Breast reduction can alleviate many of the symptoms associated with large breasts, such as back and neck pain, skin irritation and bra strap grooves.
Are you considering breast reduction surgery? Or perhaps you’ve already gone through with the procedure and are curious about what to expect in the weeks following. In this blog post, we’ll be delving into my personal experience seven weeks post-op. From the recovery process to lifestyle changes, I’ll be sharing everything you need to know about life after a breast reduction surgery. So sit back, relax and let’s dive in!
Introduction: What Is a Breast Reduction?
1. Introduction: What is a Breast Reduction?
A breast reduction, also known as reduction mammaplasty, is a surgical procedure to remove excess breast tissue and skin to achieve a smaller, lighter and more proportionate bustline. The operation can also help to alleviate the physical and emotional discomfort associated with large breasts, including back pain, shoulder pain, bra strap grooves, poor posture and difficulty finding clothing that fits.
The decision to have a breast reduction is a very personal one. It is important to carefully consider your motivations for seeking surgery as well as the potential risks and complications involved. During your consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon, you will discuss your goals for surgery and develop a treatment plan that is tailored to your individual needs.
2. Am I A Good Candidate For Breast Reduction Surgery?
Though many women considering breast reduction are self-conscious about the size of their breasts, the best candidates for this surgery are those who experience functional problems due to the heaviness of their breasts. Common complaints include neck pain, shoulder pain, back pain, skin irritation beneath the breasts ( Intertrigo) and headaches. Additionally, good candidates should be finished having children and be at or near their ideal body weight.”
Ideally, those considering a breast reduction should also be non-smokers and be emotionally prepared to accept the potential risks and outcome of the surgery. Ultimately, successful candidates will be motivated individuals with realistic expectations.
Preparing for Surgery
Surgery is a big deal. It’s not something to be taken lightly. If you’re considering breast reduction surgery, there are a few things you need to do in order to ensure that everything goes smoothly.
First and foremost, you need to find a good surgeon. This is someone who is experienced in performing breast reduction surgery and who you feel comfortable with. Once you’ve found a surgeon, schedule a consultation so that you can discuss your goals for the surgery and ask any questions you may have.
Next, start preparing for the surgery itself. This means making sure you have someone who can take care of you during your recovery period and getting all of your affairs in order so that you can focus on healing after the surgery.
Finally, make sure to mentally prepare yourself for the surgery. This means understanding the risks involved and knowing that there will be pain and swelling after the procedure. However, if you’re ready for the challenge, breast reduction surgery can be an incredibly rewarding experience.
Recovery from Surgery
Once you have surgery, it is important to give your body time to recover. This means getting plenty of rest and sleep, eating a healthy diet, and avoiding strenuous activity. You will likely feel some discomfort and pain for the first few days after surgery. Your surgeon will prescribe medication to help manage this. It is important to follow your surgeon’s instructions for recovery to avoid complications.
Most people take approximately two weeks off from work or school to recover from surgery. During this time, you should focus on resting and healing. Some people find that they need more time to recover, and that is perfectly fine. Everyone heals at their own pace. After two weeks, you should be feeling much better and be able to return to your normal activities.
If you have any concerns or questions during your recovery, be sure to reach out to your surgeon. They will be happy to help you through the process and ensure that you are on track for a successful recovery.
Coping with Pain Post Operatively
Pain is a common side effect of breast reduction surgery. The amount of pain you experience will vary depending on the extent of your surgery. In general, the more tissue that is removed, the more pain you will experience. Most patients report that the pain is manageable with over-the-counter medication. However, if your pain is severe, your doctor may prescribe stronger medication. Additionally, there are some things you can do to help reduce your pain.
First, it is important to keep your incisions clean and dry. This will help prevent infection and speed up healing. Second, try to avoid any activities that put unnecessary pressure on your chest or pull at your incisions. Third, use ice or heat to help relieve pain and swelling. Finally, make sure to get plenty of rest and sleep. Your body needs time to heal and recover from surgery.
Lifestyle Changes After Surgery
Most patients report excellent results following surgery. Breast reduction can alleviate many of the symptoms associated with large breasts, such as back and neck pain, skin irritation and bra strap grooves. It can also restore a more youthful appearance and breast proportion. Breasts may continue to change over time, however, so it is important to maintain healthy lifestyle habits after surgery to help support your results.
Patients should quit smoking and avoid exposure to secondhand smoke before and after surgery. Nicotine use can constrict blood vessels and slow healing. Smoking also increases the risk of post-surgical complications such as infection, skin flap necrosis, and poor wound healing. If you are a smoker, quitting at least 4 weeks before surgery is recommended.
It is also important to maintain a healthy weight after surgery. Weight gain can cause the breasts to enlarge and may reverse the effects of breast reduction. Eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly can help you maintain your results over time.
Physical Changes to Expect After 7 Weeks of Recovery
Once the swelling has gone down and the incisions have healed, you will be able to see your new breast size and shape. The nipple and areola may also be raised to a higher position. You may have some numbness or reduced sensation in the nipples and skin of the breast. This is usually temporary and will gradually improve over time. The scars will also continue to mature and fade over time.
You will probably be able to return to light activities, such as walking or doing some light stretching. As time progresses, you may be able to gradually add in more strenuous activities, such as running and weight lifting. Be sure to follow the advice of your doctor and physical therapist during the recovery process.
Emotional Impact of the Procedure
The majority of women who undergo breast reduction surgery report high levels of satisfaction with both the physical and emotional results of the procedure. In general, patients report feeling more comfortable in their bodies, reduced pain and discomfort, improved self-esteem and body image, and enhanced self-confidence.
There can be some negative emotional impacts of breast reduction surgery as well, however these are typically associated with dissatisfaction with the physical results of the procedure. Some patients may feel that their breasts are too small or too large after surgery, or that the shape is not ideal. These feelings can lead to significant emotional distress and may impact a woman’s quality of life. It is important to discuss all potential risks and complications with your plastic surgeon before undergoing breast reduction surgery to ensure that you have realistic expectations for the outcome of the procedure.
Exercising After Surgery: Tips and Tricks
After having breast surgery, many patients are eager to return to their previous activity level and resume working out. Here are a few tips and tricks for exercising after surgery:
1. Start with gentle exercises. Don’t try to pick up where you left off before surgery. Ease into things gradually with some light cardio and gentle strengthening exercises.
2. Listen to your body. If something hurts, don’t do it! Work within your comfort levels and don’t push yourself too hard.
3. Give yourself time to recover. You might not be able to jump right back into your old workout routine immediately after surgery. Be patient and give yourself the time you need to heal properly before ramping up your activity levels again.
4. Get clearance from your doctor first. Before starting any sort of exercise program, make sure you get the green light from your surgeon first. They will know best when you’re ready to start working out again based on your individual recovery process.
Breast reduction surgery can have life-changing effects for many women. After 7 weeks post op, women should continue to follow their doctor’s instructions carefully and be mindful of the risks associated with this type of cosmetic surgery. This includes celebrating small victories in terms of improvements in mobility, pain relief, weight loss and overall body shape as they heal well over time. With patience and dedication, breast reduction patients can look forward to a successful recovery that leads to improved quality of life down the line.