A woman measuring her chest in preparation for breast reduction recovery

Breast Reduction Recovery: What to Expect

If you have overly large breasts, reduction mammaplasty (breast reduction) could be a great option. This surgery removes excess breast tissue and simultaneously includes a breast lift. The goal is to reduce breast size while also creating a beautiful final result. It can be helpful to have an idea of what to expect during breast reduction recovery before undergoing this procedure. Keep in mind that individual experiences vary and if you do choose to get a breast reduction, our surgeons will go over the process in detail with you beforehand. This article gives a general overview but is not exhaustive or applicable to every patient.

Preparing for Breast Reduction Recovery

Before your surgery, it is a good idea to be prepared for the recovery process. Your surgeon will tell you what you will need to do during the recovery period and you should make sure you fully understand their instructions. If you have someone who can help you around the house in the first few days, it would be helpful to ask them for assistance and make a plan with them for what needs to be done.

The Day of Your Breast Reduction Surgery

Immediately following your procedure, you may feel slightly groggy as you adjust to waking up from the general anesthesia. Your surgical team will wrap the incisions and you will need to wear a postoperative bra. Within a few hours, you will be able to go home, but will need someone to drive you and stay with you overnight.

The First Week

In the first few days after surgery, you should expect to feel some discomfort as the swelling will generally peak during this time. Your doctor may prescribe pain medication to help with this. You will need to make sure to keep the incision sites clean and it’s important to follow all postoperative instructions from your doctor.

1-2 Weeks

Within the two weeks following surgery, discomfort typically decreases and if you were taking prescription pain medication, you may be able to transition to over-the-counter options. You should still minimize your activity levels. The swelling usually decreases although you may still notice some bruising.

3-4 Weeks

During this time, you may be able to resume normal physical activity and possibly return to work. This will depend on the nature of your job and the recommendations of your surgeon. Some movements can still cause pain and you should continue to avoid heavy lifting or strenuous exercise.

1-2 Months

Between one month and two months after your surgery, your incisions should be healing and your surgeon will let you know if you are cleared to resume all daily activities. At this time, you may be able to switch back to your usual bra. You should begin to feel more comfortable and healed overall.

Long-Term Breast Reduction Recovery

Once you are fully healed and your surgeon tells you it is okay, you should be able to do all the same activities as before your breast reduction. Many activities may even be easier without excess breast tissue and if you experienced back/neck pain before surgery, you should notice a decrease in this after healing. It’s important to be aware that some scarring is inevitable for any type of surgery. However, your scars will often fade over time and we work hard to place these strategically so they are less noticeable. Following all instructions after surgery can also help minimize the appearance of scar tissue.

Interested in Breast Reduction?

Our board-certified plastic surgeons perform breast reductions and other cosmetic and reconstructive surgery in Tucson, AZ. We can help you feel more confident in your appearance.

To discuss breast reduction surgery, contact us today.