It’s important to have a friend or family member accompany you on the day of surgery, so they can provide you with a ride home and same-day after care. This person should ideally stay with you for at least a day after surgery to keep an eye on you and assist with essential duties, such as administering medication, helping you get up when necessary, and taking care of household duties. After the procedure, the patient will have the area covered with bandages or dressings and drainage tubes may be inserted to help prevent fluid retention. Patients are usually also provided with a support bra or elastic bandage to wear during the healing process.
Those who have breast reduction can expect inflammation, bruising, and discomfort to last approximately six weeks. Patients should wear their support garment for this entire time, but the garment may be changed depending on the healing progress. Pain medication will be prescribed and is recommended for at least the seven days after surgery. After this, many women find that over-the-counter medications are enough to relieve discomfort for the next few weeks.
Drink plenty of water, stay hydrated, and avoid alcohol for at least the first several days after surgery. You should also avoid smoking for several weeks. When sleeping, support your upper body with pillows and keep your breast area at a 30-degree angle for the first few weeks post-surgery. During the first week or two, you should also avoid any activities that could strain your incisions, such as lifting heavy objects, bending over, or lifting your arms above your head. Consult Dr. Anous’ office immediately if you experience excessive inflammation, swelling, or fever, as these could be the signs of an infection.
Though each patient is different, most find they can go back to work within two weeks, depending on the level of activity involved in their job. They can also start exercising lightly three to four weeks after surgery, though heavy exertion is not recommended until the healing process is complete. Once the breasts are fully healed, there will be visible scars that will continue to fade during the year post-surgery. These scars should be easily hidden beneath swimsuits, bras, or other undergarments.