What should one expect after breast reduction surgery?

Following breast reduction surgery, the patient can expect minor pain or discomfort. The breasts are likely to be swollen for a few weeks, and may even remain numb for a few months. For two to three weeks after the surgery, the patient must not engage in any kind of heavy activity. Most patients can go back to work in 15 to 20 days after the procedure.

Patients need to have realistic expectations from the surgery. The procedure is only aimed at reducing the size and improving the shape of the breasts. It is not a procedure for overall weight loss or a procedure leading to comprehensive physical transformation. It is important that patients understand that the shape of the breast improves gradually following the surgery. The shape of the breasts soon after surgery is not the final shape. It takes about two months from the date of surgery for the final shape to emerge.

In the immediate period following the breast reduction surgery, the patient should expect to find the breasts covered with gauze dressing. A drainage tube may be put under each arm to give an outlet to any excess blood or fluid. Due to general anesthesia, the patient may also have a lingering feeling of nausea after the surgery. The surgeon may prescribe medication for relief from pain and nausea. Antibiotic medication may also be prescribed to reduce the risk of infection.

Some amount of scarring is bound to happen in this surgery. But an experienced plastic surgeon will perform the incisions in a way that the scars remain hidden as far as possible, and are minimal in character. Scars may also fade away with the passage of time. Dr. Edmund Kwan says it is important to educate the patient about the surgery well before the procedure is performed. This ensures that the patient has realistic expectations and feels satisfied following the surgery.

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