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11 Tips to Prepare for Your Breast Reduction & Recovery

11 Tips to Prepare for Your Breast Reduction & Recovery

Breast reduction can be a great solution for large breasts the cause discomfort, either in terms of neck and back pain, or embarrassment due to feeling out of proportion. Just like any surgery, though, some period of recovery will of course be required. Being prepared and knowing what to expect during and after your breast reduction surgery can help you feel more comfortable both emotionally and physically. These 11 tips can help.

1. You May Need to Lose Weight before Breast Reduction

If you tend to carry extra weight all over, rather than simply in your breasts, your plastic surgeon may advise you to lose some weight before proceeding with surgery. There are two reasons for this. First, weight loss may naturally reduce the size of your breasts. And secondly, being too overweight can increase the risk of complications, so achieving and maintaining a steady, healthy weight can improve your suitability for surgery.

2. Know What Size You Want to Achieve

While your plastic surgeon cannot guarantee a specific cup size will be achieved after breast reduction, they will need to know what general look you are looking for as an end result. Remember that the appearance of your breasts, both before and after reduction, will be affected by your build, so the look you desire may not equal the cup size you think you want. The details of your procedure will be discussed and decided upon during your initial consultation.

3. Familiarize Yourself with Pre-Op Procedures

Your board-certified plastic surgeon will give you information on what to do on the day of and, perhaps, the day before your breast reduction. You will need to know how long before the procedure you should eat and shower, as well as what you should take with you. Your plastic surgeon is also likely to ask you to stop taking certain medications and to give up smoking prior to your operation.

4. You May Need Other Procedures

Sometimes, a breast reduction won’t be enough on its own to create the new look you want. Depending on your circumstances and the results you’re hoping for, your plastic surgeon may recommend combining your breast reduction with additional procedures, such as liposuction to contour the transition areas around the breast. This is another topic your plastic surgeon will discuss during your breast reduction consultation.

5. Enlist Some Help for When You Get Home

No matter how independent you normally are, you will need some help after your breast reduction procedure. You’ll need a friend or partner to help you get home, for one, and you'll need help lifting anything (including small children) for several days after surgery. You may find that some assistance getting dressed and undressed, or cleaning the site of your incision is necessary. It will take a couple of weeks before you’re properly able to go about your daily activities as usual.

6. Your Breasts Will Need Time to Settle

Don’t be alarmed when your breasts don’t look exactly how you expected them to immediately post-procedure. Once the initial swelling and bruising begins to go down, you'll start to see your new shape appearing, but it can take up to 6 months for your final results to be fully develop.

7. No Heavy Lifting

Even if you feel able, don’t risk injuring yourself by lifting anything heavy in the weeks following your breast reduction. The generally accepted rule of thumb is 5lbs – that is, you should not lift any item, or child, weighing more than 5lbs until your recovery is complete.

8. Wear Your Surgical Bra

It’s very unlikely to be the most attractive bra that you’ve worn, but your post-op bra is an essential part of your recovery toolkit. Those pretty bras you weren’t able to wear pre-breast reduction will soon be available to you, but you need to know how important it is to give your breasts adequate—yet gentle—support as your body heals. Your plastic surgeon will advise on how long the surgical bra should be worn for as part of your post-operative recovery guide.

9. Don’t Skimp on the Painkillers

Some people can be reluctant to take pain meds, particularly when the initial pain and discomfort begins to die down. However, you should follow the instructions provided by your plastic surgeon when it comes to painkillers, as they may be useful for reducing swelling as well as discomfort. Your body will be recovering from surgery, don’t make it any more difficult than it needs to be. Massaging your breasts can also help to relieve discomfort and swelling, as well as reducing scarring.

10. Be Ready for the Less Glamourous Side of Recovery

You will have had surgery and that means your body needs to heal itself. Don’t be shocked if you develop scabs around your nipples, or if some fluid leaks from your incisions. Anything concerning should, of course, be discussed with your plastic surgeon immediately, but some less-than-pretty side effects should be expected. This is one time when you need to think of the end results and how they will be worth the weeks of recovery. One top tip – don’t scratch!

11. Wait before Buying New Bras

You're probably (and understandably!) chomping at the bit to get out shopping for pretty new bras in stores that don’t cater to your current size. However, breast reduction is not about achieving a specific cup size as the end result. You also don't want to rush your bra shopping, as post-op swelling will initially disguise your new look. Only once you're completely healed should you invest in new bras. And when that day comes, definitely treat yourself to an official sizing consultation at a high-end department store or lingerie specialist and splurge on new bras to your heart's content.

Guest post by - Dr. Alexander G. Nein

Address:2400 Patterson St #202, Nashville, TN 37203, USA

Phone:+1 615-327-0201