If a patient has overly large breasts that cause discomfort and make it difficult to find clothes that fit properly, she may choose to undergo breast reduction surgery to achieve a more proportional look. While it is well known that women undergo breast reduction surgery, some people may be surprised to learn that men undergo the procedure as well. Some men develop enlarged breasts due to a conditional called gynecomastia; males with gynecomastia may also opt for breast reduction surgery to achieve a more normal or masculine appearance. Before undergoing surgery, many patients want to know more about the recovery timeline so that they can make plans to accommodate the surgery.

The Day of Surgery

After breast reduction surgery, most patients will feel groggy and tired from the anesthesia and the surgery process. Surgeons will require the patient to have someone who can take them home and make sure that they are properly set up for the recovery process. The surgeon may prescribe antibiotics and pain relief medications. The antibiotics are generally taken the day of the surgery and the regimen may be for a week or two weeks depending on the antibiotic. Pain medication can be taken as needed.

The patient will usually be given a bra-like garment that will help to support the breasts and the incision sites, so that they heal properly.

The Week after Surgery

The week after breast reduction surgery, the patient should take things easy. Patients should not return to work during this period, even if the workplace is a low-stress environment and does not require physical labor. Any rise in blood pressure can increase swelling and prolong healing, so the best plan of action is to take a lazy week and lounge around the house.

Pain from breast reduction surgery may last anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of weeks, depending on how extensive the surgery was. Pain relief medications should be taken as prescribed. The goal with pain medication is to stay ahead of the pain, especially during this first week after surgery. Patients should also continue to wear the surgical bra provided by the surgeon unless otherwise directed.

Two Weeks after Surgery

Most patients return to work about a week after surgery. Heavy lifting and physical activity should still be avoided, but the patient can begin resuming normal activities. Pain should be at a minimum at this point. If significant pain is still being felt, the patient should contact her surgeon.

One Month after Surgery

The patient should resume normal activities, but should still be wary of too much physical activity. There should be no more pain and the incisions sites should be almost, if not completely healed. However, keep in mind that it can take up to a year for scars to fade. It is at this time that most women see the results of the surgery fully taking form.

For more information about the breast reduction recovery timeline, or the surgery, contact Paul Pin, MD today.