Disproportionately large breasts can be a source of discomfort for many women – both physically and emotionally – causing a range of issues including chronic back pain, nerve damage, skin irritation, and body image anxieties. A breast reduction procedure offers a positive solution by lightening, lifting, and firming your breasts.

If you decide a breast reduction is right for you, here are some important things you need to know about recovering after your procedure:


What to Expect in the Days and Weeks Following Your Breast Reduction

Before and after your procedure, your cosmetic surgeon will provide you with post-operative information and advice about how to recover as quickly and comfortably as you can:

  • Pain Management Medications

For the first few days at least, you’re going to feel sore and stiff. It’s important you take your prescribed medications in the dosages recommended by your surgeon to keep pain at bay. Remember, waiting to take medication until you feel pain means you’ve waited too long. Less discomfort will ensure an easier, quicker recovery.

  • Sleeping

At first, sleeping is probably going to be uncomfortable. You can make it easier for yourself by supporting your upper back and head with a few soft, fluffy pillows. This will help to relieve pressure on the treatment area and minimize swelling. Depending on how much you typically move around through the night, you may need to place pillows under your knees or around your torso – enveloping yourself in a sort of “recovery nest.”

  • Wearing Compression Garments

After your breast reduction, your cosmetic surgeon will instruct you to wear a surgical bra to reduce swelling and give your breasts the support they need to recover. You should continue wearing compression garments for as long as your surgeon recommends, which is typically about six weeks.

  • Bruising and Swelling

You should expect to see some swelling and maybe bruising in the days and weeks following your breast reduction. Swelling is a natural, normal reaction caused by fluids high in white blood cells and hemoglobin accumulating at the source to treat the perceived injury.

If swelling or bruising worsens noticeably, contact your cosmetic surgeon. You might be able to remedy the symptoms by increasing your fluid intake, taking gentle walks, using a topical arnica cream, getting a prednisone prescription, or another treatment.

  • Scarring

After a breast reduction, you’re going to have visible scars on your breasts. They’ll fade significantly over time but won’t disappear, though you’ll be able to cover them easily with a bathing suit or bra.

To reduce the appearance of scars, you can purchase topical creams. Oxygenetics line of skincare products, for example, aids in tissue reconstruction by systematically rebuilding collagen layers and encouraging your skin’s natural healing.

  • Resuming Normal Activities

Although you might be sore, your cosmetic surgeon will tell you to start moving around – taking short, gentle, and slow walks – as soon as you feel well enough. Lying still for too long can lead to blood clots and worsen post-procedure swelling.

You’ll be able to resume normal activities within a few days, however you shouldn’t engage in strenuous exercises for at least three to four weeks after your procedure. If the activity involves lifting your arms above your head, moving quickly, or carrying more than three kilograms, save it until you’re more fully healed and your surgeon gives you the green light.

Make sure you discuss any questions about post-procedure recovery with your cosmetic surgeon to ensure you heal comfortably and safely.

Long-Term Expectations following Your Breast Reduction

As you’re recovering, remember that your new breasts are going to need up to a year to take their final shape. In the meantime, they might be too big, too small, too low, or anything in between. Be patient with your body. Give it time to adjust to the changes, and you’ll be thrilled with the final result.

Once the dust has settled, you’ll find your breasts are lifted and shaped – making you comfortable in your own skin and giving you newfound confidence in your body.

The Brampton Cosmetic Surgery Center and Medical Spa has served the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) since 1994, and safely performs many breast augmentation procedures each year. Book a consultation today.

Visit our female breast reduction before and after gallery to see our results.

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About Dr. Robert Sleightholm

Dr. Robert Sleightholm is one of the founders of the Brampton Cosmetic Surgery Center and Medical Spa. He is the clinic’s Director of Surgery and, since its opening in 1994, has safely and successfully completed more than 200 cosmetic surgery procedures each year. An Ontario plastic surgery veteran, he is a board-certified Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada (FRCSC).

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