This Article Has Been Medically Reviewed By

Dr. Jennifer Emmett, M.D.

Home Breast reduction How Long Does It Take to Recover from Breast Reduction Surgery?

July 31, 2021

Considering breast reduction surgery can address the many uncomfortable challenges that women face with their breast sizes. The process of breast reduction recovery is explained, and we’ll go over common concerns and questions for those who may benefit from the procedure. 

Physically the burden of carrying extra weight around your torso can cause serious neck and back issues later in life if not addressed earlier on. Exercising and sports with large breasts can be especially painful, and make an athlete become more self-conscious, taking her focus out of the game.

Not to mention the frustration around finding a good-fitting bra and clothing.

For these reasons and many others, women opt to receive breast reduction surgery to improve their quality of life, gain confidence, and enjoy their lives.

If you’re considering getting breast reduction surgery, you might be curious about how the procedure works and what the recovery time is following surgery. 

Breast Reduction Surgery: The Procedure and What it Entails

Before any surgical operation can take place, you must first meet with Dr. Jennifer Emmett M.D. one-on-one for your initial breast consultation. 

If you are a healthy candidate to receive surgery, Dr. Emmett will schedule your breast reduction surgery date and advise you on how to prepare for surgery.

Following surgery, Dr. Emmett will give you instructions and medications to help you recover.

Before Surgery Consultation

During this consultation, Dr. Emmett will review your medical history to make sure you’re a healthy candidate to receive breast reduction surgery.

Dr. Emmett will also discuss with you the potential risks and complications of the operation, and answer any questions you have regarding breast reduction surgery.

She will also examine your breasts, view before and after photos, and talk with you about your motivations for receiving breast reduction surgery.

During Surgery

Breast reduction surgery takes anywhere from 2-5 hours to perform. During this time, Dr. Emmett will remove excess fat, glandular tissue, and skin to reduce breast size and mass.

As a patient, you will be given anesthesia so you will be in a peaceful, unconscious state during surgery.

Dr. Emmett will then make incisions around the areolas that extend into a keyhole pattern. The nipple will then be repositioned higher up on the breast to give a lifted appearance.

Once the tissue has been removed and nipples have been repositioned, Dr. Emmett will then carefully suture the incisions. 

After Surgery

After surgery, we encourage our patients to take a week off of work to focus solely on recovering and healing. It’s important during this time to continue taking prescribed pain medication and follow Dr. Emmett’s recovery plan.

It will take about a month after surgery to be fully healed and able to resume heavy lifting and exercise regimens.

Reasons to Consider Getting a Breast Reduction Procedure

Having excessively large breasts can cause many physical problems for women. Many women complain of having headaches, neck aches, and back pain caused by the weight of their large breasts.

Many athletes also consider getting breast reduction so they can participate in sports. Often, sports bras don’t provide adequate support for women with large breasts. This can cause pain during exercises like running, which can cause strain on breasts.

Other women feel self-conscious about their breasts, feeling their body is out of proportion, are uncomfortable going out in public, or have difficulty finding clothes that fit properly. Deep indentations can also form in the shoulders of women with large breasts, caused by the weight of their breasts causing bra straps to dig into the soft part of their shoulder, leaving the skin red and irritated.

Benefits of a Breast Reduction Procedure

After receiving breast reduction surgery, many women experience a reduction in chronic pain. Considerable weight has been removed from their breasts, which results in instantly reduced pains and strains caused by overly large breasts.

Women also experience better sleep after reduction, finding it easier to get comfortable in bed and sleeping on their side.

For athletes and active women, they’ll find that participating in sports, such as running, becomes much easier and less painful than before.

Finally, a woman’s self-esteem may be boosted after receiving breast reduction surgery. Finding clothes that fit will become easier and she will be more confident and comfortable to be in public, no longer feeling self-conscious about her appearance.

Breast Reduction Recovery: Reduce Swelling, Pain, and Soreness

Immediately following surgery, the skin and incisions in the breasts and nipples will be inflamed and sore. This skin may become swollen and bruised, as these are the natural healing responses from the body.

During this time, you will be prescribed pain medication by Dr. Emmett to help you through the initial week when the healing process is at its most intense.

You will be advised to wear a post-op surgical bra. These bras resemble sports bras and have no underwire that can cause chafing or irritation. Post-op bras place constant pressure on your breast tissue, acting to compress the area and reduce swelling around the breast tissue.

You will be advised to sleep in an upright position following surgery during your recovery period. We recommend using a wedge pillow to prop your body up to reduce swelling in your breasts.

Light exercise, such as walking, is permitted. However, strenuous activities and weight lifting are to be avoided during the full recovery. Do not lift heavy objects above your head or place unnecessary strain on your healing incisions.

After a month, the breast reduction recovery process should be over and your breasts will be fully healed so that you can enjoy the extensive benefits of your breast reduction surgery.

Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Jennifer Emmett

Dr. Jennifer Emmett M.D. is a Double-Board certified plastic surgeon serving the Greater Denver Area. She is certified by the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Plastic Surgery and has over 20 years of plastic surgery experience.

Dr. Emmett and her staff specialize in breast reduction, breast augmentation, facial surgery, and body contouring procedures. For more information or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Emmett call (303) 955-7545 today.