What to Expect When Recovering From Breast Reduction Surgery (male or female)

What to Expect When Recovering From Breast Reduction Surgery (male or female)

When your breasts are so large they’re giving you physical pain, skin problems, or lowering your self-esteem, it might be time to consider breast reduction surgery. This life-changing surgery, available for both men and women, reduces your breasts to a size that makes you look and feel amazing.

Like any other surgical procedure, you can expect to go through a recovery period after surgery and before you see the final results. Board-certified plastic surgeon Joseph Fodero, MD, PA, of Northeastern Plastic Surgery in Florham Park, New Jersey, explains what you can expect during recovery from breast reduction surgery.

The breast reduction surgery

Breast reduction surgery takes place under general anesthesia and takes roughly 2-4 hours, depending on the complexity of your procedure. Dr. Fodero begins by making an incision around the areola that extends to the bottom of your breast.

Next, Dr. Fodero removes breast fat and tissue to get your chest down to your desired size. For women, this means smaller breasts, while for men, this means a flatter, more masculine-looking chest.

Once the fat is removed, Dr. Fodero tightens the skin around your breasts and positions your areola so it’s in the middle of your breast or chest. This helps your chest look young and firm and gives women more lifted breasts.

Initial breast reduction surgery recovery

When you wake up from the anesthesia, you can expect to see bandages, dressings, and possibly a small drain on your chest. These help your incisions heal, drain excess fluid, and help support your new, smaller chest shape.

Dr. Fodero usually performs breast reduction surgery on an outpatient basis, so you can typically go home the same day you have the surgery. You can expect to take it easy and rest on the first day.

You might experience discharge from your breast area the first few days after surgery. Plan to sleep on your back and use sheets and wear clothes you don’t mind potentially getting soiled by these fluids.

The first week or so after surgery, you might also feel mild to moderate pain around the incision sights. Taking pain medication recommended by Dr. Fodero and taking it easy should minimize the pain.

By following Dr. Fodero’s detailed aftercare instructions, your incisions will heal more quickly, and you’ll improve more rapidly after surgery.

Later breast reduction surgery recovery

You can expect to not do any vigorous exercise or activities for the first few weeks after surgery. A few weeks after surgery, Dr. Fodero typically approves you to start doing more activities in your typical routine.

Once a month or so has passed, your swelling will be dramatically reduced, and you can expect your breasts to be close to their final size. If you’re a woman, you can start looking for new bras; if you’re a man, you can start choosing new shirts that fit your new size.

As the next few months go by, you can expect swelling and any episodes of breast numbness to subside. Bruising from surgery usually goes away in around a month, but scars can take up to a year to fade.

At any point in your recovery, let Dr. Fodero know if you begin to feel severe chest pain, shortness of breath, or any other concerning symptoms. 

Breast reduction surgery greatly enhances your life, and you’ll continue to benefit from the surgery for years after fully recovering. For any questions about female or male breast reduction surgery or to schedule a consultation, contact us today.

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