Even though it doesn’t get quite as much attention as the ever-popular breast augmentation, breast reduction is another frequently performed breast procedure that’s been able to help many women feel more comfortable in their skin. Whether you’re struggling with constant back, neck or shoulder pain or simply feel that the size of your breasts doesn’t match the rest of your body proportions, you might be thinking about getting a breast reduction.
If so, take a look at this guide for what to expect after breast reduction and how to keep stress to a minimum as you recover.
Pick a Plastic Surgeon You’re Comfortable With
Choosing the right plastic surgeon is half the battle when it comes to getting results you’ll love and enjoying a stress-free recovery.
Always check for board certification, and then narrow down your search based on breast reduction before and after photos, online reviews and how well you’re able to communicate with the plastic surgeon. If you’re more comfortable discussing your breast reduction goals with a woman, go with a top-rated female plastic surgeon.
Help Your SO Know What to Expect
If your husband or partner will be taking care of you for a few days while you recover from breast reduction and/or a breast lift, it’s not a bad idea to fill them in on what to expect, too. While you might be fully prepared for bandages, bruising and swelling, they might not be. It’ll be less of a shock if they know what to expect beforehand, which will ultimately make you less stressed as you recover.
Don’t Go Shopping Just Yet
After your breast surgery, you’ll likely be eager to hit the mall and buy all sorts of cute new bras to fit your new shape. But do yourself a favor and hold off on your shopping spree until you’ve fully recovered. Your breasts are still going to change in size and shape over the next weeks and months, so it’s best to wait before you spend money on new clothes.
Wear your surgical bra as instructed by your plastic surgeon during the first stage of breast reduction recovery.
Avoid Sleeping on Your Stomach
If you’re a natural stomach sleeper, you might want to try sleeping on your back for a few nights leading up to your surgery day, because sleeping on your stomach won’t be an option when you get home. Some women find that it’s more comfortable to sleep in a recliner for the first night or so after breast reduction. Or, try sleeping in your bed with your upper body propped up on a few pillows.
Follow Your Plastic Surgeon’s Recovery Instructions
Your plastic surgeon should send you home with detailed recovery guidelines, like how long to wear your surgical bra, how to care for your bandages, when drains will be removed and how long to avoid heavy lifting and strenuous exercise. Do your best to follow your surgeon’s post-op instructions as closely as you can to help make your healing process as smooth and seamless as possible.
Be Patient with Your Results
Remember that it’s going to take a few months for your body to fully heal after your breast enhancement, so don’t be alarmed if your breasts look or feel a little strange as you recover. Over the next weeks and months, you should notice gradual changes in your breast shape, size and position.
Dr. Jennifer Harrington is a board certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon and an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota. Harrington Plastic Surgery is pleased to offer the most advanced cosmetic and reconstructive techniques performed by a highly specialized all-female team of board-certified plastic surgeons and professional staff.