Breast Reduction Recovery - Tips for Managing and Coping after Your Procedure
posted on 6/25/2012
While it may not be as popular as the breast augmentation procedure, the breast reduction procedure is the only way to reduce the size and volume of the breasts permanently. The procedure is performed under general anesthesia so you may experience some common side effects of the anesthesia itself, as well as the effects of a somewhat traumatic surgery. Knowing what to expect from your procedure can help you get through the recovery process with as little discomfort as possible.
Here are some useful tips for managing and coping with the breast reduction recovery process:
Right After Your Breast Reduction Procedure
You may have sutures and fluid drainage tubes around the incision sites after a breast reduction procedure and these will need to be removed within a week of your surgery. You need to be especially careful about protecting these incision sites during the first week of recovery. Don’t sleep on your stomach and avoid touching or rubbing the chest area. It can be difficult to take a shower or bath by yourself during the first week, so you may need a family member or a nurse to help you. Since it will be difficult for you to lift your hands above your head, you might need a friend, family member, or a hairstylist to wash your hair.
Make sure to follow your surgeon’s guidelines for taking prescription medication after your procedure and report any unusual side effects immediately. Remember that you will need to take one to two weeks off from work to rest and heal from this procedure.
Managing the Swelling after the Breast Reduction Procedure
Swelling of the breast tissue is quite common and can even make the breasts appear misshapen. However, this will subside as the tissue heals and there are several things you can do to help with the swelling. These include:
- Drinking lots of water and calorie-free beverages to stay hydrated
- Avoiding alcohol and caffeine
- Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet that is low in sodium
- Getting as much sleep as possible
- Avoiding excessive stretching or vigorous exercise routines
- Avoiding medications that can interfere with the healing and recovery process
- Wearing your compression garment for the first few weeks after your procedure
Remember it can take up to six months to see the full results of your procedure. Any weight gain or pregnancy after a breast reduction will affect your results.
Take a look at these breast reduction before and after photos from doctors in your area.