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Breast Pain Years After Breast Reduction

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What Are The Complications And Side Effects Of Breast Reduction Surgery

Breast Reduction Surgery (Q& A)

You should expect to feel tired and youll have some breast pain. It’s important to note that after a breast reduction, youll have scars along the incisions. These scars are permanent, but theyll fade with time. Also, depending on the extent of your procedure, you may not be able to breastfeed.

You should avoid lifting heavy objects during the first few weeks to reduce tension on the incision and decrease your risk of bleeding problems. You may also notice loss of feeling or changes in sensation in your nipple as a result of breast reduction. In some cases, the change is permanent. Though they are rare, some people may experience certain complications, such as inadequate healing, which may require a skin graft.

Contact your doctor immediately if you experience

  • Unusual discharge from the incision site, including pus. .
  • Release or detachment of any sutures before theyre supposed to be removed.
  • Enlargement on one or both breasts associated with pain and pressure.

Breast Reduction Surgery Recovery

Expect to take at least a week off from work or school afterward. Some people need a couple of weeks, but each situation varies. Your surgeon will instruct you on follow-up appointments for removing bandages and stitches.

While you recover, you’ll need to stop physical activity for at least a month after surgery.

After the surgery, you should expect to feel tired and to have breast pain. Your surgeon will give you an oral painkiller to ease you through the first few days. You should also avoid heavy lifting.

Some people have an emotional reaction, such as feeling depressed, after the surgery. That can be normal, but make sure you tell your doctor about all your concerns.

What Bra Should I Wear After Breast Reduction Surgery

After your breast reduction surgery, you will need to wear a surgical bra or compression garment for approximately six weeks. As noted above, this can be removed while showering, but it should be worn the rest of the day and night. Once this six-week period is over, you can wear regular bras again, as long as they do not have an underwire. Underwire bras can be worn after about three months. This is because the skin under your breast can be irritated by the underwire as you are in your initial recovery.

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Im Feeling Depressed About This Whole Thing

Ask a breast augmentation patient if shes glad she did it, and youll most likely hear, YES! But there were a few days in the beginning. With so much emphasis on the physical aspects of breast augmentation, its easy to forget that recovery has an emotional side, too. Its actually common for patients to go through a brief period of mild depression after any surgery, breast augmentation included.

Post-op blues pass after a few weeks, usually after youve returned to your normal routine and youre noticing that your breasts look better every day.

Why? There are a number of possible causes, from anesthesia to pain medications to the disruption that surgery and recovery inevitably make in a patients routine. Add to this a 1 to 3 month period where your breasts may look and feel awkward before settling into a more natural position, and temporary feelings of doubt are understandable.

How long this lasts: The important thing here is to be patient post-op blues almost always pass after a few weeks, when youve returned to your normal routine, post-op swelling and stiffness has subsided, and youre noticing that your breasts look better every day.

How Do I Prepare For A Breast Reduction

Breast Reduction

Its important to follow your surgeon’s instructions on vitamins you can take before and after the surgery. Likewise, it’s very important to eat well-balanced meals. Nicotine interferes with healing youll need to stop using tobacco products for some time before and after surgery to ensure proper healing. Likewise, you also may have to stop taking certain medications, such as aspirin or certain anti-inflammatories like Motrin® or Aleve®. Your surgeon will instruct you on this.

Establishing a home recovery area

Before you go in for surgery, make sure you set up a recovery area at home that will suit all your needs. This should include:

  • Pain-relieving medication like acetaminophen .
  • Gauze and clean washcloths and towels.
  • Loose, comfortable tee shirts and blouses.
  • Antibiotic ointments .
  • Telephone within reaching distance of your primary rest area.
  • Magazines, movies, etc.

Recovery and follow-up care

Youll need to take at least one week off from work or school. Some people require two weeks, but each situation varies. Your surgeon will instruct you on follow up appointments to remove bandages and sutures. You may not be able to resume your exercise and other strenuous physical activity for at least one month after surgery. Surgery can be both physically and emotionally stressful. Make sure you communicate with your doctor about all your concerns.

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After Breast Reduction: The First Day

The day of your breast reduction surgery will also likely be the first day of your recovery at home. Done under general anesthesia, this outpatient surgery is followed by a recovery period of an hour or two. As you slowly wake up, your job is to let your nurses know about any pain or nausea, so they can insure you are as comfortable as possible.

Once you are alert enough, you will be given home instructions which may include incision care, activity restrictions, and prescription medication use. Ask as many questions as you need. Then you will be discharged into the care of whomever you have pre-arranged to take you home.

You will have bandages covering the incisions and will likely be wearing a post-operative bra that was put on after surgery. You will notice right away that, though they are a little swollen, your breasts are smaller. You probably wont see your incisions that first day because they will be covered with gauze. Under that gauze your body will be busy starting the healing process. To help that along, your job is simply to rest.

Breast Reduction Recovery: Week By Week

IntroductionIf your breasts have grown to the extent that the condition is creating physical and self-esteem issues for you, its a sign you need breast reduction surgery. Breast reduction decreases the size and weight of breasts that have become very large. The female breasts are subject to changes and factors like genetics, massive weight gain, hormonal changes, and the use of certain medications that can trigger their overdevelopment. When the breasts become huge, it can lead to physical discomforts and pain like shoulder grooving and back and neck pain.Breast reduction surgery decreases the size of the breasts by removing the surplus fat, glandular tissue, and skin from the breasts. It is a useful but significant operation. As such, the patient is required to go through a complete recovery process. The plastic surgeon will provide you instructions for week-by-week recovery following the procedure.

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Questions About What To Expect After Breast Augmentation Call Us

Weve specialized in breast augmentation and breast revision surgery since 1992. Whether youre still deciding whether to have surgery or youve had breast augmentation and want to make sure youre 100% satisfied with your look, we will be happy to help you understand your procedure options at a consultation with our board certified plastic surgeons.

Possible Risks During And After Reconstruction Surgery

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Any type of surgery has risks, and breast reconstruction may pose certain unique problems for some women. Even though many of these are not common, some of the possible risks and side effects during or soon after surgery include:

  • Problems with the anesthesia

Problems that can develop later on include:

  • Tissue death of all or part of a tissue flap, skin, or fat
  • Loss of or changes in nipple and breast sensation
  • Problems at the donor site, such as loss of muscle strength, bulging of the abdominal wall, and dimples in the skin
  • The need for more surgery to fix problems that come up
  • Changes in the arm on the same side as the reconstructed breast
  • Problems with a breast implant, such as movement, leakage, rupture, rippling , or scar tissue formation
  • Development of a rare type of cancer in the scar tissue around a breast implant

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How Soon Can I Exercise After Breast Reduction Surgery

Rigorous exercise that engages the pectoral muscles should be avoided for at least four weeks. Walking, doing lower body exercises, and performing light non-impact aerobics may all be safe for you to do, but you should avoid using heavy weights and doing vigorous cardio for four to six weeks. By exercising too hard too fast, you can cause your incisions to separate or bleed, which can increase the risk of scarring. Once you are cleared to exercise, you should wear a quality sports bra.

Phantom Breast And Nipple Pain

Phantom breast and nipple pain is pain that feels as if its coming from the breast and nipple that have been removed. The pain and discomfort can feel like pressure, itching, throbbing or pins and needles.

Phantom breast pain can happen straight after surgery or sometimes up to a year later. Because the pain is caused by damage to the nerves at the time of surgery, the most effective types of pain relief are those used to treat nerve pain, such as antidepressants or anti-epileptic drugs.

If you have phantom breast and nipple pain and simple pain relief doesnt help, talk to your GP or treatment team.

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What Will My Dressings Be After Breast Reduction Or Breast Lift Surgery

  • I prefer to use thin and comfortable adhesive dressings for my breast surgery patients. These dressings can get gently wet in the shower, and can then be patted dry or dried with a hair dresser to keep them adhesive.

  • Its normal for parts of the dressing to have spotting from blood or fluid after the operation. These dressings are replaced at your first post-operative appointment. If the spotting seems excessive or has you worried, then dont hesitate to contact the rooms.

How To Reduce Swelling After Breast Reduction

Breast Reduction Update

After your breast reduction surgery and for the first phase of healing, you will wear a padded surgical bra that provides a slight healthy compression and sufficient breast support. You will also be prescribed oral pain medication, effectively reducing or eliminating pain altogether. Within a few days of surgery, you will be able to resume light activity and within 2 weeks you will be able to resume all activities with a few caveats: take it slowly and gradually, dont lift over your head, and refrain from strenuous activity. Full recovery typically requires 4 weeks.

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The Itchiness Is Real

Think back to a time you had a mosquito bite or irritation, and scratched it . Now imagine being itchy on recovering scars with stitches and not being able to scratch them at all. I finally understood what it must be like to have a hard cast on a broken arm or leg. It’s not a fun feeling. But since I wasn’t in a hard cast and I was on high doses of painkillers, what the worst that can happen? Maybe I can get a little scratch in. WRONG. Don’t. Do. It. Or be prepared for some of the worst throbbing pain you can imagine. (

Do I Need To Wear A Special Garment After Breast Reduction Or Breast Lift Surgery

  • A well fitted supportive bra is one of the most common recommendations after breast reduction surgery, and I generally advise women to wear one for at least the first several weeks.

  • While Im not aware of any scientific studies showing any significant benefit to wearing a supportive bra , women generally feel more much more comfortable in a well fitted supportive bra.

  • What is a supportive bra? Generally something without an underwire and with front clasps/zips . While these can be purchased from Kmart, more high quality garments can be purchased from specialty lingerie shops such as Hidden Lace in Subiaco.

Have a question about breast reduction or breast lift surgery that I havent covered? Dont hesitate to contact my rooms for an appointment.


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To 6 Weeks After Surgery

After your fourth week of recovery, you will most likely be able to resume all exercise. While most of the breast reduction recovery happens over these first four to six weeks, keep in mind that residual swelling can last for about three to four months. Your breast reduction scars can take about six months to a year to fully heal, during which time they will gradually lighten in color and flatten.

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Once the sedatives and drugs wear off post-surgery, and that throb of pain and wave of nausea hit you, you’re in for what feels like the longest road to recovery ever. And it kind of is. Imagine period boobs but like 3 gajillion times worse. And, hate to break it to you, but chances are your surgeon will attach fluid-draining tubes into your incisions to help drain out any unwanted buildup of fluid into a mini suction bulb at the end. For about a week, I looked like the Terminator or some sort of robot with wires coming out of my chest and that’s not even the worst part of it. I had to drain each tube into a measuring cup every couple of hours and record how much fluid came out. Let’s just say I’ve sworn off of any ruby-colored juice since enduring this time in my breast reduction healing journey. **Cringe**

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Breast Reduction Recovery Time

Breast reduction recovery takes time, but its important to have a good understanding of what to expect post-surgery. The surgery lasts for approximately anywhere between three to five hours. Most patients return home the same day as the surgery.Lets have a look at what to expect in the days, weeks and months after your breast reduction surgery.

When Can I Exercise After A Breast Reduction Or Breast Lift Surgery

  • An important part of recovery from breast surgery is a gradual return to activity, taking it each day at a time.

  • During the first week its important to rest, performing your daily activities within the limits of your discomfort. Its generally advised that you shouldnt perform any excessive reaching or twisting or bending, avoid lifting anything heavy, but still trying to maintain active and completing light activities.

  • From week 1-4 you can usually be ok for any exercise except activities that will cause excessive downward movement of the breasts, such as running. After week 4 you can start running or gym work, as long as you are wearing a good supportive sports bra. The general idea is to start with low impact activities and increase them as tolerated.

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Swelling Of The Bustline

Swelling is most often experienced in the early part of the healing process and is a result of your bodys normal response to surgery or injury. Resting well and wearing your surgical dressings and/or a surgical bra as instructed help keep swelling manageable. The most prominent amounts of swelling will fade within two weeks, though mild swelling may persists for several weeks afterward. Swelling reaches its peak at about day 3-5 after surgery after that it diminishes over time. You will also note that swelling will move to the ribcage, abdomen, hips, and even legsthis is normal . Final healing and lymphatic swelling resolution takes 6-12 months. Sudden or asymmetric enlargement can be a sign of bleeding if you have markedly increasing swelling and increase of breast size , contact your surgeon.

Additional Tips For A Speedy Breast Reduction Recovery

Teen with 30J bust undergoes reduction at 15
  • Have a trusted helper with you for the first 24-48 hours
  • Get plenty of rest and sleep
  • Avoid lifting heavy things for 2 weeks. Lift nothing overhead for 3-4 weeks
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water
  • Avoid inflammatory foods that are high in salt or sugar
  • Avoid using hydrogen peroxide or alcohol on your incisions
  • Begin easy movement, such as walking, as soon as you can

Finally, make sure you have a great relationship with your plastic surgeon, who can answer all your questions in advance of and after surgery so you know what to expect. Armed with this information, you can rest easy knowing you are taking appropriate care and precautions while you are recovering to maximize your surgical result.

About the Author

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But Eventually You’ll Come To Love Them

Whether you like it or not, you’re going to have those scars for a long time, maybe even forever. I’ve actually learned to embrace mine, but, of course, that happened over the course of my breast reduction recovery. My best advice here? Just be prepared for what’s to come. While I had to give up some aesthetics, it was worth it for my happiness. As cliché as it sounds, I’ve learned that life really is too short to care about small things. So go ahead and rock your scars if they peek out in a bathing suit or if you’re showing off some side boob. For me, they’re a small price to pay for the freedom to do the things I love again.

Swelling After Breast Reduction

Postoperative swelling will be at its peak in the first week after surgery as the tissue and muscle heals. Swelling will begin to subside toward the end of week 1, but it will likely be from 6 to 12 months before you see the full and final results of your breast reduction surgery. However, dont take this to mean that throughout that time you will be severely limited in your activities and adventures: the majority of swelling will disappear in 7 to 10 days after surgery, and you will have returned to work in as few as 3 to 5 days and settled back into a normal routine within 2 to 4 weeks. In the first week of recovery, a handful of patients may experience swelling in their ribcage or legs, as gravity causes it to move downward. This, however, isnt a danger and will clear up with time.

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