Breast Reduction recovery after surgery

Recovery after breast reduction surgery will take time.  There will be some swelling and bruising, and you should follow your surgeon’s instructions carefully to minimise discomfort and shorten the healing process.  Discuss any concerns and problems you may have during the consultation sessions after your breast reduction.  It can take up to a year for all of the swelling to go down and for the final breast reduction surgery results to be seen.

You will need to wear an elastic bandage or surgical bra over the dressings for the first few days after breast reduction surgery, and the surgical bra will need to be kept on during the breast reduction recovery period.

After your breast reduction surgery you should refrain from heavy lifting or strenuous activity for several weeks.  Most women can return to work about two weeks after a breast reduction.  Your surgeon will instruct you to abstain from sexual activity for a week or more, as sexual arousal can cause swelling around the incisions.

Contact with the breasts after breast reduction surgery should be gentle, and you should be aware that your breasts may become tender during the first menstrual period.  There may be some numbness or increased sensitivity of the skin and nipple area for up to a year after breast reduction.

It is important to monitor the sites of your incisions for infection after your breast reduction. It is important to keep your wound clean to prevent infection. Avoiding and treating any infections quickly can help to shorten healing time and reduce the appearance of scars.

Some of the best ways of avoiding infection are:

  • Wash your hands well, especially before and after cleaning the wound.
  • Take your antibiotics correctly.
  • Once you are permitted to, shower and clean the wound with a mild antibacterial soap, and let the incision dry before applying clean dressings.
  • Do not use any ointments on your breast reduction incisions that your doctor has not recommended.

    Need medical advice?

    Schedule an appointment for the same day or within 48 hours with an urgent GP referral.

    GP referral is required for all appointments except for mammogram screening.

    Call us on 0800 78 62 75
    or 09 520 0389


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