Recovery After Breast Reduction Surgery

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Breast Reduction Recovery Tips

For many women with very large breasts, Breast Reduction Surgery can help reduce back pain, neck pain and shoulder area pain which relates to having heavy, large or pendulous breasts. Here are some great Breast Reduction Recovery tips to assist you.

Start by reading the Breast Reduction procedure page or downloading our Breast Reduction guide (below). That’s your FIRST step for understanding breast reduction and normal recovery after breast surgery.

Read more about  Breast Reduction

General time frame and surgery recovery information after a Reduction Mammoplasty

  • Breast Reduction surgery can vary in time. However, the average duration of the surgery, itself, is often around 2 hours (but might take from 2 to 3 hours or longer).
  • That’s the general time most Breast Reduction patients are under General Anaesthesia in an accredited hospital, when one of our expert Breast Reduction Surgeons performs a breast volume reduction and breast lift, with or without additional liposuction for improving contours or reducing bra area bulges.
  • Allow for at least one night’s stay in the hospital for increased comfort (ask about your options).
  • The average stay in hospital after Breast Reduction is 1 to 2 days, although could be longer.

Pain, Movement, Walking and Exercising after Breast Reduction Surgery

Your comfort as you heal is our Surgeon’s top priority; we will give you tips and recommendations for preparation and recovery from Breast Reduction surgery.

  • We’ll also provide advanced pain management strategies. Many patients are surprised the recovery period is not nearly as uncomfortable as they envisioned.
  • You’ll need to be off of work for about 1 week, however, some patients may need 2 weeks off of work. This depends on what you do, and if you can return to light duties.
    • You can generally engage in light walking and light activities within a few days. 
      You will not however be able to start lifting, including children. Ask your Surgeon for a detailed recovery plan.
  • Exercises will need to be abstained from for the recommended period of time (check our guide for details).

General Tips

Be sure you read all the documents and materials given to you so you know what’s NORMAL and what’s NOT NORMAL during recovery after breast reduction.

Some of this is covered in our Guide. Additional information is given to you directly by your Melbourne or Sydney Breast Reduction Surgeon and his or her nursing team (before your operation). It’s important you do your reading and ask questions so you know what to expect and when to seek additional assistance or assessment during your recovery.

For a good recovery experience, it’s crucial you attend ALL post-operation check-ups as recommended by your Surgeon.

And whatever you do, rest well, eat nutritiously and DO NOT smoke!

Smoking is a big NO-NO. It greatly impedes your healing, health and safety before, during and after having an operation.

General Recovery Overview & Disclaimer

  • Remember, the healthier you are before surgery and the closer you are to your ideal weight or “happy weight” the better you’re likely to feel as you recover AND as you examine your results once you have finished with your healing.
  • This information is NOT medical advice and you’ll need to ask your personal Surgeon for details and recommendations and guidelines.

Tips for Recovery after Breast Reduction

  • Lifting: You’ll need to avoid heavy lifting for several weeks up to a few months – so if you have children or grandkids, keep this in mind (you can have them sit next to you on the sofa for a cuddle instead of lifting them).
  • Driving: You also shouldn’t drive for at least a FEW DAYS AFTER your operation – that’s for your comfort and safety and for the safety of others on the road.
  • Ask Questions: Ask your Surgeon how long to WAIT before getting behind the wheel of your car again. This may vary, of course, and may depend on how comfortable you are during your recovery.
  • Discomfort and movements: In other words, how freely you feel to move easily in terms of your recovery may impact what you CAN do easily and safely. If you’re sore and need to make a sudden movement to turn the wheel of your car, it could be trouble. So DON’T try to do too much, too soon – use common sense and follow your Surgeon’s recommendations – and ASK if you’re not sure.
  • If you’ve heard about a quicker-recovery or less invasive breast reduction method, think twice and do your research.
  • The LIPOSUCTION-only method of breast reduction is usually NOT suitable for candidates who are wanting a moderate to a significant reduction in breast volume/breast size and have a lot of glandular tissue. It can result in excess skin and sagging.
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Within approximately 3 months, with some variability, life will tend to be back to normal for you after recovering from  Reduction surgery, including being able to exercise and lift your children.

But you’ll find newfound freedoms in what you can wear comfortably, and how exercising feels.

  • Imagine being able to comfortably walk, jog, run or participate in yoga, boxing or other favourite activities and gym classes!
  • Your scars will be either vertical and around the nipple (Le Jour technique) or vertical, around the nipple and under the breast crease (the Anchor Technique).
  • But your SCARS tend to mature over about 12 months to 18 months or longer – meaning it may take that long before they fully settle.
  • At six (6) months you’ll usually be able to participate

Scars healing after Breast Reduction – what’s normal?

  • Ask your Surgeon’s team in advance what’s normal and what’s not in terms of healing of the incision lines and what to expect.
  • Incision lines that become very red, itchy, raised (keloid) or warm/hot to the touch may be signs of something having gone wrong – see your Surgeon immediately if your incision lines are a concern.
  • Read your Post-Operation instructions and follow all Surgeon recommendations to reduce your surgery risks and complication risks; but remember, some risks/complications occur randomly despite best-practice care.
  • If you DO experience a complication or infection, work closely with your SURGEON to manage it in the best-way possible to reduce any consequences.
  • Occasionally, such as if you have a hematoma after surgery, you may require re-operation; but fortunately this is a less common complication.
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About Dr Richard Sackelariou Plastic Surgeon

Dr Richard Sackelariou MBBS FRACS(Plas) is a Specialist Plastic, Cosmetic and Reconstructive  Surgeon in Melbourne, Victoria and Sydney, Australia.

Dr Sackelariou is a highly sought-after Plastic Surgeon for precision procedures like nose reshaping, tummy tucks, breast surgery including transaxillary incision methods, implant removal/replacement and Breast Lift procedures.

He is particularly known for his signature surgeries – neck lift, facelift and eyelid rejuvenation procedures. He also performs expert cosmetic injections for facial rejuvenation.

Patients love his caring manner, his dedication to excellence and his extensive expertise in surgical planning for a natural-looking, harmonious result.

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