Breast reduction surgery is growing in popularity in the UK and is often considered by those who are dissatisfied with the size, shape or positioning of their breasts, or who are suffering secondary issues as a result of the mass of their breasts, such as back, shoulder or neck ache. Many who chose this procedure also find that their self-confidence is being affected by the size and shape of their chest in relation to the rest of their body.
A breast reduction can take up to six hours to perform the operation and is quite a significant procedure involving the removal of excess tissue, fat and skin from the breasts, repositioning the nipple and reshaping the remaining breast tissue. If this operation is something you are considering, here’s what you need to know about what to expect from the operation and the immediate recovery period.
Breast reduction recovery: you will feel sore straight afterwards
Owing to the nature of the operation and the amount of work required to remove part of the natural breasts, reshape and reposition them, you will feel sore once you wake up from the anaesthetic. There will be some degree of fluid retention so you will be hooked up to tubes which drain the excess fluids, which is important to keep the swelling to a minimum. Your breasts will be bruised and swollen underneath the bandages but you will be given pain relief to help manage this initially and you should expect to remain in hospital for a few days.
Breast reduction recovery: it takes longer to recover from a reduction than an enlargement
The healing process will take longer for this type of operation; it is usually several months before your breasts are fully healed. You will need to rest properly for the first week or so and then gently get back to normal activities, making sure that you don’t overdo it. Within three weeks or so you should be feeling much better and able to do most of the things you could do pre-operatively. Take it easy with regards to sports and always check with your surgeon first if you have any concerns.
Sports which are high impact (racket sports for example) should be eased back into gently but only once your breasts have had sufficient healing time, which for many will be a minimum of four to six weeks.
Breast reduction recovery: adapting your lingerie
As with those who have had their breasts enlarged, special supportive underwear is recommended (this is worn in the day and the night) to help give your breasts sufficient support. This type of underwear will also be much more comfortable while you are healing as it is specially designed for support and comfort.