If you are considering breast reduction surgery, it’s important to understand what recovery entails so you can anticipate your needs and promote a speedy recovery.
Breast reduction surgery involves removing excess breast fat, glandular tissue and skin to create a breast in proportion with your body and to provide relief from the discomfort of overly large breasts.
Although each patient will recover at their own pace and individual experiences will vary, the information below will give you an idea of what you can expect following breast reduction in Annandale.
The Day of Surgery
After breast reduction surgery, most patients will feel groggy and tired from the anesthesia and the surgery process.
Your breasts will be wrapped in gauze dressings and bandages or a surgical bra to help support the breasts and incisions as they heal. Once the dressings are removed, you will continue to wear the surgical bra for several weeks after surgery.
You may have drains inserted into each breast to remove excess blood and fluids. The drains are often removed during your first follow-up appointment after surgery.
Once you are released you will need someone to transport you home.
The First Few Days After Surgery
During the first few days of your recovery, you will need to relax and rest as much as possible. This is essential for ensuring proper healing. You may experience the following during this time:
- Pain: Pain from breast reduction surgery may last anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks, depending on how extensive the surgery was. Pain relief medications should be taken as prescribed.
- Swelling and bruising: This is normal after surgery and may last several months. Your swelling may not be obvious since your breasts will be smaller after surgery.
- Activity: You should take short walks soon after surgery to reduce the risk of blood clots but do not exercise. Limit activities including lifting, bending, straining or sexual activity until Dr. Nickodem gives approval.
- Sleeping: Placing pillows under your upper back and head will keep the area elevated and relieve pressure.
- Bathing: Dr. Nickodem will let you know when you are able to bathe normally. You might not be able to wash your hair since you will not be able to raise your hands over your head. A good option is to use a sink with a handheld sprayer and ask a friend or family member to help.
- Stitches: Most patients will have their sutures removed about 10 days after surgery.
- Work: Patients should not return to work during this period, even if the workplace is a low-stress environment and does not require physical labor.
Two to Four Weeks After Surgery
Most patients return to work during this time. Heavy lifting and physical activity should still be avoided, but the patient can begin resuming normal activities. Pain should be at a minimum at this point.
Several Months After Surgery
Patients should be able to resume normal activities but should still be wary of too much physical activity. There should be no more pain and the incisions sites should be almost, if not completely, healed. However, keep in mind that it can take up to a year for swelling to subside and scars to fade. It is at this time that most women see the results of the surgery fully taking form.
To learn more about breast reduction or to schedule a surgery consultation, contact Anne Nickodem, M.D., at 703-560-8711 or aestheticallyyours.com today.