When breast reduction surgery is performed, the excess of glandular tissue, skin, and fat are eliminated from the breasts. As a result, the breasts are smaller, with a better shape, with a normal position on the chest wall and firmer. Breast reduction surgery can also entail the reduction of the dimensions of the areolas. After the procedure, the patient will notice immediately that mobility has increased and also that the pain on the back, neck, and shoulders due to the excessive volume of the breasts has disappeared. Breast reduction can take several hours to be performed, depending on the health condition of the patient and the severity of the overdevelopment of the mammary gland tissue. In some cases, the procedure can last up to four hours. The hospitalization period is short, and most patients will need just a few hours to wake up from the effects of the general anesthesia before being discharged from the medical facility. The patient can return home the same day if no complications occur. The plastic surgeon will advise you to take about two weeks off from work for the recovery period. During the recovery period, the patient is advised to rest and take things slowly. Resuming normal activities around the house can start the following day with just one recommendation: to avoid intense physical activities and any type of pressure on the breasts. During the recovery period, there are certain side effects that can occur such as the swelling of the operated area. The swelling is a normal side effect that occurs after all types of surgeries. It is the natural response of the body to the surgical trauma. It is important to know that in a vast majority of cases, the swelling after breast reduction will disappear without treatment in the weeks or months to follow. In some cases, the plastic surgeon will advise you to take Arnica Montana supplements to help reduce the swelling. Ice packs can also be used to reduce the swelling at the beginning of the recovery period. Make sure never to apply the ice packs directly on the delicate skin of the breasts as it might injure the skin. Moreover, the ice packs should be kept on the breasts for a few minutes at a time. The compression bra that is recommended for being worn non-stop after breast reduction surgery can also help to reduce the swelling. Make sure to get a bra that fits perfectly and offers the breasts just the right amount of compression and support. Generally speaking, the swelling after the breast reduction can take up to a month to completely subside, provided that the patient is committed to following the recommendations of the plastic surgeon to the letter. Being close to sources of heat or sun exposure can increase the post-op swelling.