February 15, 2008, Newsletter Issue #57: Breast Reduction Recovery Period

Tip of the Week

Patients who opt to undergo breast reduction surgery may be having the procedure performed in an effort to improve their physical health but they will likely undergo a lengthy breast reduction recovery period before they can enjoy these benefits. It is important to note breast reduction is a surgical procedure and recovery from the procedure may take 4-6 weeks. Additionally, there may be swelling and loss of sensation in the nipples for up to six months.

In the first few days of breast reduction recovery the patient will likely experience discomfort, bruising and swelling. The patient will also likely be required to wear compression bandages and may have drains inserted to draw fluids away from the site of the surgery. The drains will likely be removed within the first week postoperatively and the compression bandages may be replaced by a compression bra after a couple of days. Prescribed pain medications should help to alleviate the discomfort associated with procedure and patients who have pain which does not respond to medications should report the sensation to the surgeon.

Most patients will feel well enough to return to work after 2-3 weeks but there may still be some limitations on physical activities which prevent the patient from participating in strenuous activities. After approximately 4-6 weeks the patient may be fully recovered from the procedure but swelling and loss of sensation in the nipples may persist for up to six months. Therefore, patients should refrain from judging the procedure until the swelling is gone to assure they are assessing the procedure accurately.

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