What to Expect during Breast Reduction Recovery

February 19, 2015 — by Stephen Hardy M.D.
Tags: Breast Reduction Plastic Surgery

Blonde woman against a blue skyIf you feel that your breasts look too large, or if you suffer chronic discomfort because of the size of your chest, breast reduction may be a great option for you. However, like some patients, you may hesitate to undergo this procedure, worrying about the recovery time or how much discomfort is involved. Fortunately, breast reduction typically involves minimal discomfort and a relatively brief downtime. Dr. Hardy and our team in Missoula will guide you through the healing process to reduce inflammation and speed your recovery.

What Is Breast Reduction?

Although breast augmentation is perhaps more well-known, breast reduction is an effective procedure that can significantly improve your appearance, self-confidence, and physical health. During the surgery, Dr. Hardy will remove excess breast tissue and fat cells through one or more carefully placed incisions. He can also remove tissue from the circumference of your areola. In a few cases, he will lift and relocate your nipples to give your breasts a younger, perkier look. The exact locations of the incisions will depend on your cosmetic goals, as well as the natural shape and size of your breasts.

Breast reduction can have enormous benefits, including:

  • Giving you a slimmer and more proportionate figure
  • Reducing pain in your neck, shoulders, and upper back
  • Eliminating chafing under the folds of your breasts
  • Improving your self-esteem

Side Effects and Minimizing Discomfort

Another benefit of breast reduction is that it is safe with few long-term risks. Following your surgery, it is normal to experience some breast tenderness and skin irritation. You can typically ease this discomfort with mild, non-prescription pain medication. In some cases, Dr. Hardy may place drainage tubes under your skin to eliminate excess fluid during your recovery. In most cases, you will need to empty the tubes once a day. The doctor will also place stitches and surgical bandages after your surgery. You should change the bandages after a day or two. The stitches will come out about seven to 10 days after surgery. After the bandages come off, you should wear a compression bra for about a month. Be sure to wear this bra at all times, even when you are sleeping. The garment will keep your breasts from moving around and irritating the incisions.

Breast Reduction Downtime

After your surgery, you should plan to take at least a week off from work. You may need longer if you have a particularly physical job. During these first few days of downtime, try to get friends or family to help with housework or childcare. After the initial week or so, you should be able to return to resume most aspects of your daily routine. However, you should avoid heavy lifting and strenuous exercise for about a month after your breast reduction.

Learn More about Breast Reduction and Whether This Procedure Is Right for You

When you undergo breast reduction at Northwest Plastic Surgery Associates, we will provide compassionate care through every stage of your treatment, including your recovery. Contact us today to schedule your breast reduction consultation.

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