Recovery After a Breast Reduction

Tips for Recovery after a Breast Reduction in Sydney or Newcastle

Breast reduction surgery can help remove excess fat, tissue, and skin from the breasts. Apart from cosmetic concerns, it is performed to address backache, neck pain, and discomfort associated with large breasts. Sometimes, procedures like liposuction and breast implant surgery can be performed with a breast reduction.

Dr Scott Turner is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon in Newcastle and Sydney NSW. Here are his tips for the best recovery after breast reduction surgery.

Preparing for a Breast Reduction

You can best prepare yourself for a breast reduction by:

  • Researching all about the procedure and reading our breast reduction guide
  • Choosing the best plastic surgeon for breast reduction
  • Understanding the associated risks and complications
  • Providing your detailed medical history to Dr Turner
  • Avoiding smoking prior to the procedure
  • Avoiding taking aspirin and blood-thinning medications before surgery
  • Wearing loose-fitting and comfortable clothes
  • Preparing the post-surgery recovery room and support
  • Arranging for someone responsible to transport you home after surgery

8 Best Tips for a Better Recovery after Breast Reduction

1. Preparing a recovery room

Preparing your recovery room before undergoing the procedure will make your rehabilitation journey a lot easier. Keep all essential things that you’ll need for the first few weeks stored nearby that can be accessed easily. Go shopping and get the things you will need.

2. Sleeping comfortably

It is recommended that you sleep on your back while keeping your breasts in an elevated position. If you don’t own a recliner, use some pillows to keep your breasts in an elevated position.

3. Enlist help the first few days

You should enlist the help of someone to take you home after the completion of the surgery and to assist you with daily activities for the next few days. Find a friend, family member, or neighbour.

4. Eat a healthy diet

Have a healthy and nutritious diet to supply your body with plenty of energy to speed up your recovery. Consume lean meats, fibre-rich fruits like apples and bananas, as well as seafood, eggs, rice, and beans. It is recommended that you avoid salty foods as they can contribute to swelling.

5. Drink plenty of fluids

You should replenish yourself by drinking plenty of water with some lemon or orange juice. It is recommended that you avoid drinking alcohol and carbonated beverages for a few weeks.

6. Avoid smoking or vaping

Smoking increases risks and complications as well as affects the final result. Nicotine found in cigarettes causes constriction of blood vessels, which affects the blood supply. It is recommended that you should consider avoiding smoking as long as possible – six to eight weeks before and after surgery would be ideal.

7. Get plenty of rest

You should take at least two weeks off from your work and get adequate rest to heal yourself. Mobility will start returning gradually. Keep strenuous physical activities to a bare minimum early on. However, you should start with gentle movements like walking for a few minutes to help with the blood flow. But, try not to exert yourself. Stop and rest if you feel any pain or discomfort from the activity.

8. Follow the post-op care guidelines

The post-surgical care instructions provided by Dr Turner for each procedure will make your rehabilitation easier.

9. Wear the compression bra during recovery

The compression garment provides support to your breasts, helps reduce bruising and swelling, and lowers the risk of seroma. It should be worn for at least six to eight weeks. Even after completion of the eight weeks, you should wear a sports bra instead of an underwire bra for some time.

Timeline for Recovery after Breast Reduction Surgery

First few days after surgery

A dressing that assists in wound healing will be applied after the completion of the procedure. The dressing should stay on for the next 3 weeks. A surgical garment will also be fitted after you are awake and comfortable. It is essential that you wear the garment continuously for the first six weeks as it supports wound healing and settling of your new breasts. You may choose to take off the garment for certain short periods while at home and while showering near the dressings.

In some cases, a surgical drain may be needed to be placed to remove excess blood and fluids for the first few days. You might have to stay in the hospital overnight for observation and could be allowed to go home the next morning.

You should have someone to drive you home and assist you with day-to-day activities during the first few days. Post-op pain is common and is treated with the help of oral medications. You will be prescribed medications and antibiotics.

You can resume walking in the first few days after surgery as it gets your blood flow going, but limit your physical activities to a minimum.

A week later

If you work at home or in an office, you will be able to return to work after a week. If your occupation is physically demanding, you should take another week off to rest and recover.

Soreness will still be present and you may feel tightness of the breast as well as tingling pain around the breast area. This is normal and is part of the natural healing process. You should focus on eating a healthy and nutritious diet, drinking plenty of water, getting enough rest, and avoiding any highly intensive physical activities.

Take care of your bandages and follow Dr Turner’s recovery instructions. It is recommended that you abstain from smoking and drinking alcohol as it is known to hinder the healing process.

You will have a follow-up appointment with Dr Turner and the team to check if your wounds are healing as expected as well as to review your new breast shape. There will be numerous appointments with Dr Turner over the year.

Two weeks later

Your breasts will still feel tender and there will be the presence of some amount of swelling and bruising. There may be an urge to scratch the incision site as it begins to heal and become dryer (try not to scratch). You should keep wearing the compression bra. Consider lowering your sodium intake and drinking plenty of fluids, especially water and non-carbonated beverages to help further reduce swelling.

You may be able to resume some light-intensity activities but do not push yourself too hard.

About a month later

Around the third week, the bandages will be removed and there should be minimal to no soreness and bruising. Some amount of swelling will persist over six months to a year. You should begin to feel fairly normal and should be able to resume most activities. It is recommended that you consult with Dr Turner and the team before returning to highly physically demanding activities. You should continue wearing the compression bra and comfortable clothes.

Two months later

You will start feeling fully recovered but your body will still be healing. You may be allowed to resume a higher-intensity exercise routine and wear clothes that you want. You may stop wearing the surgical bra from this point forward. You should wear a sports bra but do not wear an underwire bra. See our Guide to Exercise after Breast Reduction Surgery. 

Six months later

Everyone’s body heals at a different pace. Some people may feel normal after eight weeks while some may require twelve to fourteen weeks to feel completely normal. There may be a small amount of swelling in the breast area for over a year. After the swelling is completely gone, you’ll be able to see the final result of the procedure.

Do’s and Don’ts for Recovery after Breast Reduction


  • Arrange for someone who will transport you home after surgery.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Care for your incision sites.
  • Wear comfortable and loose-fitting clothes.
  • Wear the compression garment.
  • Keep salt intake to a minimum.
  • Sleep on your back while keeping your breasts in a slightly elevated position.
  • Eat healthy and nutritious foods.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Take prescribed medications on time.
  • Follow Dr Turner’s guidelines.
  • Contact Dr Turner in case of any questions or emergencies.


  • Sleep on your side
  • Smoke or vape
  • Consume excess alcohol
  • Attempt any highly demanding exercises
  • Lift heavy objects
  • Wear other types of bra
  • Ignore signs of emergencies

When to Seek Medical Help

Symptoms that indicate that you need to seek medical help immediately include:

  • Sudden chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • An excruciating pain that does subside even after taking the pain medication
  • Your stitches are loose or your incision becomes open
  • There is bleeding from the incision site
  • You show signs of infection such as fever or pus draining from the incision site
  • You show signs of a blood clot in your leg

FAQs – Questions about Recovery after Breast Reduction

How long does it take to fully heal from breast reduction?

Generally, patients will be able to perform daily activities on their own a week after the procedure and return to lower-intensity activities two weeks after surgery. Complete recovery usually takes around twelve to fourteen weeks. In some cases, some people may completely recover as early as eight weeks.

How do I shower after breast reduction surgery?

You should take a quick shower with lukewarm or cold water using a sponge while keeping the dressing or stitches as dry as possible. After finishing the shower, you should pat dry the dressing site with a towel.

What is the fastest way to recover from a breast reduction?

Follow your surgeon’s instructions to recover faster.

Do breasts descend after breast reduction?

Yes, this can happen due to factors such as ageing, gravity, weight fluctuations, and changes in breast tissue density.

Can I lay on my side after breast reduction?

No, it is not recommended that you lay or sleep on your side after a reduction mammoplasty as it can put pressure on the incision sites. It is recommended that patients who have difficulty sleeping on their back keep their breasts in an elevated position until they are fully healed.

When can I run after breast reduction?

It is recommended that you start jogging or running at least six weeks after the surgery.

Walking into FacePlus Bondi Junction

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 medical referral is helpful but NOT essential for purely cosmetic consultations.
  • 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 early for your in-person consultation.
  • You are welcome to bring a friend or relative to help consider the information and discuss your options.
  • 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.

Book a Phone Call For More Info

  • 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 1300 437 758 to arrange your surgeon consultation in Sydney.

Email us for more information: [email protected]