After Your Breast Reduction

When recovering from your surgery it is important to be aware of the following:

  • You have received an anesthetic and may be mildly groggy and dizzy.
  • Take any prescribed pain medications and/or antibiotics as directed on the label. Do not take aspirin or aspirin-containing products.
  • Rest in bed for 24 hours.
    • You may get up only to use the bathroom.
    • Elevate the upper body with pillows or sit in a recliner chair.
  • Drink lots of sports drinks (Gatorade, Powerade, etc.) for 24 hours to replace fluids and electrolytes.
  • Elbows should remain at your sides. After the first day, you may raise your hands no higher than the top of your head with the elbows forward.
  • No vigorous activity until approved by your doctor (approximately three weeks).
  • Watch for signs of internal bleeding such as severe swelling accompanied by very severe pain. If either of these symptoms occurs, please call your doctor immediately or go to the Emergency Room.

Call your doctor immediately or go to the emergency room if you develop any unusual symptoms, such as:

  • Shaking chills and/or fever over 101°F
  • Excessive bleeding (more than slight staining of bandage)
  • Excessive pain
  • Excessive swelling

Breast reduction – mammoplasty

  • You will be wearing a bra that will have been put on at the time of surgery. Wear this bra at all times.
    • At the time of your follow-up visit you will be instructed when to stop wearing the bra.
    • The purpose of this bra is to hold your dressings in place and serve as a comfort measure during the healing phase.
  • Occasionally, drains may be left in place.
    • The nurse in the recovery room will instruct you in the operation of these drains.
    • Empty and record the amount of drainage as instructed.
  • Once showering is approved by your doctor, remove the bandage, bra and gauzes.
    • Shower with soap and water avoiding a direct spray of water on the incisions.
    • If skin tapes are present, leave these in place until you see your doctor.
    • After showering, dry gauze should be placed along the incision lines and secured with your bra.

Breast reduction – crescent approach

  • You will be wearing a conforming brown foam tape dressing that will have been put on at the time of surgery.
  • The nipple areas will be covered with gauze dressings held in place with white tape.
  • Shower 24 hours after surgery using mild soap and water.
    • To shower, leave the brown foam tape intact but remove the white tape and gauze.
    • Press down any loose areas of foam tape before showering to minimize the amount of water that gets under the tape.
    • A direct spray of water on the incisions may be more comfortable than using a washcloth.
    • Dry with a hairdryer or air dry the tape dressings.
    • Dry gauze should be placed along the exposed incision lines and secured with tape or a sports bra.
  • Take 1,000 mg of vitamin C and one multiple vitamin daily for at least six weeks after surgery.
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