Reduction recovery: your first few weeks after breast reduction surgery
Breast reduction surgery is common for women who suffer back pain from having large breasts, suffer from self-esteem issues due to their breasts, or whose breasts feel uncomfortable when exercising or sleeping.
If you are due to undergo breast reduction surgery, it’s important to know the recovery road and how things will go after leaving the surgery, resting at home and getting back to the daily activities of your life.
For women considering breast reduction surgery, here is a timeline of the first few weeks (and months) post-surgery.
Day one: surgery & recuperation
Your breast reduction surgery will be performed under general anesthesia. Upon waking up from surgery, your surgeon will ask if you are experiencing any pain, discomfort or nausea. If so, your nurses will go to work on alleviating any of this discomfort.
Once you are more alert, you will be briefed about taking care of yourself in the days, weeks and months post-surgery. This includes everything from home care, restrictions, incision care, prescribed medications and more. Ensure that you know and understand each of your instructions so that you can experience a smoother recovery period – be sure to ask questions if you don’t understand everything.
You will most likely stay at the clinic for one or two days just to give you some time to recuperate. Make sure you have a friend or loved one who can pick you up in case you are unable to leave the clinic on your own. You will be fitted with a post-surgery support bra as well as bandages where incisions were made.
It is important to understand that your breasts will be swollen at this time. The only thing you really need to do now is rest! Rest is important for a smooth recovery both physically and mentally, so you will need some support so that you can take your time to heal and get better results.
Note: Avoid smoking in the early stages of recovery.
Week one: resting at home
You will most likely need to take a couple of weeks off from work. It is important to rest as much as possible, and work can put unnecessary stress and strain on your mind and body. You should just be focusing on eating well, staying hydrated, sleeping well and avoiding strenuous activities/exercises.
During the first week, you may experience some discomfort – this is normal and part of the healing process. Take all the medications your surgeon prescribed you as these can minimise discomfort and the risk of infections.
Do not obstruct your bandages and be sure to attend all follow up appointments with your surgeon. Furthermore, you should review the specific instructions provided by your surgeon. If you need to, consult your surgeon if you have any concerns or queries – DO NOT just Google everything. Google is loaded with info that might not fit your situation, so it’s important to consult your surgeon first.
By the end of week one, you can begin to start walking around your home as this circulates your blood. Avoid alcohol and cigarettes in the early stages of your recovery period as they can impede on the healing process.
Two weeks & on: getting back to normal
Your breasts may still feel a degree of tenderness by the second week. They may even be bruised and experiencing swelling. You may even want to scratch the incision/s but it’s best to minimise contact with them. Your bandages should be removed in the second week. You should keep wearing your support bra as it helps reduce swelling – you should also stay hydrated and avoid sodium to help with swelling.
After about a month, you should start to feel normal and can most likely go back to work. You should start to feel the benefits of your breast surgery, but everyone’s body is different, and the time it takes to completely heal varies amongst women.