What are Some Recovery Tips After Breast Reduction?

woman's chest wearing lace bra

Breast reduction surgery can be life-changing for many women and men in NYC who have suffered from pain, discomfort, and other limitations due to a large amount of breast tissue. Many women may experience neck pain, back pain, or difficulty exercising due to large breasts, or they may find it difficult to find well-fitting clothing. A breast reduction procedure can make a dramatic difference, reducing or eliminating pain and boosting confidence and ease of movement.

In order to experience the best results and a smooth recuperation after a breast reduction, there are some recovery tips to keep in mind. Of course, Dr. Glasberg will provide you with detailed instructions and advice for your own recovery, but these are a few things that you can keep in mind to help you enjoy a successful outcome.

Choose the Right Bra

Immediately following your breast reduction procedure, your breasts will likely be bandaged or wrapped in gauze, and you may receive a special compression garment. Your surgeon will direct you as to how long to keep on the bandages and use any specialized items. Make sure to keep your compression garment in place for as long as your surgeon suggests in order to protect your breasts and smooth your recovery.

After this initial recovery period, you can switch to wearing bras. Here, a supportive, soft-cup bra, like a sports bra, maybe the best choice. This can help to hold the breasts in place, minimizing bruising and swelling. In most cases, you should also wear the bra while sleeping. Take care to avoid underwire bras, however, as they may inflame and irritate the incision area.

Take Care When Reclining

After your breast reduction, you may experience swelling that persists for several months. In fact, you may not immediately see the full results of your procedure due to this form of swelling. The swelling is a natural part of your recovery, and you cannot fully eliminate it. However, by keeping your chest elevated when sitting and sleeping, you may help to minimize the swelling. Placing pillows under your torso, rather than sleeping flat on your back or side, may help reduce swelling.

Get the Support You Need

When you first come home after a breast reduction procedure, don’t hesitate to ask your friends or family members for help. It is important to get rest after a surgical procedure to allow your body to heal. The first 72 hours after your surgery are particularly important, and a supportive person can help you to take your medication and deal with other daily living activities, such as caring for young children, cooking food, or ensuring that you take your medication on schedule.

Relieve Pain and Discomfort

Every person has a different experience after breast reduction surgery. While many women experience only mild discomfort, others may have more pain, especially in the period immediately following the procedure. Your surgeon will direct you to use over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers if needed. Take your medications as directed and prescribed, rather than waiting for the pain to become overwhelming, in order to help ease your recovery process. If you are prescribed other medication, such as antibiotics, take the full course as prescribed for the best possible results.

Stay Hydrated

Have a glass or bottle of water on hand with you after your surgery. Drinking plenty of water is always important for your health, but it can be especially important after surgery. Hydration helps your body clear anesthesia, avoid fluid retention, reduce swelling, and support healing.

Get Back to Work Successfully

Keep your limitations in mind in order to enjoy a successful recovery period. For example, it may be advised to take sponge baths for a period after your surgery and to avoid washing your hair by lifting your hands above your head. Follow these instructions and wait until cleared by your surgeon to take traditional showers. Your hairdresser may be able to perform hair-washing appointments as well.

You can expect to return to work around one to two weeks after your procedure, assuming your job does not include heavy, intense physical activity. Wait to resume your exercise routine and get the rest you need, although simple activities like walking around can help to boost your recovery.

The recovery period after breast reduction comes with some lifestyle changes, but the long-term results of this procedure provide significant improvement in the quality of life for many women and men in New York City. Contact the office of Scot Bradley Glasberg, MD, to set up an appointment for a consultation to learn more about breast reduction surgery.

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