What to Expect During Recovery From Breast Reduction Surgery

Breast reduction surgery is a life-changing event for women who have suffered from the physical and emotional pain that can result from having large breasts. Even though the benefits of the outcome of breast reduction surgery almost always outweigh potential risks, knowing what to expect during recovery is an important part of the decision-making process. At Schaffer Plastic Surgery, we want our patients to be as informed as possible and to feel confident in their decision to undergo any procedure.

Healing From Breast Reduction Surgery

Breast reduction, also known as reduction mammaplasty, works by surgically removing excess glandular tissue, breast fat and skin to create a smaller, more-shapely breast. It is an outpatient procedure, meaning patients can recover in the comfort of their own homes. However, plan to have someone drive you home from our surgery center since you may feel weak right after surgery. For two to three weeks after breast reduction surgery, you may feel sore and experience some pulling sensations in the breast area.

Considerations for Breast Reduction Surgery Recovery

Since most women feel soreness for a few weeks after breast reduction surgery, you may need pain medicine for a week or two. Keep in mind that taking prescription pain medications may prevent you from driving. Additionally, for several weeks, you may tire easily or have less energy than usual. You may also have the feeling that fluid is moving in your breasts, which is a normal sensation and will go away over time. Stitches are usually removed in five to ten days.

Breast Reduction Surgery FAQs

What Should I Wear After Breast Reduction Surgery?

It is important to wear a surgical bra or compression garment for approximately six weeks—day and night—after breast reduction surgery. Dr. Schaffer will recommend the appropriate undergarment that will hold your bandages in place after the surgery.

When Can I Sleep Without a Bra After Breast Reduction Surgery?

It is important to sleep in the surgical bra or compression garment recommended to you by Dr. Schaffer for six to eight weeks after breast reduction surgery. The exact period of time depends on the patient’s age, weight and other lifestyle factors.

Can I Breastfeed After Breast Reduction Surgery?

New techniques in breast reduction surgery allow for the preservation of lactation-related structures in the breast, meaning it is highly likely to be able to breastfeed after breast reduction surgery.

When Can I Lift My Arms After Breast Reduction Surgery?

Lifting your arms over your head, bending and heavy lifting should be avoided for the first few days after breast reduction surgery. After several days have passed, you may gradually increase your daily activities. Anything strenuous should be avoided for a minimum of six weeks to promote complete healing.

When Can I Sleep On My Side After Breast Reduction Surgery?

Sleeping on your back for the first two weeks after breast reduction surgery is important, as it keeps the breasts in an optimal position for healing and prevents any pressure from being placed on them. After two weeks, it is safe to sleep on your side again, although stomach sleeping should be avoided until the four-week mark.

When Can I Resume Exercise After Breast Reduction Surgery?

Dr. Schaffer typically advises his patients to wait four to six weeks after breast reduction surgery to resume exercise, especially high-intensity cardio workouts. Easing back into any exercise routine, such as going for short walks or lifting light weights, is the safest way to resume exercise.

Will My Breast Reduction Surgery Scars Go Away?

Dr. Schaffer takes special care in keeping postsurgical scarring to a minimum. Any scars you do have after breast reduction surgery will be easily concealable and should fade over time with proper care. The scar healing process varies from person to person. For stubborn scars, we offer laser resurfacing solutions that can help to dramatically reduce their appearance.

If you are interested in breast reduction surgery and would like to know more about the recovery process, schedule a consultation with Dr. Schaffer by calling 205.278.7969.