How to Reduce Bruising and Swelling after Breast Reduction

Tips to Minimise Bruising and Swelling after Breast Reduction Surgery

Breast reduction is a surgical procedure that helps you get smaller or lighter breasts, can make your body look more proportionate, and can help you reduce back and neck pain. While the procedure can help enhance your body and confidence, it comes with after-effects. Some of the most common side effects are bruising and swelling after breast reduction. This is your body’s natural response to surgical trauma. Taking steps to reduce bruising can result in a more comfortable recovery and help you feel at ease.

Sydney breast reduction surgeon, Specialist Plastic Surgeon Dr Scott Turner will work with you to achieve the most attractive and natural-looking breasts possible and also help you during the recovery period.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding breast reduction recovery, get in touch with us. Dr Scott Turner is committed to providing a premium patient care experience during the surgery as well as during the recovery phase. He and his team are available to answer any questions you might have.

Best Ways to Reduce Bruising and Swelling after Breast Reduction Surgery

Breast Reduction is a procedure with many benefits that can help eliminate both physical and psychological discomfort linked with heavy breasts. While swelling and bruising are quite common, they can make it difficult for you to see the final results of the procedure as soon as you might like. If you follow the pre and post-surgical instructions, provided to you by the medical team, you can minimise these side effects.

Here are some steps that can help reduce any issues associated with breast reduction surgery:

1. Wearing a Compression Bra

Invest in a high-quality compression bra. Dr Turner can guide you in this regard. For best results, you should wear a compression bra for at least a month after the surgery. Do not take it off even when you are sleeping. The right kind of compression bra will not only offer support to your new breasts but will also speed up the recovery by preventing swelling. A compression garment also aids with bruising by preventing blood from seeping out of the blood vessels.

While it is important to have plenty of rest after the surgery, light activity can also be beneficial when it comes to recovery. You can walk around the house a few days after the surgery. A little bit of movement will promote blood circulation, prevent blood clots and minimise post-operative swelling. Please avoid doing any intense activity such as high-intensity cardio, lifting heavy weights or anything that involves lifting your hands above the head. Dr Turner will guide you in regard to safe exercises after the surgery.

3. Use a Cold Pack

Cold compresses can help constrict your blood vessels, decrease blood flow and prevent fluid accumulation. All of these things not only help with swelling but also bruising. During the first three days post-breast reduction surgery, you should make sure to use wrapped ice packs. Be very careful and do not ice burn yourself – wrap it in a cloth. Apply cold compress several times a day, for the first three days post breast reduction to see an improvement.

Watch Dr Turner’s Breast Reduction Video

4. Sleep in the Correct Position

It is important to get adequate rest post-breast reduction surgery. A good night’s sleep is essential to your healing and overall health. The sleeping position is of critical importance post-breast reduction surgery. Sleep on your back with your upper body in an elevated position. Sleeping in a recliner for the first few days is recommended. You can also stack a few pillows underneath your head if you wish to sleep in your bed instead. This position ensures that you are not putting unnecessary pressure on your incisions.

5. Pay Attention to Your Diet

Good nutrition is critical to your body’s healing process. The right foods will not only prevent swelling and minimise bruising but also help you recover faster. Make sure to have a healthy diet that is rich in proteins, minerals, vitamins, healthy fats and carbs. Also, try to eat home-cooked meals as much as possible and limit your salt intake. Excessive salt will lead to fluid retention which is one of the primary causes of prolonged swelling.

6. Keep Yourself Hydrated

It might seem counterintuitive but drinking enough water will help you get rid of the water trapped inside your body and reduce swelling. Moreover, a well-hydrated body will encourage blood circulation which helps with the recovery and faster healing of the incision site. With that being said, limit the intake of caffeinated beverages as they can dehydrate your body.

7. Medication

Dr Turner will prescribe you medication to help with pain, discomfort, and swelling. Take your medications on time if you wish to feel comfortable and heal quickly. Not taking these meds may not only worsen the bruising and swelling but can also lead to discomfort. If you want to enjoy your newfound freedom and stunning looks, make sure to take the prescribed meds.

Avoid These Mistakes to Reduce Bruising and Swelling After Breast Reduction

While doing all the right things is important, avoiding certain things will also help prevent bruising and swelling:

  • Avoid blood-thinning medications as they can worsen the bruising – Ask your Surgeon for details
  • Wear your compression bra
  • Do not engage in strenuous exercises and heavy lifting for at least six to eight weeks after the surgery as it can disrupt the healing process
  • Do not sleep on your side or stomach for the first four weeks as it can worsen the swelling and put pressure on your incision sites
  • Do not miss your follow-up surgeon visits. Follow-up visits give Dr Turner a chance to overview your progress
  • Do not take any over-the-counter drugs without consulting Dr Turner first. It includes all anti-inflammatory medication as well
  • Do not eat a lot of salty foods and caffeinated beverages as they can lead to water retention which will cause the swelling to linger on for much longer

FAQs about Breast Reduction Surgery Recovery

Here are a few of the frequently asked questions we get regarding breast reduction recovery:

How long does swelling last after breast reduction?

  • Swelling can last for about two to three weeks. In about 2-3 months, your breasts will look perfectly normal.

How do you reduce swelling after breast reduction surgery?

  • Follow these tips along with all the instructions given by Dr Turner to reduce swelling after breast reduction surgery: take all the prescribed medications, wear a compression bra, use a cold compress on your breasts, eat healthily, drink lots of water and limit your sodium intake, stay clear of caffeinated beverages, do not engage in strenuous exercises and heavy lifting.

Can you apply too much ice after breast reduction surgery?

  • Yes, there is always a risk of ice burning yourself if you ice too much after the surgery. Make sure to wrap the ice in a towel and do it for 15 minutes at a time and then take 20-minute break.

When should I use scar cream after breast reduction surgery?

  • You can use scar removal creams as soon as your incisions heal after breast reduction surgery.

How do you stop bruising on your breasts after breast reduction surgery?

  • You cannot stop bruising from happening in the first place. Both bruising and swelling are your body’s natural response to trauma that happens to your tissues during the surgery. However, if you stick to all the pre and post-surgical instructions, you can help bruising fade away quickly.

What helps bruising after surgery?

  • Apply ice to your breasts for the first three days after the surgery, wear a compression bra, and stay clear of blood-thinning medications to minimise bruising. Arnica tablets may also help.

When can I sleep on my side after breast reduction surgery?

  • Most patients are able to resume side sleeping in about 4 weeks after the breast reduction surgery.

How do you prevent scarring after breast reduction surgery?

  • You might not be able to prevent your scars entirely but you can take steps to minimise them. Make sure to wear sunscreen while stepping out in the sun and consider using silicone gels or sheets.

Is bruising and swelling normal after surgery?

  • Yes, it is normal and expected to experience bruising and swelling after surgery. It is your body’s natural response to any physical trauma.

Can I drink coffee after breast reduction surgery?

  • Yes, you can drink coffee after breast reduction surgery. However, it is best to limit it to 1 to 2 cups a day and stick to lots of water. The goal is to keep your body hydrated.

What if I don’t wear a compression bra post-breast reduction surgery?

  • If you don’t wear a compression bra post-surgery, the swelling and bruising could be worse and may also linger for a longer period. It is one of the essential steps of recovery.

Next Steps

Always Do Your Research

  • Enquire to find out more about your surgery
  • Please read our website to learn more about your intended procedure

Do you need a Medical Referral to see Dr Turner?

  • A GP Referral is required to Consult with Dr Turner (under new AHPRA Regulations)
  • Please obtain a referral from your GP or Specialist if you want a consultation for an MBS item number surgery.
  • Please note that your Medicare Rebates will NOT be claimable without a valid recent Medical Referral

Making The Most Of Your Consultation

  • Please arrive slightly early for your in-person consultation
  • You are welcome to bring a friend or relative to help consider the information and discuss your options
  • Please be aware you may need to undress for a physical exam so wear simple clothes
  • Ensure you also take a lot of notes during the consultation and thoroughly examine all the documents provided

Want more information before scheduling your consultation?

How to Book Your Consultation

  • You can book your initial consultation by paying the $350 cosmetic consultation fee in advance – when you make your appointment


  • To find out more information about surgery you can book a FREE 15-minute phone conversation with our Friendly Patient Care team via Calendly- Book Consultant 1 or Book Consultant 2

Contact us or call on  1300 437 758  to arrange your surgeon consultation in Sydney.

Email us for more information: