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How to Recover from Breast Reduction Surgery

Like any other outpatient procedure, breast reduction surgery will leave you tired and sore for anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks. Make it through the recovery process with these tips.


  • Step 1: Discuss post-operative physical limitations with your physician. Physical activity is usually restricted for two to four weeks after surgery.
  • TIP: Women should avoid lifting over five pounds, and avoid physical work.
  • Step 2: Contact your doctor if bleeding, a fever, severe pain, or unusual discharge from the incision occurs. Be patient. It can take 3 months or longer for your breasts to completely return to normal.
  • FACT: In 2008, more than 88,732 women had breast reduction surgery.
  • Step 3: Go to follow-up visits to remove bandages, stitches, and to have the incision checked.
  • TIP: You should start walking the first 24 to 48 hours after surgery.
  • TIP: Make sure you have a phone near your primary rest area in case of an emergency.
  • Step 4: Expect to have some pain. You may experience shooting pain throughout your breasts, which will go away. Your doctor with prescribe pain medication to help with recovery.
  • Step 5: Wear a surgical bra for comfort and support until the bruising and swelling decrease.
  • Step 6: Get up and walk around every few hours. Continuous bed rest may increase your risk of blood clots and pneumonia following surgery.
  • Step 7: Get your home ready for your recovery, before you have surgery. Have extra gauze, clean washcloths, ice, loose t-shirts, and plenty of magazines and movies available.

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