22nd of July 2015

Your Breast Reduction Recovery

Like most important things in life, preparation and planning are vital to your recovery following breast reduction surgery. You need to find time in your life to schedule this type of surgery as it is major surgery.

A full recovery will take 6-8 weeks. Depending on your type of work you should plan to have 3 weeks off work. So plan in advance!

On the day of surgery you will arrive at the hospital early (approximately 6am) fasted from midnight the night before. Your surgery will take 2-3 hours and you will wake up in recovery ward with a nurse by your side. You will have water-proof bandages and a post-surgical front opening bra. You may also have a drain tube coming from each breast depending on your breast size. The larger the breast the more likely it is you will have drain tubes.

Back on the ward that afternoon you will start to sip on ice water and then be encouraged to eat and drink and to walk around. You will be given a variety of pain relieving medication to ensure that you are comfortable. You will have a nurse regularly checking and caring for you. Dr Jane will check on you also.

The day following surgery Dr Jane will see you and answer any further questions. Your drain tubes will be removed and you can then go home.

At home, you will continue your antibiotics for 5 days. You will continue your strong pain relieving tablets but also take very regular panadol.

Leave the waterproof bandages in place. There is no need to change any bandages. Take the bra off to shower. Wear the bra day and night until review by Dr Jane. Feel free to get outside for gentle walks (15min) although no formal exercise is allowed for 4 weeks. Quiet socializing is allowed depending on how well you are feeling. Use your common sense.

Overall, you will probably feel very tied, aching and bruised. You will probably need a sleep during the day. Listen to your body, rest when you feel tied.

Your first post-operative appointment will be on the 6th day following surgery. Back in Dr Jane’s rooms Dr Jane will change all of your bandages, clean the breasts, re-tape and instruct you on the first stage of scar management. Dr Jane will also check your pathology report and discuss these results with you. You will be given confidential medical certificates if required and you will receive your receipts to claim your rebates. Another appointment will be made for you in either 1 or 2 weeks. At home you will continue your recovery weaning off any strong pain tablets although you may still require regular panadol for 3 weeks.

At your 6 week appointment all of the tapes will be removed and you will commence massage of the breasts and scars with Bio-oil which Dr Jane will provide for you. You will then have appointments made for 3 months, 6 and 12 months. Over this time frame the breast shape will settle, the scars will mature and the swelling will resolve.

Most women during their recovery will feel the benefits of breast reduction surgery immediately. Women usually immediately feel less neck and back pain. The say they feel ‘lighter’. Most women say “I wish I’d had this operation years ago.”