Breast Reduction Post Operative Instructions
After surgery, you will be wrapped in an ace wrap or be wearing a soft support bra to provide comfort and moderate compression. This garment should be worn 24 hours a day as tolerated until your first follow up appointment. You may adjust it. Avoid underwire bras until your follow up appointment.
You may remove the gauze dressing 24 hours after surgery and then shower. Keep the steri-strips in place. Tips on showering
Leakage from the incisions after breast reduction is normal; this drainage can be pink to red in color. If you experience leakage, you may reinforce the area with gauze to protect your clothing.
Do not swim, bathe, use hot tubs, or use lotions or creams on the breast for 2 weeks after surgery or until the incisions have healed.
Post-operatively, you will have a local anesthesia pump (“pain pump”) in place to help control pain. You may shower with the pump in place. The pain pump can be removed 2-3 days after surgery when the inner balloon is empty. Leakage around the pain pump may occur.
Swelling and mild bruising of the breasts are normal after surgery and will gradually subside over the next several weeks. Bruising just under your armpits is also normal; this is an area in which liposuction was performed. If you notice continually increasing bruising or swelling in one breast more than the other, please call our office.
Immediately after surgery, breasts may appear high, full at the top, and feel slightly hard. They may also appear slightly squared off at the bottom. This is all normal and expected and will resolve over time. You may also experience changes in sensation such as burning, tingling, and numbness. These symptoms resolve with time.
Pain medication prescribed post-operatively (usually Norco) should be taken as directed to relieve pain. This medication should be gradually tapered. We also recommend that you use a stool softener to avoid constipation.
You may resume your normal diet.
You may resume normal daily activities the day after surgery. Walking is encouraged. Exercise and lifting that requires straining should be avoided for 2 weeks post-operatively. You may resume aerobic exercise (bike riding, aerobics, etc) 2-3 weeks after surgery. Avoid chest specific exercises and running or jumping. All types of exercise are permitted after 6 weeks. You may resume driving when you are no longer taking narcotic pain medication during the day.
Average return to work time is around 1-2 weeks depending on the level of activity required by your job.
Continue monthly self-breast exams; routine mammogram should be continued for women in the appropriate age group. Inform mammographic techs that you have had breast surgery.
Call your doctor if you develop fever of 101 or higher, severe pain that is not responding to pain medication, continually increasing swelling, or spreading redness.