27th February 2023
How Long Is Breast Reduction Surgery Recovery?Dr. Devan Patel, PharmD
Have you been considering having breast reduction surgery but are unsure of what your recovery period will look like? The process and timeline are different for every person, but it's good to know the basics of your journey.
Breast Reduction Surgery is a standard procedure, which can help improve the size of your breasts while minimizing discomfort. It also helps get rid of back pain and strain on your neck due to large, heavy breasts. During the process, excess fat, glandular tissue, and skin are removed to reduce the size and weight of your breasts so they are more proportional to your body type.
Recovering from breast reduction surgery is an essential part of improving your overall well-being, as it will determine how long before you can enjoy the full benefits of this procedure. So how long does it take to recover?
In this article, we break down what goes into recovery time with breast reduction surgery - from preparation to aftercare – so that you can be prepared for what lies ahead post-op.
How Long Does It Take To Recover From a Breast Reduction?
The majority of women should be capable of going back to their typical activities around two to three weeks after undergoing a breast reduction. These activities may be household work, some types of exercise, and going back to their job. Women with office jobs may be able to get back to work roughly a week following the procedure.
Recovery from breast reduction surgery has two phases, an early recovery phase and a late recovery phase. The short recovery phase typically lasts about three weeks. The long-term recovery phase can last anywhere from 3-6 months or longer.
Below is what to expect during each phase.
Phase One of Breast Reduction Surgery Recovery: Short-Term Recovery
The first phase of breast reduction surgery recovery begins immediately when you're in post-op. Most women should expect to stay in the hospital for at least two nights before going home. Your surgeon or medical team should provide you with instructions on how to care for your surgical incisions, how to wear your support bra, and prescribe you any medications you may need to fight infection and relieve pain.
Your doctor may even recommend a dietary supplement like WoundVite to ensure you are getting proper nutrients to help speed up your recovery.* WoundVite is a multi-nutrient supplement that contains ingredients backed by science for supporting wound recovery post-op.* These nutrients may work together to increase healing rate and reduce scarring.*
You'll also be instructed to get plenty of rest, refrain from strenuous activity, and wear your support bra at all times (except when showering) to ensure your breasts heal properly.
In week two you should feel and see improvement in your breast reduction recovery. You will need to continue taking care of your incisions and wearing your support bra. If you work a desk job, you may be able to return to work at this time. By week two you should also be able to perform more light activities, like walking around the house.
Phase Two of Breast Reduction Surgery Recovery: Long-Term Recovery
One-month post-breast reduction surgery you may start to feel more normal. You may be able to resume most of your normal daily tasks like chores and low-impact exercise. However, strenuous activity is not recommended.
During this time, you will also see a noticeable improvement in your breasts as well as notice the physical benefits of your breast reduction surgery, such as less neck and back pain. You should continue to wear your support bra.
After two months, most of your normal activities can be resumed, including sports such as jogging, yoga, and swimming. Though you should mostly be mended by now, it is still advised to wear the support bra until the end of 6-8 weeks to allow your breasts to fully heal and settle in properly. After that, you should be able to wear normal bras and sports bras again.
Breast Reduction Surgery Recovery Tips
The best advice to follow for a speedy recovery post-breast-reduction surgery is to listen to your body. Take care of yourself by giving your body the rest and recuperation it needs. Don't overdo it or strain yourself trying to do too much too soon. If you feel pain, soreness, or discomfort of any kind, take a step back. Give yourself time to heal, no matter how long that takes.
Also, make sure to follow your doctor's instructions. Failure to do so could lead to possible complications, which can impede your healing time. Be patient, follow your doctor's guidance, and let your body heal properly.
Breast reduction surgery is an important decision to make that can greatly benefit a woman's life. Recovery looks different for everyone, but most women will experience similar events. Do your best to prepare ahead of time for your recovery to make it a smoother, less painful process.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease