Breast reduction, also known as reduction mammoplasty, is an effective plastic surgery procedure intended to decrease the size of excessively large breasts and reshape them to more aesthetically appealing proportions. The surgery involves the excision of excess fat, glandular tissue and skin from the breasts. As a result, the breasts dramatically decrease in size and become perkier, firmer, shapelier and aesthetically enchanting. The procedure also improves balance and symmetry and removes sagginess and droopiness. Breast reduction is an elective major surgery and as such, patients are advised to thoroughly discuss the procedure in advance with their surgeon, especially matters relating to post-surgical recovery. The surgery is normally performed as an outpatient under general anesthesia, meaning that you will be able to go home a few hours after the surgery if things proceed as normal. When you finally wake up from the effects of the anesthesia, you will find your breasts bandaged. You will be instructed to wear a surgical bra or compression garments for a few days to heal properly. The initial two days after the surgery can be painful but manageable, as your surgeon will prescribe pain relief medications to be taken for a few days. Your recovery can be a smooth and quick process if you strictly follow post-operative care instructions of your surgeon. After the procedure, you will be more susceptible to possible infections so your doctor may prescribe antibiotics. You should take the medicines on time and according to the surgeon’s instructions. Swelling and soreness are normal side effects during the recovery period. However, if the swelling expands beyond the surgical site, you should contact your surgeon immediately. Applying cold compress may help ease the discomforts of inflammation. Get plenty of rest but be mobile and walk around because it can reduce swelling and prevent blood clots. Your recovery time depends on your natural healing process and the extent of your surgical trauma. You will be advised to rest as much as you can for the first week after the surgery. Normally, you can go back to work after 7-9 days. You may need to take more days off if your work is physically taxing and involves strenuous activities. You can take a shower when the sutures and bandages have been removed. Also, you can start driving two weeks after surgery unless you are taking prescription medicines. You should wait for at least four weeks to resume your normal exercise workout. High endurance activities like running, jumping and weight lifting during the recovery period is a no-no as it can negatively affect the aesthetic results achieved with the surgery aside from triggering health complications. Refrain from drinking while you are still taking medications. Do not smoke as it hampers healing and puts you at risk for complications. Many people experience intense mood swings during the recovery period. You may experience depression and anxiety. Find ways to entertain yourself and stave off emotional seesaws by reading, watching TV or other relaxing activities. Breast reduction can deliver impressive aesthetic results but it comes with a caveat. Patients who disregard and do not follow doctor’s orders will not only be squandering the gains achieved with breast reduction, but will also experience a number of health complications. Thus, you are strongly advised to scrupulously follow the instructions of your surgeon to ensure a smooth, fast, safe and trouble-free recovery.