Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Recovering From Breast Reduction Surgery

Women with large breasts often suffer from back and shoulder pain and have difficulty finding clothing that fits correctly. As a result, many of them choose to receive reduction mammoplasty, also known as breast reduction surgery.

The recovery from such a procedure, however, can be quite complicated and requires many lifestyle modifications. Immediately following surgery, women should expect to feel nauseous and disoriented from the anesthesia used during mammoplasty.

After being discharged from the hospital, patients must carefully care for the sutures and drainage tubes surrounding their breasts. Since they must stay in place for at least a week, women should have someone available to help them with their daily routines. Aside from bed rest, patients should receive assistance with hygiene practices, since they will not be permitted to lift their arms. They must also be sure to sleep on their back in order to prevent injury to their surgical incisions.

After surgery, it is normal for patients to experience pain, swelling, tenderness, bruising, redness and even loss of sensation. The plastic surgeon who performs the breast reduction surgery will likely prescribe pain medications to help the patient cope with these discomforts after surgery. Most women report that the pain associated with recovery is minor to the discomfort they have endured from living with large breasts.

In addition, patients should wear a compression garment for several of weeks after the surgery. A compression garment reduces swelling, healing time and is supportive to the chest. In addition, a compression garment aligns the breasts properly and helps the tissue to conform to the contours of the garment. It may take several of months until the breasts reach their final shape. Women can also decrease swelling and healing time by decreasing their sodium intake and drink more caffeine free fluids in order to prevent water retention.

On average, the recovery time for breast reduction is about two weeks, but everyone is different. The more tissue that is removed from the breasts, the longer recovery will take. Strenuous activities should be avoided for about six weeks after surgery to promote healing, and patients should follow the instructions of their plastic surgeon. It is likely that there will be scarring where the surgical incisions were. If they are bothersome, the surgeon can likely offer advice on scar revision.

Sexual activity should also be avoided for a week after surgery, due to increased breast sensitivity which can become painful when aroused.

Most importantly, patients should be sure to follow the specific recovery instructions given by their plastic surgeon.