Breast reduction surgery recovery should be a marathon, not a sprint. In other words, it’s critical to give your body adequate time to heal during this crucial period. Resting, sleeping, and slowing down are all essential.
Still, it’s understandable that many Houston breast reduction patients are anxious to return to their regular lives. They want to go back to work, start exercising again, and go shopping for new clothes! It’s also true that breast reduction surgery recovery can be slow and monotonous for some.
This is especially the case for those who are used to a fast-paced lifestyle. The words “slow down” are not in some people’s vocabulary.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at exactly what you can expect when recovering from breast reduction surgery. Knowledge is power. And the more you understand your breast reduction surgery recovery time line, the faster you can get back to all the activities you love.
What to Expect in Breast Reduction Surgery Recovery
To start with, the vast majority of patients are able to go home on the same day as their surgery. Patients will need to have someone drive them, however. Ask a significant other, relative, or close friend beforehand.
If you do not have anyone available to drive you, inquire with the surgical facility as there are services available.
Before going home, you’ll spend at least one or two hours in our recovery room where our staff will monitor you.
Breast reduction patients will have their incisions carefully dressed, and the chest will be covered with a support bra or large elastic bandage.
This will assist with swelling and give support to the breasts as they heal. Some patients will also be connected to drainage tubes, which will get rid of excess fluid and blood and which will also assist with swelling reduction.
At-Home Care Instructions
All of Dr. Steinberg’s patients are given detailed instructions regarding at-home care after surgery. It is critical that patients follow these instructions closely.
Dr. Ashley Steinberg will go over them with you before your procedure, and you can also ask questions after your surgery if you require clarification before going home.
One thing you’ll certainly want to take care of right away is obtaining your prescriptions. Most patients will have an oral pain medication to assist with pain.
Antibiotics will also help reduce your risk of infection. These prescriptions can often be filled before surgery, which can save you hassle after surgery.
How You’ll Feel
Patients will feel somewhat sore and uncomfortable after surgery. A tight sensation is common in the chest area. Swelling will also be present, and you may notice bruises beginning to form as well. This is all normal and to be expected.
At home, you’ll be tired, so make sure to rest. Plenty of sleep, nutritious food to eat, lots of water, and limited walking will all be good for you. While it’s smart to rest for most of the day – either sitting or lying down (on your back) – Dr. Steinberg will likely have you get up regularly to keep your circulation moving.
Remember to continue following your aftercare instructions closely. You’ll need to change the way you sleep, bathe, and move, which can be difficult for some patients at first.
You must also continue to wear your compression support garment until Dr. Steinberg allows you to replace it with a regular, non-underwire bra.
What’s the Time for Breast Reduction Surgery Recovery?
Most patients should expect to be recovering from breast reduction surgery for about two to six weeks. This timeline will vary, however, because all patients are different, and all surgeries are different.
In terms of taking time off from work, most patients are able to take just one week off. Other patients may require more time at home.
Slow, gentle walking is usually permissible starting just a few days after surgery to promote circulation. Other than this, it’s important to wait for several weeks before exercising.
During this time, you’ll have at least one follow-up appointment with Dr. Ashley Steinberg, and she will direct you in regards to when you can start exercising again.
Most patients are able to return to low impact cardio or strength training of the lower body (lunges, squats, etc.) after about two to three weeks.
It will be several more weeks before it’s safe to do any exercises involving your upper body and chest.
FAQ: Breast Reduction Surgery Recovery
Is breast reduction surgery painful?
During the procedure, you will have general anesthesia, so you won’t feel anything. Post-surgery, soreness is common. Your doctor will give you pain medication to help with breast reduction scars and to reduce the swelling. If your pain becomes severe or does not die down within a few days, contact your provider right away.
When can I switch to a normal bra after breast reduction surgery?
It will take a while before you can wear a normal bra with molded cups and an underwire. Basically, you’re waiting for the majority of the swelling to disappear. Before then, you’ll first wear the compression bra you go home with after surgery. After that, you will need to wear a basic sports bra or similar for at least a few months.
When can I lift my arms after breast reduction surgery?
It will be at least a few weeks before you can lift your arms in a normal way after breast reduction surgery. You’ll want to refrain from such straining movements during this initial period because strain around the chest area can cause excess pain and may also negatively affect your breast reduction results.
Common Problems After Breast Reduction Surgery
Common breast reduction complications are infections, loss of nipple sensation and breast reduction scars. Patients will have a lollipop-shaped scar that circles the nipple and includes a straight line down to the crease under the breast, or an anchor-shaped scar along the fold under the breast.
What to Wear After Breast Reduction Surgery Recovery
After your surgery, you will need to wear a surgical bra or compression garment for approximately six weeks. As noted above, this can be removed while showering, but it should be worn the rest of the day and night.
Book a Breast Reduction Consultation With Dr. Steinberg
Want to learn more about breast reduction surgery recovery? Call our Houston, TX office today to schedule a consultation appointment with Dr. Ashley Steinberg.
Dr. Ashley Steinberg is a dedicated, board-certified plastic surgeon, specializing in breast reduction surgery in the Houston, Texas area.
Whether you are sure breast reduction is for you or you’re just exploring your options, Dr. Steinberg would be happy to sit down with you for a consultation appointment. Schedule yours today by giving our office a call.