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Aftercare & Recovery from Breast Reduction

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With regards to all surgery recovery periods often depend on the individual, breast reduction surgery is one of these types of surgery. You will be given a large amount of advice which is aimed at improving your recovery time and making the change in your lifestyle as easy as possible. You should follow at all times, all the advice you are given, and you should understand what is expected of you during your recovery period.

How long will it take to recover from a breast reduction?

Following your breast reduction surgery you should expect to stay in hospital for between 2 and 4 days. If you have had stitches which are required to be removed you will attend a follow up appointment between 7 and 14 days later for this to be done. If you have had disposable stitches the time these take to disappear varies greatly from person to person, the majority of people find that these stitches disappear around 2 to 3 weeks later. Your supportive dressing (if you have one) will be removed around one week after surgery, if you did not have a supportive dressing fitting you will be required to wear a support bra to ensure that your breasts are in the right position and supported well enough to reduce scar stretching, this should be worn for up to 6 weeks after surgery both day and night. Most women find it necessary to have between 2 and 4 weeks off work, as the recovery period varies greatly due to your own body as well as the type of surgery you have completed you should ask your health care team how long they advise you to take off work, as well as how long they expect it will take for you to recover, they will have a much more specific time period as they will be able to assess you. Your scarring will usually appear red and lumpy to begin with, they may be obvious for quite a few weeks, but they will then begin to fade to a purple type colour, and then eventually they will turn white, this can take quite a while, so you may need to be quite patient.

What should I expect during recovery?

Once you come around from surgery you may feel slightly dizzy and you should expect a feeling of nausea, this is usually due to the general anaesthetic wearing off. You may also find that you are in some discomfort and you may experience pain. You will however have access to medical antibiotics and pain relief during your hospital stay, these may delivered through a tablet method or through an injection. Antibiotics will be used to reduce any type of infection which may be present. You will also receive a substantial amount of advice to help you deal with all aspects of the after effects of surgery, you will be advised on how to care for your wounds, and how it is best to reduce any type of scarring, as well as reducing the risk of infection. You will have regular follow up appointments where your scarring will be checked for infection, and to ensure that they are healing correctly. You will not be able to lift heavy objects or stretch excessively for around 6 weeks, so if this is a requirement for your job you should ensure that your managers know about the restriction of duties you may have. You may also find that if during the healing process your scars may form skin folds at either end of a scar you may need to have additional surgery to have these folds removed.

Aftercare team

Many aftercare teams and packages may vary depending on where you are having your surgery completed; this area may require you to complete a lot of research just to ensure that you are receiving the best care package possible to you. Many clinics will offer you:

  • Unlimited check ups
  • Access to nurses via telephone or appointment
  • Revision surgery – free - where medically appropriate
  • 24 hour emergency telephone lines
  • Free access to specific medicine – antibiotics and pain relief where appropriate.

Most surgeries will offer the above care, however some may only offer specific follow up appointments or types of revision surgery, so you should be thorough with your research, and if necessary ask about this issue during any consultations you may have.

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