While breast reduction is a safe and common cosmetic surgery procedure, it does involve some recovery time. A woman planning to undergo breast reduction should have a clear idea of what to expect during the recovery phase and prepare appropriately for it. Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Bram Kaufman provides breast reduction to patients in Beachwood, Pepper Pike, Cleveland, OH, and surrounding locations.
First Two Weeks
Mild bruising and swelling is expected after breast reduction, which will resolve on its own in a few weeks. Initial pain and soreness can be addressed with pain medications. The patient may apply a moisturizer on the breasts to get relief from dryness and itching, but the incision areas should not be directly moisturized.
Immediately after the breast reduction cosmetic surgery, the breasts will be wrapped in gauze and dressings. The patient will have to wear an elastic bandage or a surgical bra. Once the dressings are taken out, the surgical bra will still have to be worn for several weeks. Stitches would be removed in about one to two weeks, depending on the healing.
Vigorous activities and heavy lifting must be avoided for about four weeks after breast reduction. Depending on the nature of their work, most women may be able to return to their workplace in 10 to 14 days. In the first week, the plastic surgeon may instruct the patient to refrain from sexual activity as it may lead to inflammation around the incisions. Dr. Kaufman receives patients from Beachwood, Pepper Pike, Cleveland, OH, and nearby areas.
First Few Months
Following breast reduction, the patient should ensure that any contact with the breasts is gentle for at least one month. Swelling and tenderness in the breasts can occur during the first menstrual period of the recovery process. Changes in the sensation of breast skin and nipples are commonly experienced after the surgery. Numbness may last for up to a year, while a few women may experience hypersensitivity in the breast area.
Patients should be aware that swelling after the breast reduction surgery may take as long as six months to a year to be eliminated completely. This happens because the breast tissue is considerably disrupted during the surgery. Final results of the procedure will become apparent as the swelling disappears entirely.
Healing is usually faster and uncomplicated in cases where the patient follows the surgeon’s instructions diligently during recovery. Maintaining hygiene, doing light exercises to promote blood flow, and following a balanced diet that is rich in lean proteins will help to expedite recovery.
Scars in case of breast reduction will be permanent, and may appear red and lumpy for a few months before they fade to slender white lines. An experienced surgeon will place incisions in discreet locations so that the patient can wear swim suits and low-cut tops as desired. The choice of technique and the extent of surgery performed will determine the final appearance of scars.
Smoking should be avoided for several weeks after the surgery. The patient should monitor the incision sites regularly for any signs of infection during the recovery period.