Breast Reduction FAQ’s
Most patients who undergo breast reduction stay in hospital for one night. Those patients who undergo small breast reduction or breast lift you can go home the same day of surgery.
Immediately after breast reduction scars can be prominent. However they won’t be visible under clothing and are within the bra line. The scars are pink to start with and can be slightly thick to touch but over time will flatten and soften, gradually fading to blend with your surrounding skin.
How well the scars heal and the quality of the final scars depends on numerous factors, such as how well your skin generally heals, or whether you are prone to hypertrophic or keloid (thickening) scars.
Dr Turner will advise you of scar treatment techniques to help your scars heal optimally in the shortest time possible.
Almost all women who undergo breast reduction have some alteration in the sensitivity of the nipples immediately postoperatively. However most return to near normal within 6 months. During the healing phase the sensitivity of your nipples may increase and you may require some padding in your bra until it returns to normal.
Depending on your occupation you can return to work about a week after surgery, if your work involves more physical activity you may require two weeks of work.
Most people are able to drive after 7-10 days when they are comfortable and not taking strong pain killers.
You may commence light exercise after 2 weeks and increase to normal exercise after 6 weeks. You must not do any heavy lifting for 6 weeks.
As the nipple areola always remains attached to the underlying breast glandular tissue it is often possible for women to breast feed after surgery. However there is no guarantee that this will be successful, so you should not consider breast reduction if you have a strong desire to breast-feed in the future.
Ideally with any cosmetic procedure it is preferable that you are close to your ideal body weight to give you the very best aesthetic outcome. If you are above your ideal weight you still may be eligible to undergo a breast reduction procedure. However with body mass index (BMI) over 35 the risks of poor healing and infection increases significantly.
It is generally recommended that women wait until they are at least eighteen years of age and their breast growth has stopped. In teenage girls we selectively offer breast reduction surgery however there needs to be clear indications for surgery. In juvenile breast enlargement, performing a breast reduction at an early age while the breast is still developing may require revision surgery in the future as the breasts continue to enlarge. Also there is concerns regarding future breast-feeding and scaring on the breast which needs to be considered.
For women in their seventies and eighties, as long as you are in good health, have received medical clearance, are experiencing debilitating symptoms and the benefits would outweigh the risks, surgery can surely be considered.
Swelling is normal after breast reduction and it can increase over the first week. Most of the swelling will by gone after one month, however it takes 3-6 months for the swelling to completely resolve and the shape settle.
The surgical garment is an essential to assist in healing of the breast after surgery, the bra should be worn day and night for 6 weeks. After this time you may start wearing a comfortable sports bra. It is not until 3 months that we recommend you start wearing more structured / underwire bras.