Breast Reduction and the Recovery Process

Breast Reduction Surgery or reduction mammoplasty is a procedure performed on patients who desire to bring down their breast size for cosmetic or functional reasons. Large breasts can be disproportionate and create other problems such as back and neck pain, and can also make individuals self-conscious.

The surgery is a 3 to 5-hour long procedure. It involves removal of excess breast tissue, skin and fat, as well as the repositioning of nipples.

The recovery after the surgery is expected to chart the following course:

  • Depending upon the situation, the surgery is either an outpatient procedure or the patient is expected to stay in the hospital for a day or two.
  • Each patient is given post-operative instructions specific to their needs and condition. The final results of the surgery depend largely on how successful the recovery and healing period is.
  • The patient is expected to have slight bruising or swelling, which will subside in a few weeks. The doctor will prescribe painkillers, ointments, and gels to smoothen the healing process.
  • The patient will have bandages placed over the treated area until the sutures are removed. A surgical bra or an elastic band is to be worn by the patient at all times. Drainage tubes are also placed for a couple of days immediately after surgery to collect the discharged fluids.
  • The days immediately following the surgery are critical, and complete rest is recommended. Physical activity is limited, and assistance from a friend or family member may be required.
  • Patients are encouraged to eat simple, low sodium food with plenty of fluid intake.
  • The sutures will be removed after one or two weeks. The surgical bra is to be worn for weeks to ensure proper healing of the breasts and the desired outcome.
  • Work can be resumed by patients after adequate rest for two weeks. Strenuous or physically demanding activities cannot be performed for a period of at least six weeks.
  • The actual results of the procedure will become prominent after several weeks. The swelling and bruising are resolved by this time. Minimal scars are observed in a few cases.
  • Some patients experience sensitivity, itchiness, or dryness in the treated area. This resolves on its own with time, or the doctor can prescribe medications if required.
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