October 19, 2015
Some women may have very large breasts which tend to be disproportionate and can cause neck pain, back pain or other such discomforts. Such women can consider getting a breast reduction surgery done. This surgery is also termed as reduction mammoplasty. Hereby, some tissue and skin from the breasts is removed so that your breasts are reduced in size and are also reshaped for a better profile. Nowadays this is a very safe and common procedure which is becoming increasingly popular. Moreover, the area around the nipple might also get smaller as a consequence of this surgery.
Breast reduction surgery is a pretty, safe and common procedure. However, it is a major surgery indeed and you would require some time and appropriate care to recover. If you are thinking along the lines of getting this surgery done then it is important that you have a very clear idea of what to expect from the surgery as well as the approximate healing time required. Being armed with adequate knowledge will help you to cope up with the surgery and its aftermath in a better manner.
Recovering from a Breast Reduction Surgery
Soon after the surgery is done, your breasts may appear swollen and lump-like. They would feel really tender too. Yet after a few weeks or months, the final shape of your breasts would become apparent. In this surgery, your entire breast tissue is disrupted so it needs considerable time (almost half a year) for your breasts to heal and for the swelling to subside.
Initial Stage after the Surgery
Initially, once the surgery is done, you will have your breasts bandaged up for some hours. Also, plastic tubes would be attached to them so that blood can be drained away easily. The tubes would be removed after a couple of days and once they are removed you would usually be allowed to go home. Moreover, you would also be experiencing a certain level of discomfort, soreness and pain. Yet the pain medications prescribed by your surgeon can help take care of this.
You need to remember that recovery from this breast reduction surgery isn’t going to be a piece of cake. It is going to take considerable time and hereby we have plotted out a timeline to help you with this recovery period.
The First Couple of Weeks
It has already been mentioned above that you would experience swelling and tenderness in your breasts during the first couple of weeks, but it would eventually subside with time. During these weeks, you can apply any moisturizer onto your breasts to keep them from drying and consequently itching. However, you have to be careful not to apply it onto the incision sites.
The patient has to wear bandages onto her breasts in the initial two to three days following the surgery. A surgical bra with a gauze can also be used in favor of an elastic bandage. The bandage and dressings would probably be removed after the first couple of days but the surgical bra has to be worn for the remaining recovery period. After these two weeks, the surgeon might also remove your stitches.
Although, it is possible for you to return to your work/job after almost two weeks, yet you ought to avoid any strenuous physical activity or lifting of any heavy objects.
Also, during this time period the patient should refrain from any sexual activity. The reason behind this abstaining is that sexual arousal can cause the incision sites to inflammate which can thus cause complications.
The First Couple of Months
You should handle your breasts gently for approximately 4 to 6 weeks. Moreover, patients need to be aware of this fact that their breasts might become very tender and may undergo swelling in their very first menstrual period following the breast reduction surgery. During these periods of menstruation, some women have also complained of occasional bursts of pain.
After surgery, some peculiar feelings which you might come across are altered feelings about your breasts. These altered sensations may include numbness for some women and hyper sensitivity for others. These sensations can at times become permanent side effects of breast reduction surgery.
Seeking Medical Advice
The recovery period of every individual varies from the other. You can therefore seek medical advice to ensure when is the right time for you to return to your work and resume the normal activities of your daily routine. Depending upon the intricacies of your situation and the progress rate of your recovery, the doctor can also guide you about the appropriate time to start driving, start exercising etc.
Time required for the Reduction of Scars
YOU HAVE TO EXPECT A CERTAIN DEGREE OF SCARS AFTER THE BREAST REDUCTION SURGERY. Getting rid of these scars from scratch is not possible and so you need to be realistic about it. In the beginning these scars would appear red and lumpy, however, they would begin to fade after some time and in a matter of few months would be reduced to white, thin lines. The best solution for this is to convey your reservations and expectations to your surgeon prior to the surgery so that the incisions could be made accordingly. The surgical technique deployed by your surgeon has a lot to do with the reduction of scars.
However, you aren’t totally free from responsibility, Women who smoke a lot might experience that their scars become wider over time instead of fading. Patients also have to be very particular about their post-operative care and monitor the incision sites very carefully. This close monitoring would help prevent any infection in these incision scars. Taking care of these incisions and taking proper measures to prevent infections would not only speed up the healing process but it would also reduce the appearance of scars.
Every person heals differently and the worst thing you can do is rush a recovery. Just take care of yourself and allow your body to follow its natural healing pattern. Hopefully, you will end up with pretty satisfactory and pleasant results after your breast reduction surgery.
Dr. Amjadi MD, DDS, FACS
Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons
915 Gessner Rd #870
Houston, TX 77024
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