The decision to undergo breast reduction surgery should not be taken lightly. Over 40,000 women choose to get a breast reduction surgery every year. They make the decision for a variety of reasons, including, but not exclusively, health problems.
The procedure reduces the size of your breasts. This has many benefits which could include reducing back and shoulder pain, and overall leading to a better quality of life for you. You may also find that you consequently feel happier with your appearance.
However, as always when making important life decisions, it’s important to have all of the relevant information available in front of you.
Know What to Expect
Breast reduction is a safe and standard procedure. And yet, as with other surgeries, it also requires a recovery time. Most women are eager for a speedy recovery so that they can return to work and everyday life.
And by knowing what to expect after the procedure, you can suitably prepare yourself for the recovery. Let’s go through the recovery time, the scars and bruises post-op, and finally, what you can do to speed up the recovery.
Breast Reduction Recovery Time
Breast reduction recovery takes time, but it’s important to have a good understanding of what to expect post-surgery. The surgery lasts for approximately anywhere between three to five hours. Most patients return home the same day as the surgery.
Let’s have a look at what to expect in the days, weeks and months after your breast reduction surgery.
The Days After Surgery
In the few days following your surgery, it’s normal to experience some pain and discomfort. Your breasts and areas around your breasts may be bruised and swell up. This is because the breast tissues and muscles have been stretched.
Most women experience the most pain during the first few days post-procedure. If necessary, your doctor can prescribe pain relief medicine to ease the pain.
Furthermore, as part of the recovery process, drainage tubes may be placed on your breasts to help reduce swelling. These are often removed within a few days following the surgery.
Medical experts advise women recovering from breast reduction to where special surgical bras to support the tissue during this period as well. Finally, it’s important to avoid any unnecessarily strenuous activity during this period.
The Weeks After Surgery
In the few weeks following surgery, much of the bruising and swelling experienced in the first few days should have subsided. In some circumstances, the discomfort and pain will continue but should be substantially less painful.
After a couple of weeks, the stitches are usually removed. And while the dressings and gauze may have been removed by now, it is highly recommended that patients continue to wear the special surgical bra to provide greater support.
During this period, most women have recovered sufficiently to return to work. However, to some extent, this depends on personal lifestyle, workplace environment and recovery times. For instance, if your work requires a lot of physical exercise, then a longer recovery time may be required.
If you continue to experience severe pain or the swelling worsens during the first few weeks after the procedure, then you need to seek medical attention immediately.
The Month After Surgery
In the month or so after the surgery, most women experience almost full recovery. Despite this, it’s advised that patients continue to be careful with their breasts; it may still be possible to get breast infections.
Between one and two months after surgery, the breasts will begin to feel natural and soft. And, while breast reduction recovery may be complete, the swelling could continue for up to a year.
Breast Reduction Surgery and Scars
Many women are also concerned about the scars caused by the breast reduction surgery. And although your body may have fully recovered from the breast reduction surgery, unfortunately, the scars are likely to be permanent.
However, they won’t look anything like how they look directly after the surgery. In the initial months after the procedure, the scars could be lumpy and red for some time. They will gradually fade into white, faint lines.
Surgeons carefully place the incisions in less apparent areas of the breast. This means that it is still possible for women to wear bikinis and other low cut tops and dresses.
However, the post-surgery scars are mostly dependent on which type of breast reduction procedure is used. For instance, whether the incision is vertical or horizontal. For more information on the different types of surgery, speak with your doctor.
How to Reduce Recovery Time
Many women lead very busy and full lives. Because of this, it is only natural to want to know how to reduce the recovery time period.
And while it’s important to give yourself the necessary time for breast reduction recovery, there are also many steps you can take to reduce the recovery time. These steps include:
1. Don’t Smoke.
2. Stay Hydrated.
3. Don’t drink alcohol (especially within the first week after the surgery).
4. Let yourself rest and recover in the first few days following surgery.
5. Sleep in the upright position for the first few weeks after surgery.
6. Avoid physical and strenuous movements; e.g., lifting heavy objects.
If you follow the above recommendations, you’ll increase the probability of a safe and healthy recovery.
If you are still concerned about scarring and the breast reduction recovery time, it’s important to follow the instructions provided by the surgeon, doctors, and medical staff.
If you are unsure about any of the information or instructions, then simply ask again. Don’t take any chances!
After breast reduction surgery, most women report that they are satisfied with their new and smaller breasts. For more information about breast reduction recovery periods and the procedure itself, don’t hesitate to get in touch.