Will my breasts heal at the same speed after breast reduction?

Will my breasts heal at the same speed after breast reduction?

26th Mar 2018

The breasts are among the most important aesthetic areas in women. They not only signify the femininity and fertility of women but also define their overall beauty and body outline. As such, women are very conscious when it comes to the size and shape of their breasts. While all women desire to have fuller and prominent breasts, the growth of overly large breasts can have negative effects. There is a limit to the maximum size of the breasts that look good and normal. When the threshold is crossed, it can make women look abnormal and create physical and emotional pain for them.

Breast reduction is an effective plastic surgery procedure that reduces the size of overly developed breasts. The procedure is highly invasive and involves the removal of the excess tissue, fat, and skin from the breasts. After the surgery, the patient has to have a full recovery period. Many patients ask whether their breasts will heal at the same speed after the surgery. In this article, we will address this topic.

Breast reduction and the healing process

Breast reduction surgery is invasive and involves major incisions. Many women assume it is a non-invasive or simple cosmetic procedure and there is no recovery period involved. The fact is that the surgery is performed under general anesthesia because it involves major trauma. After the procedure, the breasts need time to heal and recuperate from the surgical trauma. To understand the healing process, patients should do their research and know what the surgery involves. Doing so will help them make a good decision about undergoing the surgery and preparing for the recovery process.

A board-certified plastic surgeon will administer the general anesthesia and you will go to sleep. You will not remember how the surgery is performed. You will not feel any pain and discomfort during the operation. After the anesthesia has been administered, the plastic surgeon will get down to work. The surgeon will make incisions on the breasts and then surgically remove the excess glandular tissue and fat from the breasts. Removal of these tissues from the breasts will leave excess skin behind. The plastic surgeon will also remove the excess skin and reposition the nipples to a higher and youthful position. The doctor will then suture and close the incisions.

The healing process kicks off right after the intervention. The primary healing of the breasts will happen during the first two weeks following the operation. Complete healing will take six weeks. During the recovery period, especially the first two weeks, the patient must be careful and take sufficient rest. Do not engage in physical activities because it can cause complications. Follow the surgeon’s instructions and spend most of your time resting in bed. Also, do not sleep on your front as it can apply pressure to the incisions and trigger complications. After two weeks, you may resume work if your work doesn’t involve physically strenuous activities.

Will the breasts heal at the same speed?

In more than 90 percent of cases, the breasts do heal at the same speed after breast reduction surgery. However, exceptions exist everywhere, and there is nothing to be concerned about if one breast heals slower than the other. It is normal for your breasts to heal at different speeds. Why so? Because the intervention has been performed separately on each breast, meaning that both breasts’ healing patterns are independent of each other.

During the operation, more traumas may be caused to one breast than the other. As such, the breast that has experienced more traumas may heal relatively slowly or take more time to show the results. After breast reduction surgery, you will notice that your breasts are swollen and bruised. This is a normal phenomenon and indicates that your body’s natural defense mechanism is at work to heal the incisions.

Right after the surgery, your body will start to produce collagen to cover and heal the incisions. Going forward, the collagen production will heal the incisions by creating scars at the incision sites. The swelling and scarring in both breasts may also happen at different speeds. Even though in most cases, the breasts experience scarring and swelling reduction at the same speed; however, in many cases these mechanisms happen in both breasts at a different pace as well. It is a normal thing, and you should not panic.

Furthermore, the patient may experience some degree of pain and discomfort in the breasts for a few days after the surgery. The severity of the pain depends on the pain tolerance level of the patient and the surgical trauma caused to the breasts. It is possible that the patient may experience different levels of pain in both breasts, particularly when the surgery has caused more trauma to one breast than the other.

Also, the pain in one breast may fade earlier whereas the pain in the other breast may prolong. If the pain prolongs beyond the first four days, you should contact your surgeon to see if there is any underlying problem that is causing the pain to prolong or become severe.

Normally, most of the recovery happens during the first two weeks after the procedure. It is possible for one breast to take more time to heal than the other. For example, one breast may heal within two weeks, whereas the other may take more time.

One of the risks after breast reduction surgery is infection. After the procedure, the patient must be careful and keep an eye on the breasts. Infection can affect one or both breasts. An infected breast presents different symptoms. If one or both of your breasts get infected, it can prolong the healing process and cause other complications.

For example, if one breast gets infected, it may heal slowly. But how do you know the breast has been infected? Well, an infected breast after breast reduction is often painful, discharges pus at the incision site, and often tender and more swollen. It can also cause the patient to feel sick and experience high temperature, nausea, and even vomit. When you see or feel these symptoms, you must contact your plastic surgeon immediately and have the infected breast treated.

Two additional problems that are common after breast reduction surgery are seroma and hematoma. Seroma is a condition whereby the fluids discharged at the surgery site gets trapped under the skin and creates complications. On the other hand, hematoma happens when blood is discharged through the incisions, gets accumulated, and clots under the skin. Both of these problems are possible if the surgeon has not used drain cannulas. It is likely that one breast may experience these problems.

For example, if the patient does physical activities during the recovery period, it may apply pressure to one breast’s incisions, hence resulting in wound dehiscence and causing fluids and blood discharge the area. This can cause seroma or hematoma or both and delay the healing process of the affected breast. These problems can affect both breasts also.

To ensure that both of your breasts heal properly and without complications, be sure to follow the surgeon’s instructions. If the doctor has told you to wear surgical bras for a specific time after the surgery, be sure to wear them. The surgical bras are designed to reduce the post-operative swelling, prevent infections, speed up the healing process, and enhance the results. There is also a possibility that both of your breasts may heal at different paces even if you wear the surgical bras. It is a normal thing; however, if there are other symptoms and discomforts, consult with your plastic surgeon.

Even though in most cases one breast heals faster than the other, it is normal. However, the patient must look out for other symptoms because it can also be a sign of a complication. It can be a sign of infection, seroma, hematoma, wound dehiscence, and other similar complications. The catch is to look for associated symptoms. If there are no linked symptoms and one breast is simply healing slower than the other, it is normal. You will have to allow both breasts some time to heal and deliver the outcomes.


Breast reduction surgery is used to decrease the size of very large breasts. The procedure involves incisions and tissue and fat removal from the breasts. After the procedure, the breasts will take time to heal. In some cases, one of the breasts may heal slower than the other. While it is normal in most cases, if there are other symptoms, you should contact your plastic surgeon because it might also be a sign of a complication.

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