Recovery from Breast Reduction: Important Tips for the Post Op Care

The recovery period from a breast reduction surgery is quite critical because the future appearance of your breasts will depend entirely on this period. It is important that you know how to take good care of your incisions, how to manage pain and how to get back to regular activities and exercises which helps in getting most of the breast reduction surgery. A healthy recovery period means healthy and perfect breasts for future.

What Is Breast Reduction Surgery (Reduction Mammoplasty)?

Many women face the problem of having disproportionate large breasts. These breasts might be responsible for causing different physical symptoms which include back and neck pain. In such a situation, women consider breast reduction surgery, also known as reduction mammoplasty.

Reduction mammoplasty, is an important surgical procedure which removes glandular tissue, fat and skin from breasts. General anesthesia is used for the surgery.

The surgeon takes photos of breasts, measures them and discusses with the patient about the quantity of breast tissue, which can be removed to get the desired goal. Women are also advised on how to prepare for the surgery and recovery process. Women are often recommended a breast exam and mammogram right before the surgical procedure.

Recovery From Breast Reduction

Breast reduction recovery is known to take significant time. The patient receives instructions from the cosmetic surgeon which needs to be followed for quick healing. These are mostly related to the different medications which need to be applied in the surgical area. Some oral medications are recommended which helps in healing. It also helps in the reduction of infection risk.

How to Care For Your Breasts Following Breast Reduction Surgery?

Patients often have plenty of questions related to recovery from breast reduction. Taking care of the breast is of utmost importance. After the surgery, bandages and dressings are usually applied to incisions. Women are advised to use an elastic bandage that helps in minimizing swellings and supports the breast in its healing process. Here are a few things women need to do:

  • Take plenty of rest
  • Do not carry heavy objects
  • Do not exercise for a week or until your doctor recommends
  • Apply all medicines and take oral medicines as suggested by the Doctor.

Breast Reduction Recovery Week By Week

Breast reduction surgery recovery takes a number of weeks. Every lady has a different set of symptoms and a specific recovery timeline. Get in touch with your cosmetic surgeon if you have any kind of concerns during the period. Here is what will happen during your breast reduction recovery week by week.

What To Expect During The First Week Of Breast Reduction Surgery Recovery?

The first week after your surgery might be a bit painful. You will have a surgical bra or elastic bandage just over the dressings and gauze. You will definitely need a bit of help at this time so that you do not have to do all the chores during the breast reduction recovery time. You will need help even with bathing and washing. It is going to be difficult even to raise the arms.

You might have drainage tubes attached. These tubes are usually present in the place for one week after the process. Once the dressings and gauze are removed, the surgical bra will be there for the next few weeks. This will help in controlling the swelling and ensure the breasts are in good alignment. Besides, the tissue gets the desired contour.

2-3 Weeks After Breast Reduction Surgery

The stitches will be removed after two weeks of your breast reduction surgery. However, the breasts will remain quite tender. The swelling and also bruising will slowly fade during your breast reduction recovery time. There might be a bit of dryness and itching in the area of surgery. Women are advised to reduce their sodium intake which can help in reducing the swelling. Increasing water intake is necessary so that toxins are flushed out from the body.

Most women are able to get back to their regular schedule after two weeks, but you should be doing something which is not strenuous and for which you do not have to exert yourself a lot. The body needs a lot of time to heal.

Breast Reduction Recovery Tips

Breast Reduction Recovery Tips After 1 Year

One year after your breast reduction surgery you should be in comfort. However, initially your breasts might seem to be fake as you still need time to adjust to your new self. Here are some tips to follow during your breast reduction recovery time after a year:

  • You need to wear the right kind of bra which offers your breasts enough support and comfort.
  • Have plenty of healthy food and try to stay away from junk food as much as you can.
  • Stay hydrated which will help in improving circulation and will help you to stay healthy and positive.

Follow the above breast reduction recovery tips, especially from your cosmetic surgeon and you will feel fine.

How Can You Care for Yourself At Home?

Just after your breast reduction surgery, you need to do a number of things to quicken your recovery process.

Physical Activity

  • You need to take plenty of rest and stay away from strenuous activities. You should refrain from all rigorous activities for at least six weeks.
  • Ensure that you are walking at least thirty minutes in a day. You do not have to walk briskly but moderate pace walking is enough. This will also prevent the formation of blood clots and reduce inflammation.
  • You should not lift anything which is more than six pounds


  • You need to take all medicines suggested by your Doctor.
  • You shouldn’t take aspirin or any medicine which contains aspirin during the period.
  • If you are suggested to apply creams and gels, ensure that you do it regularly and with clean hands.


  • You need to have a balanced diet so that you do not experience constipation. Include plenty of fiber in your diet.
  • You should increase your water intake. Constipation often occurs due to decreased activities.
  • You need to include raw fruits and plenty of fresh leafy vegetables in your diet. This will help in building your immunity.
  • Try and reduce your sodium intake. Excess sodium in the body can cause water retention and which will also be increasing the swelling.
  • Do not skip meals even if you do not feel well. Skipping meals will make you unhealthy and lower your immunity, which will slow down your healing process.

Care for Stitches

  • You need to ensure that the incision area or the surgical area is clean. Keep checking the stitches regularly so that you are alerted as soon as you find any sign of infection. Taking care of incision area is necessary so that infections are avoided.
  • You need to wear the right bra for at least six weeks. Stay away from underwire bras which can irritate the stiches and cause infection and pain.
  • If you feel that the area around the stitches is dry, you can apply a bit of moisturizer after six weeks. But, consult your doctor before applying anything.
  • You need to visit your Doctor after a specific time to get the stitches and the incision area inspected. This will ensure that the recovery is just as desired.

Recovery From Breast Reduction FAQs

  • How painful are the breasts after breast reduction?

Women might experience pain in the initial one or two days. This pain can be managed with pain medications. However, the pain starts reducing after a week after you have taken different types of medications for it.

  • How long is recovery from breast reduction?

Breast reduction recovery does take a lot of time and you should give your body that required time. You should start feeling better after a week. However, full recovery might take six months in case of many women.

  • Are there any kind of risks from breast reduction?

Rarely there is any risk. Women who smoke are at a risk due to improper blood flow throughout the body due to smoking habits.

  • What is the long-term effect of breast reduction surgery?

A year or more after the breast reduction surgery women feel assured that everything is fine and lead an active lifestyle. There is no discomfort felt and women look youthful and cheerful.

Last, but not the least please read the pros and cons of breast implants before any decision.


Breast reduction surgeries under experienced surgeons are always successful as they consider all essential factors before the surgery. Women feel joyful and confident after the recovery process. However, it is necessary that all postoperative instructions of the surgeon are followed before and after the surgery. It helps in quick healing and assures best possible appearance of your breasts. But remember, that the body needs a good healing time and it cannot always be rushed.

Whether it is breast implant or breast reduction, if you do not wish to go the surgical way, you still have several options to try out. Breast enhancement pills are often found to be helpful for women who wish to increase their bust size in the non-surgical way. Try these out – they might make a difference.

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Last updated on December 17th, 2019

Chris Riley

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