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How to Reduce Swelling After Breast Reduction

how to reduce swelling after breast reduction

Medically reviewed by Mr. Omar Tillo MD, MS, EBOPRAS, FRCS (Plast)

Breast reduction surgery can be instrumental in achieving a more proportionate figure and addressing a range of health conditions caused by large, cumbersome breasts. However, there can be some temporary swelling as you recuperate from surgery. 

In this helpful guide, we will provide information on what to expect after your breast reduction, as well as tips and tricks to minimise swelling and make your recovery as smooth as possible. 

What to Expect After Breast Reduction Surgery

After your breast reduction, you may experience side effects, including postoperative swelling and tenderness around the chest. You should be able to manage these side effects from home, and your surgeon will provide you with necessary aftercare instructions to ensure optimal recovery. 

How Long Does Swelling Last After a Breast Reduction?

Most of the swelling should gradually dissipate over the first 2-3 weeks after surgery. However, it can take 3-4 months for all postoperative swelling to completely dissipate, after which you will be able to enjoy the final results of your new breasts.  

Tips to Reduce Swelling Post-Surgery

There are several tips to bear in mind to manage swelling after a breast reduction:

Drink a Minimum of 2 Litres of Water Per Day

Drinking enough water is essential in preventing water retention. It is generally recommended to drink at least two litres per day. 

Eat a Balanced Diet Low in Salt

Reducing the amount of salt you eat, particularly in the early stages of your recovery, can further prevent water retention. Instead, aim for a balanced diet full of fruit and vegetables and high in fibre. 

Wear a Compression Bra Both Day and Night

Your surgeon will provide you with a compression bra that you will need to wear for the first six weeks after your breast reduction. This will help to reduce any swelling in the area and ensure proper healing. 

Apply a Cold Compress

A cold compress can provide ample relief to warm, swollen body areas. Take care to wrap an ice pack in a towel or cloth to avoid ice burn. 

Sleep on Your Back

It’s essential to avoid putting additional strain on the breast reduction incision sites as they heal. For this reason, you should sleep on your back for at least the first six weeks after surgery.

If you are typically a side or front sleeper, you may need to learn to sleep on your back prior to surgery to ensure your safety and comfort during recovery

Take Sponge Baths

Maintaining the hygiene of the incision sites is important in preventing infection and associated inflammation. It is typically safe to shower 48 hours after surgery, but you should be as gentle as possible when cleaning the area. 

The safest way to clean the incision sites is by taking sponge baths, then gently patting the area dry.  

Limit Physical Activity

After surgery, you will be limited in the physical activities you can undertake until your wounds have fully healed. Some exercise, such as gentle walking, is encouraged to boost circulation and reduce swelling. 

However, you must wait six weeks before engaging in strenuous workouts and heavy lifting. 

Is a Breast Reduction Worth It?

A breast reduction can help you achieve a more proportionate figure while providing ample relief from medical conditions, such as back pain, associated with large breasts. For this reason, many women consider a breast reduction to be worthwhile

Schedule a Consultation with CREO Clinic Today

If you are looking to reduce your breast size and contour your figure, book a consultation with Dr. Tillo today. 

Dr. Tillo is a breast reconstruction specialist with the skills and experience necessary to design a bespoke treatment solution for you and your body. 

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