How long does breast reduction take to heal is a common question from people undertaking this type of surgery.
For women with larger breasts, it is often a life-changing procedure that . It, offers relief from physical discomfort and the opportunity to achieve a more proportionate, balanced figure.
While the decision to undergo Breast Reduction surgery is often full of excitement, it's crucial to understand the recovery process to ensure a smooth and successful result.
Let's look into the recovery process for patients wanting to undergo Breast Reduction surgery.
Before the Surgery: Preparing for Recovery
Most of our patients ask us ‘How long is breast reduction recovery’, and unfortunately there is no set answer. However, optimal recovery post surgery all starts before the actual procedure takes place.
Our surgeons will provide you with a set of pre-operative instructions to follow at your consultation, along with an informative cosmetic brochure to take home with you should you decide to go ahead with Breast Reduction surgery. These instructions typically include:
If you are a smoker, you'll be advised to quit at least a few weeks before surgery as smoking can impede the healing process.
Smoking decreases blood flow to the healing tissues, including the skin. As a result, loss of the nipple and other breast tissue may occur and impact your healing and results.
Inform your surgeon about any medications or supplements you're taking, as some may need to be temporarily discontinued to reduce the risk of bleeding or other complications during and after surgery.
Arrangements for recovery
Plan ahead for your recovery period. Ensure you have someone to drive you home from our Private hHospital in Newton-Le-Willows as you won't be in a condition to drive immediately after the procedure with being under general anaesthetic.
Breast Reduction surgery is usually a day case, meaning you will spend a few hours in your private room, along with some food post-surgery. After this, you’ll be allowed to go home where you can rest and recover from the comfort of your own home.
We recommend arranging assistance from family or friends with daily tasks -, such as cooking and household chores -, as you may have limited mobility during the initial stages of recovery.
Stock up on essentials you'll need during recovery, such as loose-fitting clothing and button-down shirts.
Within your Breast Reduction surgery package from at Pall Mall you will be provided with a free pPost-sSurgery Macom bra, which you will need to wear day and night for at least 6 weeks after surgery.
One of our breast patients, Jess Mahon shared with us her recovery must haves, that being a pregnancy pillow as this makes it easier to sleep on your back and putting your hair in french plaits due to not being able to wash your hair or get your dressings wet.
Early recovery days: Managing discomfort and swelling
The initial days following breast reduction surgery can be the most challenging, but they are crucial for a successful recovery. Here's what you can expect:
Pain and discomfort:
It's common to experience some pain and discomfort, especially in the first few days. The surgeon and nurses will prescribe pain medications to help manage this.
It's essential to take these medications as directed and not wait until the pain becomes severe.
In some small cases where your pain medication is causing you to feel nauseous, please seek help and advice by contacting the ward number given to you in your Breast Reduction procedure guide.
Swelling and bruising:
Swelling and bruising are normal after breast reduction surgery. To reduce swelling, your surgeon may recommend wearing a compression garment or surgical bra.
Applying ice packs can also help with swelling and discomfort -, just avoid getting your dressings wet at all times.
Rest and limitations
Rest is critical during the early recovery period. You'll need to avoid strenuous activities, lifting heavy objects, and bending over.
Follow your surgeon's instructions regarding movement restrictions. We recommend having a list of Netflix films and series to binge during your recovery at home.
As part of your breast reduction recovery, You'll have follow-up appointments with your surgeon and nurses to monitor your progress and ensure your incisions are healing properly.
It's essential to attend these appointments as scheduled, even if you believe you are healing well - just to ensure things are progressing as they should be.
Mid-late recovery: Easing back into normal activities
As you progress through the recovery process, you'll start to feel better and regain some of your independence with your new breasts.
However, you shouldn’t get too ahead of yourself in case you actually end up regressing in your progress.
It is recommended that you don’t fly for up to 4 weeks post surgery. After any cosmetic surgery, patients are at an increased risk of blood clots occurring which is exacerbated when flying.
This is the main reason we are against patients flying abroad to places like Turkey for cosmetic surgery, as they are at a greater risk to blood clots.
Returning to work:
The timing of your return to work will depend on your type of job - for example, if you have the ability to work from home. You should also assess this on how you're feeling managing the pain, as certain medications can cause nauseous side effects to some patients.
Many patients can return to light, non-strenuous work within a week or two, if their job is an office-like environment. However, those with more physically demanding jobs may need additional time off.
You'll gradually be able to increase your physical activity, slowly. Although, it's crucial to follow your surgeon's guidance and avoid activities that could strain your incisions or breasts.
We recommend avoiding the gym or any strenuous exercise for at least 6 weeks, however light walks are recommended to increase blood flow and aid healing.
Breast reduction scar care:
Your surgeon will provide instructions on how to take care of your scars - including when and how to apply scar-reducing creams which we can provide for you at your post-operative appointment.
It's also essential to protect your incisions from direct sun exposure or sunbeds for at least 6 weeks post-surgery.
Long-term recovery: Enjoying the benefits of breast reduction
While most of the swelling and discomfort will subside within a few weeks post surgery, the full healing process can take several months to a year to see final results.
During this time, your scars will continue to fade, you'll gradually return to your normal activities, and results will be significantly noticeable from the first day - but they will continue to change and settle.
How long does it take to recover from breast reduction: A timeline
It is very important that you attend your post-operative appointments at Pall Mall to ensure you are healing well and not compromising your final results.
You will be examined, and photographs will be taken at all appointments to document your journey.
These post-operative appointments include but aren’t limited to:
- 1 week initial check - Our nurse will check you are healing well and remove any dressings. Plus, any strapping will be removed and dressings will be changed.
- 6-8 weeks progress check - You will get the go-ahead to remove your sports bra. Do not do this before you are seen by a surgeon.
- 12 weeks final check - Should you wish to, you can book a final check-up appointment with your surgeon to review your healing.
Ready to start your breast reduction journey? Get the results you want with Pall Mall
Your recovery from Breast Reduction surgery may involve some challenges which is why our friendly team are here to help you every step of the way and offer the support and guidance needed for a successful recovery.
The increased confidence and benefits we see from our patients after having this transformative surgery is worth the nerves and time put into recovery for a lifetime with your new breasts.
Through proper preparation, following post-operative instructions given by our nurses and surgeon, and patience, you will experience the long-term rewards of having breast reduction surgery.
Don’t you want a life with reduced pain, perkier, more manageable sized breasts, and greater self-confidence?
If you're considering breast reduction surgery, book a free consultation with our GMC registered cosmetic surgeons to discuss the different options for you.