Among the many types of breast surgery available today, breast reduction surgery is one of the top choices. Unlike the more popular breast augmentation procedure, which seeks to enlarge the breasts, breast reduction surgery reduces excess breast tissue. Reasons for choosing breast reduction surgery cover both cosmetic and medical motivations. There are important steps and considerations to make leading up to breast reduction surgery, but there are also important points to be aware of when planning your breast reduction recovery!
Read on for more breast reduction recovery information, including a basic timeline of the recovery process, and personal variables that could affect your breast reduction recovery success.
Once you've decided that breast reduction surgery is an appropriate choice for you, and have consulted with a trusted plastic surgeon in your area, you should start evaluating the options and details for your breast reduction recovery and surgery right away!
In addition to conducting your own research, we recommend meeting with a board-certified plastic surgeon who's experienced in breast reduction surgery. They will be able to supplement your own research findings with their heightened expertise, and make useful suggestions for your unique breast reduction recovery plan. By prepping for your surgery and recovery this way, you will be helping to minimize unnecessary risks, and ensure top results post breast reduction recovery!
The length of time required to make a full breast reduction recovery will vary from patient to patient, but this timeline will prove a useful guide when making choices and planning for your breast reduction recovery. Generally speaking, patients need more time to recover after breast reduction surgery than they do post breast enlargement surgery. This is because breast reduction surgery involves the removal of a large portion of existing breast tissue, and the body needs plenty of time to heal and recover from this dramatic tissue loss.
Comparatively, breast augmentation recovery patients need to let incision areas mend, and let the body adjust to the new implants. The actual tissue trauma occurring during breast augmentation can be much less than with breast reduction on average—this won't be true for everyone. Continue reading to learn how most breast reduction recovery patients adapt to this tissue loss, in the breast reduction recovery timeline below!
First 24-48 Hours of Breast Reduction Recovery
The first 24-48 hours into breast reduction recovery is a difficult period for patients. Most breast reduction patients endure and experience:
Patients will be prescribed pain medication at the beginning of breast reduction recovery, to help them alleviate discomfort and to get the rest their body needs.
For the first 24-48 hours of breast reduction recovery, patients' breasts will be covered in protective gauze, and supported and protected in a surgical bra and/or an ace bandage. Small drainage tubes are usually attached and fixed to the breast dressings for 1-3 days following breast reduction; this prevents fluid accumulation in breast reduction recovery patients.
Lots of rest and recuperation are essential at this point in breast reduction recovery. Patients need to:
Most breast reduction recovery patients have the drainage tubes removed, and the surgical bra replaced with a sports bra or ace bandage after the first few days. However, depending on the patient, and on the surgeon's recommendations, these dressings may be necessary for longer.
1-2 Weeks into Breast Reduction Recovery
By the first and second week of breast reduction recovery, patients should start to notice progress in their surgery results and in their overall physical state. Breast reduction recovery patients may still have need for pain medication into the second week of their recovery, but their physical symptoms should definitely be improving.
In particular, breast reduction recovery patients should note these improvements:
Although the surgical bra and other dressings may be removed at this stage of breast reduction recovery, a sports bra or ace bandage should still be worn at all times, except when bathing. Breast reduction recovery patients 1-2 weeks post-op may still be experiencing breast sensitivity and some numbness. The start of the menstrual cycle during breast reduction recovery may also create renewed pain and swelling for some patients.
To avoid rushing the breast reduction recovery process, patients 1-2 weeks into recovery should still refrain from:
After two weeks of breast reduction recovery, some patients may be able to return to work, depending on their individual state and on the physical demands of their job.
One Month into Breast Reduction Recovery
After patients have passed the one-month mark in their breast reduction recovery, they should be starting to feel like themselves again. After 4-6 weeks, most successful breast reduction recovery patients should be:
On the downside, some breast reduction recovery patients may still have heightened breast sensitivity and loss of sensation. The recovery of breast reduction scars may also still be in the early stages. Scar tissue can appear noticeably red and lumpy for up to several months into breast reduction recovery. While these scars will never disappear after fully recovering from breast reduction surgery, they should fade to white or silvery lines that are barely apparent.
Some sources say that a full breast reduction recovery can be achieved in six months, but individual patients may recover from breast reduction earlier or later than that. This breast reduction recovery timeline will be helpful and accurate to a point, but the best way to predict and outline the course of your personal recovery plan after breast reduction is to analyze your unique risk factors with a qualified surgeon.
Most breast reduction recovery patients will experience a recovery process similar to the one detailed in the timeline above. However, since everyone is unique, it can be impossible to precisely predict how someone will recover from breast reduction surgery. There are many individual factors that can affect the ease and length of breast reduction recovery, not to mention the final results! Some of these factors include:
To find out more about how these components and choices could affect your breast reduction recovery, it's best to discuss them with your selected breast reduction surgeon prior to undergoing the procedure.
A professional plastic surgeon will have the insight needed to help you identify personal risk factors prior to breast reduction recovery and surgery. They can also advise specific breast reduction recovery instructions, customize the surgical process itself, and give you detailed breast reduction recovery cost info beforehand—ensuring you the best possible breast reduction recovery experience and results!