Following your breast reduction surgery, you will awaken in the operating room and then will be transported to the recovery area. You may still be sleepy at this time, and therefore you will be observed during this period until you are fully alert. Most patients receive a small amount of pain medication during this time as well.
Once you are completely awake, you will be transported to another recovery area where you will be given something to eat prior to discharge. When you are able to tolerate food and are able to move with little assistance, you will be discharged home. You must have a responsible adult available to escort you out of the surgery center.
When you return home, you should take a nap for 2-3 hours. Most of the narcotic medication which you received during surgery will have worn off by this time, so you should have little to no nausea when you awaken. Dr. Naidu recommends that you stay up for the remainder of the day, and perform regular activities at home which do not require lifting or strenuous activity. Dr. Naidu will also provide you with detailed written instructions about your recovery. While the tendency is to completely limit movement of the arms and upper body, gentle activity during this early period will facilitate your recovery. Aerobic and sexual activity should be limited for 2 weeks. Most patients are able to return to work within 4-5 days.
You will need to be seen in the office 3-5 days after surgery, at which time you will be evaluated for any unusual swelling or bruising. You may experience mild pain or soreness for 2-3 days after surgery; most patients discontinue their pain medication after the second day following surgery. If you notice sudden swelling of one breast, severe pain, redness, drainage, or a fever, you should contact the office immediately for evaluation. Numbness of the breasts and nipples are very common following breast reduction surgery, and will generally resolve within several weeks. In some cases, patients note improved sensation of the nipples following surgery.
Your breasts will “settle” over the initial six weeks, and will look more and more natural with time. It is wise to avoid buying new undergarments until 2-3 weeks after surgery to allow the initial swelling to subside. Please remember that your new bra size will vary from one manufacturer to the next, and therefore you should not expect to fit a specific size after surgery. It is for this reason that a specific cup size cannot be guaranteed. If you have any old bras in good condition which you can no longer use, please bring them to the office and Dr. Naidu will be happy to donate them on your behalf to a women’s charity.
Scars will improve significantly with time, and Dr. Naidu will make a specific scar treatment recommendation for you based upon your skin tone and quality. While your scars will fade with time, they will never completely disappear.