Breast reduction surgery is a major procedure and can take an intense toll on your body. While each person’s recovery is unique, there are certain things you should expect when recovering from and caring for a recent breast reduction.
Caring For Your Body After Surgery
After a breast reduction you will likely need to take at least a week off from work. Some people require two weeks to truly get back on their feet after a breast reduction. During this time your doctor will have prescribed an oral pain reliever, which should be enough to suppress most of the pain associated with this surgery. Your doctor will also give you instructions on how and when to change the bandages on your incision site, when to return to have your stitches removed, and other aspects of follow-up care. If drains are used, they are typically removed within 3-5 days.
While your reduction is healing, it is important to avoid heavy lifting or physical exertion – if your job requires this type of activity, you may have to ask for accommodations or additional time off. Do not resume any type of exercise regimen for at least a month after breast reduction surgery. You will also have to wear a special surgical bra for the first four weeks after a breast reduction surgery. This bra can help to reduce swelling if worn 24 hours a day and can ease the healing process.
Consult Your Doctor If…
There are certain things you should be mindful of during the healing process. As with any surgery, look out for signs of infection. This may include breast redness, pus at the incision site, or a fever. If you notice either of these things, you should contact your doctor immediately because surgical site infections can be very serious.
Complications from breast reduction surgeries are very rare. There will of course be scarring at the incision site, but this can be minimized by using special creams and massaging the area to encourage scarring to blend in with the surrounding tissue. One complication that may occur is incomplete healing in the area of the nipple. Failure of this area to heal properly may require additional surgery to correct. If you are a smoker, obese, or diabetic, your chances of complications are increased. Your doctor can advise you about these risks during your pre-surgery consultations.
A breast reduction is a major surgery but with proper care, you will be healed and back to your normal daily activities in short order. Take care of your incision sites and report any abnormalities to your doctor.