Cosmetic Surgery Tips

3 weeks post breast reduction surgery

3 weeks post breast reduction surgery, I’m feeling great!

I know that sounds weird, but I just had an operation on my breasts and now I’m feeling… normal. It’s hard to describe the relief of having this procedure done. When you’re a woman with large breasts, it’s like you’re always thinking about them. You worry about whether they’ll fit in clothes or if they’ll get in your way when you try to do something physical (like running). You wonder if people are looking at them, or what they think of them.

And then there are the physical issues—like back pain and shoulder pain from carrying around so much weight. Or the fact that when you go swimming, your boobs stick out of the water like two giant buoys. Or how much it sucks to wear a bra that costs $100+ because it’s designed specifically for people with big boobs (and how those bras make it even worse when they don’t fit right).

I had nightmares about my boobs since puberty—nightmares where they grew bigger and bigger until they were so heavy that I couldn’t stand up anymore; nightmares where they kept growing until they were so big that I couldn’t see over them without leaning forward…

3 weeks post breast reduction surgery

5 Stages of Healing after Breast Augmentation

Breast augmentation is one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures performed in the United States. Each year, hundreds of thousands of women experience the life-changing benefits associated with an improved breast appearance.

Before moving forward with your procedure, it’s important to understand what to expect during every stage of the process. Breast augmentation is major surgery, and there is a significant recovery period. While the overwhelming majority of women find that it’s worth undergoing this lengthy healing process, you should be aware of the road to recovery that lies ahead of you.

Stage 1: The Day of Your Surgery

Breast augmentation is performed on an outpatient basis, and you will return home the day of your procedure. Since you’ll still be under the lingering effects of anesthesia, you’ll need to arrange for someone to drive you home. It’s also important to have someone around the house for the rest of the day in case you need assistance.

You’ll need to get plenty of rest and stay hydrated on this first day of recovery. We recommend that you set up a comfortable recovery area prior to your procedure. It should include:

  • Extra pillows and blankets for optimal comfort
  • A place to easily access water and snacks without bending over
  • Plenty of entertainment (movies, books, music) to keep you occupied while you relax

We recommend that you prepare some healthy, nutritious meals in advance that you can easily reheat since you won’t feel up to cooking. You should also fill all prescriptions in advance so that they’ll be on-hand when you get home from surgery.

Stage 2: First 5-7 Days after Surgery

This is typically the most uncomfortable phase of your recovery. It’s common to experience:

  • Bruising and swelling around the breasts which will gradually subside as you heal
  • Discomfort which can be managed with pain medication

You should start feeling much better towards the end of this first week of recovery. Dr. Lee encourages light walking as soon as you feel up to it. This will facilitate proper blood flow and help prevent blood clots. Always listen to your body and rest if you feel you need to.

Stage 3: 1-3 Weeks after Surgery

During this phase of recovery, you will be able to gradually resume your regular routine. In general, most women are able to return to work within one to two weeks after breast augmentation. If your job requires heavy lifting or other strenuous physical activity, you may need to take additional time off to ensure your body is sufficiently healed.

Bruising, swelling and discomfort should have substantially subsided by this point. Dr. Lee will carefully monitor your recovery and let you know when it is safe to resume normal activities and light exercise. Light cardio activities can be incorporated into your routine at this point, but you will still need to refrain from strenuous activities. When resuming exercise, it’s important to start slow and gradually ramp up your efforts as your body gets stronger.

Stage 4: 4-6 Weeks after Surgery

By now, you will be sufficiently recovered to begin adding more strenuous activity back into your routine. Always wait until Dr. Lee tells you it is safe to resume specific activities to prevent complications.

Intense cardio and lower body exercises can be resumed after about four weeks. However, you’ll need to refrain from heavy lifting and chest exercises until you are roughly six weeks out of surgery.

Stage 5: Final Results

It can take as long as three to four months before you are able to see your final results. This is due to the fact that it takes time for your breast implants to settle into their proper position and for all residual swelling to subside. While you’ll want to experience your new appearance as soon as possible, it’s important to be patient during this process.

Dr. Lee recommends waiting to purchase new bras and bikinis until your final results are visible since your breast size and appearance may still undergo slight changes for several months.

blem has occurred, such as infection.

When Can I Drive After Breast Reduction Surgery?

Most patients feel comfortable enough to drive after about one week from their breast reduction procedure. At this point the act of driving a vehicle and wearing a seatbelt across the chest is more comfortable. That said, you should avoid driving altogether until you have finished taking prescription pain medications.

How Soon Can I Exercise After Breast Reduction Surgery?

Rigorous exercise that engages the pectoral muscles should be avoided for at least four weeks. Walking, doing lower body exercises, and performing light non-impact aerobics may all be safe for you to do, but you should avoid using heavy weights and doing vigorous cardio for four to six weeks. By exercising too hard too fast, you can cause your incisions to separate or bleed, which can increase the risk of scarring. Once you are cleared to exercise, you should wear a quality sports bra.

How Much Time Will I Need off Work for My Breast Reduction?

Most patients with an office-based job take 10-14 days off from work to recover from their breast reduction surgery. This allows them enough time to focus on relaxing, managing any discomfort, and reducing post-operative swelling. After these first couple weeks, you should be able to drive yourself to work and feel more comfortable completing day-to-day tasks. If your job requires more strenuous activities, such as lifting heavy objects, you may need to take additional time off to allow for adequate healing time.

How Soon After Breast Reduction Surgery Can I Get Pregnant?

Although it is typically recommended for patients to wait to get cosmetic breast surgery until after completing their family, Dr. Zemmel and Dr. Reddy understand that procedures like breast reduction surgery can significantly improve a woman’s quality of life before they consider having children. Should you wish to conceive after reduction surgery, they recommend waiting at least three months post-surgery before trying to get pregnant. This allows internal and external sutures to properly heal and reduces the risk of potential complications.

If you are considering future pregnancies around the time of your breast reduction consultation, you should explain this to your plastic surgeon, so they can provide you with realistic expectations of how this may affect your long-term breast reduction results. This initial communication also ensures they can customize your surgical plan to minimize any contact with the nerves and milk ducts.

breast reduction recovery week by week


Breast Reduction Recovery Week by Week

When the size of the breasts causes pain, discomfort, or insecurity, breast reduction may help. Breast reduction surgery can create smaller, firmer breasts, improving patients’ appearance and confidence. As with any surgery, breast reduction requires some time for recovery. During private consultations, Dr. Dina Eliopoulos provides each patient with a personalized breast reduction recovery timeline. Contact Dr. Eliopoulos’ Center for Plastic Surgery in Chelmsford, MA practice to get more details on breast reduction recovery and find out what to expect after surgery.

Recovery after Breast Reduction

Every patient’s recovery experience is unique and will vary based on personal healing times, current health, lifestyle factors, and how well pre- and post-surgical instructions were followed. With that said, the following is a general timeline similar to what most patients will experience after breast reduction surgery.

The First Few Days after Surgery

Breast reduction surgery may be performed on an outpatient basis or may require an overnight hospital stay. Whether a patient goes home the day of surgery or stays overnight, patients can expect to feel some pain, discomfort, bruising, and swelling during the first few days of recovery due to manipulation of the breast tissues and incisions.

Pain medication will be prescribed to help manage discomfort during recovery. Drainage tubes may be placed to help remove excess fluid and reduce swelling. If drainage tubes are placed, they are generally removed after a few days. The breasts will also be bandaged and supported by an elastic bandage or a special bra to help keep the tissues in place and reduce strain.

The First Two Weeks after Surgery

Patients should expect to take a full week off of work after surgery and may require more time depending on personal healing times. Most people are recovered enough to return to their normal routines after two weeks, but strenuous activity and heavy lifting should be avoided for about four weeks. Stitches are typically removed one to two weeks after surgery and patients are advised to continue wearing a surgical bra.

Pain, bruising, and swelling may persist for a couple of weeks after surgery. However, these side effects should subside as the body heals. If pain or swelling becomes worse and is accompanied by redness, it may be a sign of infection or other complication and should be brought to your physician’s attention immediately.

The Next Few Weeks to Several Months

As healing progresses, pain, bruising, and swelling should continue to decrease. However, it may take six months to a year for swelling to fully resolve and the final results of breast reduction surgery to be seen. Additionally, it is important to be gentle with the breasts for the next four to six weeks to reduce the risk of complications and allow the breasts sufficient time to heal. Some patients may experience numbness or altered nipple and breast tissue sensation after surgery. In most cases, this is temporary and will resolve as the tissues heal, but in some cases, it may be permanent.

Are you just considering breast reduction? Or maybe you’re already set to undergo surgery? You need to be aware of the breast reduction recovery period.

The decision to undergo breast reduction surgery should not be taken lightly. Over 40,000 women choose to get a breast reduction surgery every year. They make the decision for a variety of reasons, including, but not exclusively, health problems.

The procedure reduces the size of your breasts. This has many benefits which could include reducing back and shoulder pain, and overall leading to a better quality of life for you. You may also find that you consequently feel happier with your appearance.

However, as always when making important life decisions, it’s important to have all of the relevant information available in front of you.

Know What to Expect

Breast reduction is a safe and standard procedure. And yet, as with other surgeries, it also requires a recovery time. Most women are eager for a speedy recovery so that they can return to work and everyday life.

And by knowing what to expect after the procedure, you can suitably prepare yourself for the recovery. Let’s go through the recovery time, the scars and bruises post-op, and finally, what you can do to speed up the recovery.

Breast Reduction Recovery Time

Breast reduction recovery takes time, but it’s important to have a good understanding of what to expect post-surgery. The surgery lasts for approximately anywhere between three to five hours. Most patients return home the same day as the surgery.

Let’s have a look at what to expect in the days, weeks and months after your breast reduction surgery.

The Days After Surgery

In the few days following your surgery, it’s normal to experience some pain and discomfort. Your breasts and areas around your breasts may be bruised and swell up. This is because the breast tissues and muscles have been stretched.

Most women experience the most pain during the first few days post-procedure. If necessary, your doctor can prescribe pain relief medicine to ease the pain.

Furthermore, as part of the recovery process, drainage tubes may be placed on your breasts to help reduce swelling. These are often removed within a few days following the surgery.

Medical experts advise women recovering from breast reduction to where special surgical bras to support the tissue during this period as well. Finally, it’s important to avoid any unnecessarily strenuous activity during this period.

The Weeks After Surgery

In the few weeks following surgery, much of the bruising and swelling experienced in the first few days should have subsided. In some circumstances, the discomfort and pain will continue but should be substantially less painful.

After a couple of weeks, the stitches are usually removed. And while the dressings and gauze may have been removed by now, it is highly recommended that patients continue to wear the special surgical bra to provide greater support.

During this period, most women have recovered sufficiently to return to work. However, to some extent, this depends on personal lifestyle, workplace environment and recovery times. For instance, if your work requires a lot of physical exercise, then a longer recovery time may be required.
If you continue to experience severe pain or the swelling worsens during the first few weeks after the procedure, then you need to seek medical attention immediately.

The Month After Surgery

In the month or so after the surgery, most women experience almost full recovery. Despite this, it’s advised that patients continue to be careful with their breasts; it may still be possible to get breast infections.

Between one and two months after surgery, the breasts will begin to feel natural and soft. And, while breast reduction recovery may be complete, the swelling could continue for up to a year.

​​​​​​​Breast Reduction Surgery and Scars

Many women are also concerned about the scars caused by the breast reduction surgery. And although your body may have fully recovered from the breast reduction surgery, unfortunately, the scars are likely to be permanent.

However, they won’t look anything like how they look directly after the surgery. In the initial months after the procedure, the scars could be lumpy and red for some time. They will gradually fade into white, faint lines.

Surgeons carefully place the incisions in less apparent areas of the breast. This means that it is still possible for women to wear bikinis and other low cut tops and dresses.

However, the post-surgery scars are mostly dependent on which type of breast reduction procedure is used. For instance, whether the incision is vertical or horizontal. For more information on the different types of surgery, speak with your doctor.

How to Reduce Recovery Time

Many women lead very busy and full lives. Because of this, it is only natural to want to know how to reduce the recovery time period.

And while it’s important to give yourself the necessary time for breast reduction recovery, there are also many steps you can take to reduce the recovery time. These steps include:

1. Don’t Smoke.
2. Stay Hydrated.
3. Don’t drink alcohol (especially within the first week after the surgery).
4. Let yourself rest and recover in the first few days following surgery.
5. Sleep in the upright position for the first few weeks after surgery.
6. Avoid physical and strenuous movements; e.g., lifting heavy objects.

If you follow the above recommendations, you’ll increase the probability of a safe and healthy recovery.

If you are still concerned about scarring and the breast reduction recovery time, it’s important to follow the instructions provided by the surgeon, doctors, and medical staff.

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