwise you might experience wound opening, and this is a serious complication of any surgical procedure.

Sun exposure is also to be avoided as it might cause the discoloration of surgical wounds, leading to the unsatisfactory appearance of the scars. Considering the fact that scarring is significant after a breast reduction surgery, it is important to avoid it.

Work can be resumed within a week or two from the procedure, depending on the type of job you have. If your job is quite demanding from a physical point of view, the plastic surgeon will advise you to take more time off from work before resuming your activities.


The results after breast reduction are visible immediately after the procedure. However, there is no guarantee they will also be permanent. Your breasts can be furthermore impacted by gravity, ulterior pregnancies, and weight fluctuations. It is important to understand that if a significant amount of tissue was removed during the surgery, chances are you will never have breasts that big ever again. However, the size, shape, and position of the breasts can vary during the patient’s life.

The procedure offers impressive results, especially for patients with realistic expectations and ready to face the consequences that can be associated with the procedure.

Among the things you need to be aware of during the recovery period is to avoid intense physical activities that can lead to wound opening, wear the post-op bra, and avoid sun exposure.

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