completion of Breast Reduction surgery, stitches will remain around the areola
and nipple area, in a vertical line beneath the nipple and horizontally under
the breast for a period of two or three weeks depending on how well you heal. The incisions and tissue movement will cause your breasts to be very sore,
swollen and bruised. Pain is usually taken care of by the medication that the
Plastic Surgeon writes for or you might even be getting a pain pump.
Plastic Surgeons prefer that you do not take a shower until the sutures come
out, and others might allow you to take one at a couple days Post Op. You more
than likely will have drains
to help in to help aid in the reduction of the accumulation of the fluids after
surgery which tend to contribute to edema or swelling. These drains will stay in
place for several days until there is no more drainage of fluid.
should be kept to a minimum for at least 2 – 6 weeks Post Op, which will include
no heavy lifting or pushing. It is best to have someone help you during
recovery if you have young children, as the patient should not be lifting
anything over 5 - 10 lbs.
After the surgery you will
feel tender, stiff and sore for a few says and will more than likely not want to
move too much. This will subside and your bruises will get better as your
progress in your healing. It is important after your surgical procedure that
you get up and walk around as soon as you are able. Lying still for a long
period of time increases the chance of developing clots and swelling will tend
to last longer.
plastic surgeon immediately if the following occurs after surgery:
High fever, chills or
Heavy bleeding from
Severe pain or
or discharge around the incisions
in either one or both breasts
Expect to be swollen and bruised for a few weeks after your surgical procedure. The drains will help tremendously with the edema. Bruising normally goes away
within a couple of weeks. Swelling can last up to several months after the
Breast reductions normally take more
than a month before all the swelling and bruising disappears. It is also during
this time that the final breast lift results will be seen. Follow your
surgeon’s post operative instructions and also ask him before doing anything you
might find questionable.
Arnica Montana, bromelian
or vitamins A and C all help reduce swelling and discolorations and improve
healing. Ask your plastic surgeon if this is right for you. Arnica is currently used in liniment and ointment
preparations used for strains, sprains, and bruises.
Applying a warm gentle
compress can also help with some of the bruising. By dilating the superficial
blood vessels – the body will remove the blood and damaged tissue from the
minor ooze from the surgical wounds is normal for a few days after the surgery.
You will need to keep dressings in place until instructed by your surgeon.
Some patients may experience a prolonged wound healing time. Delayed
wound healing may increase the risk of
infection, extrusion, and
necrosis. Depending on the type of surgery or the incision, wound
healing times may vary. Smoking may interfere with the healing process.
Nicotine is the root cause of the decreased blood supply in that it
causes constriction of the capillaries and small blood vessels that feed
the skin with its required oxygen.
patients do experience itching following surgery, especially at the incision
sites - as well as dry skin. If your plastic surgeon says it is okay for
you to use a moisturizer, you will need to make sure you keep it away from your
incision sites. It is very important to keep the suture area and also the Steri-Strips completely dry.
are common to have on top of your incision line and sutures – or if you have
internal sutures with tissue glue to help bind the external incision edges. Your surgeon will remove these when you have your sutures removed, and more than
likely re-apply the strips to the incision after the stitches are removed. Most
surgeons will ask their patients to leave these strips on the incision to help
keep tension off of the incision line during recovery. By doing this you will
allow your scar to heal into a thin line.
sutures will be removed within a couple of weeks, and is done in the office at
one of your post operative appointments. Your surgeon has used a
combination of dissolvable and permanent sutures in your surgical procedure. Dissolvable sutures are meant to be absorbed by the body within 90-120 days
after surgery; however sometimes these dissolvable sutures can work their way to
the surface of the skin. This is called
“spitting a stitch”.
than likely you will be wearing a type of compression garment or surgical bra
with an ace bandage binding the breasts to your body. Patients are required to
wear a surgical bra for the first few weeks following surgery. This bra will
help support your breast so that you can keep tension off of the incision line.
Do not wear an under-wire bra or sports bra for the first several weeks because
these tend to cut into your incisions (inverted-T Mastopexy – or
Anchor Lift Incision). An under-wire bra may push your breasts to set in a location too high. Each
surgeon has his or her preference in regards to a post operative bra, so make
sure you ask what they would want their patient to wear.
Although the results of a
breast reduction are typically long lasting, significant weight fluctuations can
have an impact, along with subsequent pregnancies. Most plastic surgeons
will not even recommend a reduction for those patients who are not done with child bearing, as
the results can be compromised with a birth and breast feeding of a child.
During the first several
days it is important to monitor your temperature. This is done so you can check
to see if you might have an infection started. It is very important to make
sure you take the antibiotics on time. If the breast becomes increasingly warm
or hot to the touch and you see redness occurring – call your plastic surgeon
your medication when your surgeon has told you to do so. You will have an
antibiotic to make sure you do not get an infection, and also pain medication to
help alleviate any discomfort you might have. It is very important you take
your medication on time as prescribed. If you are taking any oral
contraceptives, make sure you tell your surgeon as this can interfere with some
might have a pain pump after your surgery, which will help tremendously with
making sure you will not have any discomfort at all for the first few days.
surgeon will instruct you not to exercise or engage in strenuous activities for
at least 6 weeks. It is important to listen to your physician, as you do not
want to get your heart rate up too high, which can lead to increase bleeding
possibly – which can lead to a
or a seroma.
It is not
uncommon for your menstrual cycle to be altered for a month or two
after you undergo surgery. The stress of the surgery and
anesthesia plays havoc on your system. Your period will return
to normal within a couple of months.
Your first menstrual period following your breast reduction surgery
might cause your breast tissue to swell and hurt. This will go
away shortly after your period.
Numbness in the nipples
and the surrounding breast tissue after breast reduction surgery is normal. This
will go away after a few weeks or so. In some rare cases this numbness can be
permanent. Plastic surgeons will tell their patients to give this at least a
year before diagnosing this as permanent sensation loss, as nerve fibers grow at
a very slow rate and can take months before the feeling comes back into the
Shooting pain from the
nerves and tingling during breast lift recovery is also normal. This means the
nerves are trying to regenerate, so these sensations are a good sign that the
nerves are returning to normal function.
Hypersensitive nipples can
occur after breast surgery. To help with the discomfort patients should try
wearing some sort of gauze pad or Band-aid to help prevent the clothing from
rubbing the affected area.
Having the procedure of
breast reduction sometimes finds that it is not possible for the patient to have
lactation or to breastfeed after the procedure. Significant amounts of breast
tissue may have been removed along with many of the lactiferous or milk ducts
passing from the breast tissue to the nipple are detached or scarred when the
nipple/areola complex is repositioned during breast reduction.
the Inferior Pedicle or
Vertical Breast Reduction,
breastfeeding may or may not be possible. In some patients nipple/areola
sensation is unchanged, yet in other patients it may be diminished or completely
absent following surgery.
sensory changes when occur can be temporary or permanent. We cannot predict who
will experience an inability to breast feed or sensory changes following
surgery. Certain women with large breast report diminished nipple sensation
before surgery. This is likely related to nerve stretching by the heavy weight
of the breast. Some of these patients notice improved nipple sensation following
breast reduction using Inverted T or Vertical breast reduction technique.
There have been a number of studies looking at the ability of women who had
breast reduction surgery to nurse their children afterwards. Most have shown
that milk production varies widely. However,
these studies have demonstrated a similar ability to breastfeed when breast
reduction patients are compared to control groups.
results of breast reduction are seen and felt immediately but are not always
permanent. After reduction, significant weight gain or loss and pregnancy can
affect breast size and the results of your surgery. When timing a breast
reduction – there are a few considerations to keep in mind. Many women
experience difficulties with breastfeeding,
but a breast reduction can make it even more difficult. Make sure you tell your
Plastic Surgeon when you might anticipate your desires to have children.
people are recognizing the health and quality of life benefits of breast
reduction, including pediatricians who might recommend teenage girls age 15-17
years. The stress that excessively large breast place on the back and neck of a
young woman - can be huge.
Insurance reimbursements for breast reduction are defined by the individual
insurance companies and what their policies might be. Many plastic surgeons are
finding that coverage for this procedure can be arbitrary at best. Breast
Reduction is not threatened across the board, but can be rejected despite
recognized standards for coverage relative to a woman’s physical build and the
amount of breast tissue reduced. Make sure you check with your own insurance
company policy limits.