What does recovery from breast reduction surgery involve?

This is an important time for you. This is where you will need lots of rest, no stress or physical activity and plenty of fluids. You might not feel like eating, especially for the first few days but make sure you drink plenty of fluids such as bottled water. When you do feel like eating then have light snacks only to start with.

If you have made arrangements as listed in section 13: ‘How do I prepare for my breast reduction surgery?’; then, all you have to do is to concentrate on recovering from your surgery. If you have children then they will have to allow Mum to get well and not bother her for the first few days. If your partner or family can take over things for you during this time then that is a big help.

For the first few days you will be very tired, a bit down in the dumps and emotional as well. Surgery is a stressful situation and this is an entirely normal reaction to the physical and mental stress. It helps if you have someone to talk to during this time.

Allow your body to heal. Do not undertake anything strenuous or that requires you to bend or stretch. You will be spending a great deal of time watching television, lying in bed or resting on the sofa. You will not feel like going out. The only time you will go out is to attend your follow up appointments.

Keep the surgical wounds around the breasts as clean as possible as this will help to prevent infection. However, avoid having a bath or submerging the entire wounds under water until they are fully healed. Showers are a safer bet at this time. Make sure that you don’t spray any deodorant or apply any lotions to the wounds.

Your breasts will feel sore for the next couple of weeks but this will ease. Avoid sleeping on your front until they have healed.

What you will notice is when your have your first period following surgery that your breasts will swell which will be painful. This is a normal response to menstruation and is unlikely to happen at your next period.

You can return to work after two weeks. If you have a desk job then you can resume your normal duties; but if your job involves physical activity then take it easy to start with.

If you play sport or exercise in general then you are looking at two months before you can return to these.

When you return to work after a couple of weeks you can go swimming or walking. Maybe even do some gentle stretching. What you will find is that your stamina and fitness levels will be lower than usual for a few weeks. So, go swimming as a means of maintaining your fitness. During this time you will need to wear a good sports bra, preferably one that fastens up at the front.

Ideally, abstain from sex for at least a week as sexual arousal can cause the breasts to swell which will be painful.

You may notice some decreased or loss of sensation around the nipples. This usually lasts for a couple of months although it can be longer in some people. If the nipples were moved during your surgery then there is a chance that this loss of feeling will be permanent. This risk will have been pointed out to you during your consultation.

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