Before your breast reduction surgery, the essential points you need to consider would include the reputation of your surgeon, the surgical technique to be performed, and the facility where the operation would take place. However, after the surgery, the ball to your full and successful breast reduction recovery is in your court. Your recovery period after reduction mammoplasty surgery will affect how your breasts look over time. Knowing how to take care of your surgical wounds, how to manage your pain, and when to return to work, exercise, and other activities will help you obtain the best possible appearance after breast reduction.
Breast reduction recovery: What Is reduction mammoplasty?
Breast reduction surgery, also known as reduction mammoplasty, is a cosmetic and reconstructive treatment procedure that removes excess breast fat, glandular tissue, and skin to make overly-large breasts proportioned to the patient’s body. It is performed under general anaesthesia. As with any major surgery, breast reduction surgery has a significant recovery period, and the things you do during this critical period would affect the overall results of your operation.
Breast reduction recovery: How to best recover from your surgery
After your breast reconstruction, you will be given postoperative instructions. Follow them sensibly so you can heal on time and without delay. The doctor’s orders will include the types of medication that you can apply to the surgical area, prescribed oral medications to take to help in healing, alleviating pain and discomfort, as well as reducing the risk of infection. Your surgeon will also give directions and orders about when to follow-up and return to his office for monitoring purposes.
Breast reduction recovery: What to expect during the first week
You will come around from the procedure in the recovery room wearing wound dressings around your breasts supported by compressions bandages and a support bra that helps protect the surgical site and somehow help form the newly-shaped breasts. If no complications are observed after the surgery and your overall health is stable, you may be allowed to go home provided that you have someone to drive you home and assist you for a few days. Make sure to make arrangements to have some help in the days to follow after your operation, because you are expected to have limited movements and have complaints of pain and discomfort by this time.
All surgery procedures have incisions, and surgical wounds are always present, so make sure to follow the wound care instructions your doctor orders you. There will be sutures and possible drain tubes that will stay attached to your surgical area for at least a week after the procedure or until complete drainage of the wound is established. Once the wound dressings have been removed, you can just use a surgical bra as support and protection for the next several weeks. This helps in controlling the swelling and supporting the breasts in proper alignment, allowing the tissue to conform to the desired breast shape and contour.
Breast reduction recovery: What to expect in the weeks following your surgery
Two weeks after surgery, your surgical stitches are anticipated to be removed. You may still feel breast tenderness and discomfort, along with noticeable swelling, bruising. However, you can also observe that these symptoms are gradually improving over time. You may also experience and complain about feeling itchy and having dry stretched-out breast skin as they heal.
The breast swelling may be alleviated by reducing their sodium intake and increasing their water intake so that they can effectively flush and get rid of excess fluids in the body. Some patients may be allowed to return to work by this time, although strict work restrictions and limitations are still imposed. Keep in mind that you should avoid lifting heavy objects for several weeks after the procedure, and you should avoid any strenuous activity that would affect your chests for at least six weeks, allowing your body to heal.
Breast reduction recovery: Long-term recovery considerations
Not everyone may have the same breast reduction recovery experience. Some may recover from the surgery differently from the others. For example, some patients may feel either hypersensitivity or numbness around the surgical area. Some would develop visible scars, and some would heal with lightened and faded marks, but sadly, these scars will not completely disappear. Discuss with your plastic surgeon all your concerns and issues so he can guide you properly on what else to expect after your breast reduction surgery.