What will happen after my breast reduction surgery?

You will be taken to a special recovery room following your surgery. Once there, medical staff will monitor your recovery from the anaesthetic and your progress in general. They will check your heart rate and pulse at regular intervals.

If anything goes wrong then these staff are trained to deal with any complications that may arise. This is unlikely but things can wrong.

Once they are satisfied with your recovery then you be returned to your room. A nurse will inspect the dressings and will also check your blood pressure. You will have drainage tubes in place and he/she will also check those. You will notice that you are wearing a special surgical bra which you will have to wear for a couple of weeks. 

You may be given another injection of Heparin which is a blood thinning agent. Another way of preventing the formation of blood clots is to move around and you will be encouraged to do this as soon as you can.

You will have to remain in hospital or a clinic for a couple of days. For the first 24 to 48 hours following your surgery you will feel sick and dizzy not to mention being very tired. This is a normal reaction to general anaesthesia. If you need anything during this time then ask the nursing or medical staff.

Your breasts will feel sore, bruised and swollen but you will be given pain relief to control this. If the wounds have been stitched with dissolvable stitches then these will disappear. If clips have been used then these will be removed five days after surgery. The bandages will be removed a couple of days after surgery but you must continue to wear the surgical bra for the next few weeks. This bra must be worn for 24 hours a day for the next month.

There is the risk of infection so you may be given antibiotics to prevent this. If the skin around the breasts is very dry then you can apply moisturiser but be careful not to smear it onto the stitched areas.

Your breasts will feel sore for the next few weeks but this will ease. The scar tissue will take a long time to heal. You are looking at six to 18 months before they are fully healed.

Your surgeon will visit you during your stay in hospital to check on your progress. He/she will advise you on what to do when you get home and how long it will be before you can go back to work. The message is: take it very easy, no exercise and plenty of liquids.

Once he/she is satisfied with your progress then you are ready to go home. You will be given a ready supply of painkillers and any other medications if required. You will also be given the date and time of your first follow up appointment.

Have someone drive you home from the hospital or clinic.

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