For some, making the decision to change their body through breast reduction surgery is an easy one; for others, there can be months or even years of uncertainty. But one thing everyone has in common? Breast reduction surgery recovery. The degree and length may vary from person to person, but everyone’s body needs time to heal. And you’re going to go through some ups and downs while you recover from breast reduction surgery before you get your full results.
It’s completely normal to be apprehensive about what happens after breast reduction surgery, so first things first: your breasts are going to look very swollen (and maybe even have some rippling), so don’t confuse this for your final results! It’s going to take at least six weeks for them to start looking normal. And don’t worry: soreness on the sides from the liposuction is also completely normal. You also should expect to have some bruising, and for the areas where liposuction was performed to look worse before they look better. Be sure to watch out for: nipple appearance, nipple color, nipple temperature, and nipple necrosis. If your nipples get cold and dark, call your surgeon.
You probably know to expect pain immediately post breast reduction, but it’s also normal to have some pain over the first few weeks and months in either general or specific parts of your breasts. As long as it’s improving over time, it’s nothing to be too concerned about (and massage helps!) Also, anxiety and even depression are all normal the first week or two following your surgery. Dr. Barrett recommends Barrett Recovery CBD Oil to all his plastic surgery patients to manage not only pain, but anxiety symptoms as well.
How long is breast reduction surgery recovery?
Generally speaking, you should expect three days of solid downtime and relative downtime for at least two weeks. While it’s important that you take it easy, you need to do some light walking after your breast reduction surgery and at least three times a day to get your blood flowing and lower your risk for blood clots. Keep it under a mile and make sure not to elevate your heart rate. Some exercise can be resumed within two weeks, but avoid any upper body workouts and anything that involves bouncing or heavy lifting for at least four weeks to give your breasts sufficient time to heal fully.
Dr. Barrett has curated a whole host of breast reduction recovery tips, best practices, next steps, what you should expect, things you should be concerned about, as well as what to do and what not to do while you recover from your fat transfer breast reduction.
Breast reduction do’s and don’ts:
- Do take a shower 24 hours after your breast reduction surgery. Don’t take a bath, go in a hot tub, swim, or get into any body of water. The bacteria and pressure of the water can cause an infection.
- Do be your healthiest self. Things like meditation to lower stress, avoiding smoking for at least six weeks and avoiding any alcohol for at least two weeks will all help aid in your breast reduction recovery
- Don’t smoke for at least six weeks
- Do avoid alcohol for at least two weeks
- Don’t forget the patch! Take off the scopolamine patch behind your ear as soon as you get home—but make sure not to touch your eye and wash your hands immediately after doing so. Leaving it on will cause blurry vision.
- Do take your antibiotics as soon as you get home, and make sure to finish the full course—most infections occur when patients don’t take all their antibiotics as prescribed
- Do get your beauty sleep. For the first three nights, sleep with your back upright to help some off the initial swelling go down. After that, you may sleep flat on your back. Avoid sleeping on your side until the seven-day mark and on your stomach until six weeks post op.
To ensure you have the best possible outcome, Dr. Barrett has some supplement must-haves he recommends for all his patients. We already touched a bit on Barrett Recovery CBD Oil above, and it’s really a game-changer for pain management, anxiety and sleep. Magnesium Breakthrough is also essential to control the muscle spasms that may occur as you recover from your breast reduction. It can also help with constipation and sleep. Arnica Recovery Complex contains both arnica and bromelain, and is an effective, holistic way to decrease the inflammation after surgery that occurs in your body without causing a leaky gut that can happen with traditional anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen or aspirin. Formulated to provide the optimal level of nutrient support, for enhanced recovery after surgery, Healfast Post-Op gives your body the necessary nutrients to heal and helps you detox from anesthesia, in addition to also reducing swelling, bruising and inflammation, and aiding in pain control. MassZymes, a digestive enzyme supplement, breaks down the debris created from the wound healing process, improves tissue remodeling and actually reduces the lab markers of inflammation, making it one of the best supplements for healing after surgery. Finally, starting at two weeks post-op, you should start using scar gel. Skinuva® is surgical scar healing cream that’s backed by science and uses highly selective growth factors which are shown to be twice as effective as silicone cream.
Dr. Barrett has also curated an ultimate recovery kit to set his breast reduction patients up for surgical success with the least amount of down time and discomfort possible.
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