How to Achieve Successful Breast Reduction Recovery

Breast reduction can have incredible benefits, enhancing your appearance, self-confidence, and quality of life all at the same time. Nevertheless, if you are nervous about the recovery process, you may hesitate to undergo treatment. Fortunately, healing can be a relatively easy process, especially with Dr. Suzanne Yee’s detailed and personalized post-operative instructions. A full breast reduction recovery can take several months, but in most cases, you can return to work ten to fourteen days after surgery. Plus, at Laser & Cosmetic Surgery in Little Rock, AR, Dr. Yee uses the most conservative techniques and incision patterns possible. Thus, she can minimize discomfort and the visibility of scars.

A woman raises her arms and examines her breast
Most patients can return to work within about two weeks of surgery.

Breast Reduction Side Effects

Although Dr. Yee utilizes gentle and precise techniques, like every surgery, breast reduction does have some side effects.

  • Swelling: Following surgery, fluid and blood will accumulate around your breasts. This is a natural part of the healing process, since blood carries important nutrients to the site. Swelling will typically peak three to four days after breast reduction, and it tends to recede significantly after a week. Compression bandages can help keep it under control.
  • Bruising: Bruising is also most noticeable around day three or four. It rarely lasts more than a few weeks. The degree and size of bruises can vary.
  • Inflammation: Your breasts will likely be sore and the incision locations will be inflamed. Dr. Yee will prescribe medications to minimize discomfort.
  • Scarring: During breast reduction surgery, Dr. Yee will create incisions in order to remove excess tissue. Often hidden in the folds of your breasts, scars will be virtually undetectable after the first year. 

Following a certain protocol can often shorten breast reduction recovery and make it go more smoothly. 

Your Breast Reduction Recovery Timeline

After breast reduction, you should rest as much as possible, particularly for the first day or two. Short, slow walks can be helpful, though you should avoid strenuous activity and even moderate housework. During this period, you will need to wear gauze and compression bandages. You may also have surgical drains, depending on your specific needs. The drains will be removed in two to four days. At this time, you can typically exchange the bandages for a compression bra that will help provide support and aid in your recovery.

In one to two weeks, you can typically return to work. The exact timeframe will depend on how well you heal and on the activity level involved in your job. It will usually be three to four weeks before you can resume your exercise routine. You should not begin working out until Dr. Yee gives her approval, and she may initially modify your regimen to prevent discomfort or damage to your breasts. In most cases, you will no longer have any physical limitations after four to six weeks. Complete healing could take up to a year, and it may take that long for all swelling to subside. However, you should enjoy the cosmetic and health benefits of breast reduction long before this time.

Making Recovery as Easy as Possible

Following a certain protocol can often shorten breast reduction recovery and make it go more smoothly. Dr. Yee will provide guidelines at your initial consultation, including instructions for the periods both before and after surgery. These instructions may include guidance such as:

  • Stop smoking several weeks beforehand since nicotine can interfere with blood flow and natural healing.
  • Do not take blood thinners or other medications that act as blood thinners (like ibuprofen)
  • Avoid alcohol and eat a healthy, nutrient-rich diet in the weeks leading up to your surgery.
  • After breast reduction, recline with your torso slightly elevated and wear your compression garments as instructed.
  • Stay hydrated and avoid excess amounts of sodium.
  • Attend all checkups with Dr. Yee so she can monitor your healing and treat any unlikely complications right away.

Begin Preparing for Your Treatment

Breast reduction recovery is different for everyone. Your recovery process will depend on your body's ability to heal and the extent of your surgery. To learn more about what you can expect, contact us online to schedule a consultation. You can also call (866) 459-0214 to speak with a member of our staff. 

Dr. Suzanne Yee

Suzanne Yee, MD

Dr. Suzanne Yee is a triple board-certified plastic surgeon in Little Rock, AR, who offers a wide variety of surgical and non-invasive treatments. Dr. Yee is affiliated with several prestigious organizations. Her memberships include:

  • Fellow of American Board of Cosmetic Surgery
  • Fellow of American Board of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery
  • Fellow of American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
  • Fellow of American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
  • Fellow of the American College of Surgeons
  • Fellow of American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, Inc.
  • Fellow of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
  • Fellow of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery

To schedule a consultation at our state-of-the-art surgical center, please contact us online or call (501) 224-1044.

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