Recovery Time Factors :
Breast Reduction Recovery
After your surgery
After surgery, you'll be wrapped in a surgical bra over gauze dressings. A small tube may be placed in each breast to drain off blood and fluids for the first day or two.
Most doctors prefer after surgery bras for support and comfort that feature a comfortable front access. Most surgeons will help you pick the design and fit for each of their patients.
You may feel some pain for the first couple of days-especially when you move around or cough. You can expect some discomfort for a week or more. Your doctor will prescribe medication to lessen the pain.
The bandages will be removed a day or two after surgery, though you'll continue wearing the surgical bra around the clock for several weeks, until the swelling and bruising subside. In most cases, your stitches will be removed in one to three weeks. Sometimes dissolvable sutures will be used and will not have to be removed.
If your breast skin is very dry following surgery, you can apply a moisturizer several times a day, but be sure to keep the suture area dry.
Your first menstruation following surgery may cause your breasts to swell and hurt. You may also experience random, shooting pains for a few months. You can expect some loss of feeling in your nipples and breast skin, caused by the swelling after surgery. This usually fades over the next six weeks or so. In some patients, however, it may last a year or more, and occasionally it may be permanent.
Getting back to normal
Although you may be up and about in a day or two, your breasts may still ache occasionally for a couple of weeks. You should avoid lifting or pushing anything heavy for three or four weeks.
You will be given detailed instructions for resuming your normal activities. Most women can return to work (if it's not too strenuous) and social activities in about two weeks. But you'll have much less stamina for several weeks, and should limit your exercises to stretching, bending, and swimming until your energy level returns. You'll also need a good athletic bra for support.
You may be instructed to avoid sex for a week or more, since sexual arousal can cause your incisions to swell. Avoid anything but gentle contact with your breasts for about six weeks.
A small amount of fluid will drain from surgical wound and this is expected. Call your doctor if there are any unusual symptoms, such as excess bleeding or severe pain.
Your new look
The shape of your breasts will change during the healing process. Smaller scar techniques require a redistribution of tissue to achieve their contour. Although much of the swelling and bruising will disappear in the first few weeks, it may be six months to a year before your breasts settle into their new shape. Even then, their shape may fluctuate in response to your hormonal shifts, weight changes, and pregnancy.
The doctor will make every effort to make your scars as inconspicuous as possible. Still, it's important to remember that breast reduction scars are extensive and permanent. They often remain lumpy and red for months, then gradually become less obvious. Fortunately, the scars can usually be placed so that you can wear even low cut tops.
Of all plastic surgery procedures, breast reductions result in the quickest body image changes. You'll be rid of the physical discomfort of large breasts and your body will look better proportioned, clothes will fit you better and you will be much happier with your body.
As much as you may have desired these changes, you'll need time to adjust to your new image and so will your family and friends. Expect to be explaining things to people as you will be asked if you had a reduction. Keep in mind why you had this surgery, and chances are that, like most women, you'll be pleased with the results.