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What To Expect After Your Breast Reduction Surgery?


What To Expect After Your Breast Reduction Surgery?

Breast reduction surgery (reduction Mammoplasty) is a procedure provided by Dr Terrence Scamp for women, offering relief from chronic back, neck or shoulder pain. While the results are often transformative, it’s crucial to understand that the journey to recovery takes time and varies from person to person.

In this blog, we will provide a realistic overview of what to expect after breast reduction surgery, week by week. By understanding the typical healing process, potential side effects, and tips for a smooth transition, so women considering or preparing for this procedure can feel well-informed.

It’s also important to note that every woman’s recovery process is unique. Factors such as age, overall health, surgical technique and individual healing rates all play a role in the total timeline for recovery.

Before Undergoing Breast Reduction Surgery

Before undergoing breast reduction surgery, patients must maintain a healthy BMI (Body Mass Index) range. This ensures optimal surgical outcomes and reduces the risk of complications. Equally as important is the stop of all nicotine products, including smoking, vaping and nicotine-containing aids, for at least six weeks before your scheduled surgery.

Nicotine negatively impacts the body’s ability to heal after surgery by constricting blood vessels and reducing blood flow to tissues. This can result in delayed wound healing, increased risk of infection, and potential complications during recovery. Continuing to abstain from nicotine during the recovery period is essential to support the body’s healing process and achieve the best possible results from the procedure.

Breast Reduction Recovery Week By Week

Week 1: The Initial Healing Phase

The first week after undergoing breast reduction surgery is solely focused on rest and allowing your body to begin the healing process. It is a time of adjustment as you navigate the initial discomfort and adaptation post-surgery.

What To Expect?

Pain & Discomfort

The first couple of days, it’s normal to experience soreness, tightness and tenderness around the incisions. This pain and discomfort can typically be managed effectively with prescription pain medication and ice packs. Your surgeon will also provide you with instructions and medications for your pain management.

Wound Care

Proper wound care after surgery is essential for healing and reducing the risk of infection. Dr Scamp provides a healing tape that is applied to the wounds and is worn for approximately three months. Dr Scamp will give ongoing instructions on how long to leave the tape on and when to change the dressing.


While rest is important post-surgery, gentle movement is crucial to prevent blood clots and promote circulation. Short walks around the house are typically recommended soon after surgery, gradually increasing in duration and intensity. Wearing a crop top or bralette without underwires or a tight band at the base for 6 weeks will help minimise swelling and support the healing tissues. Or, wearing a supportive surgical bra 24/7 will help to minimise any swelling and support the healing tissues.

Emotional Well-Being

We completely understand that the initial phase of recovery can be emotionally draining. It’s common to experience fatigue, anxiety, or mood swings due to hormonal fluctuations and the overall physical stress of surgery on your body. Just remember to be patient with yourself, allow time for rest and recovery and ensure you have a supportive circle of people around you during this time.

Week 2: Gradual Process

As you enter the second week of recovery, you should be noticing a decrease in pain and discomfort. While there may be some tenderness that persists, most patients find they can manage this with over-the-counter pain relievers and continue to rely less on prescription medication.

What To Expect?

Decreased Pain

The sharp, intense pain typically related to the internal sutures settling and healing should subside after the first week, leading to a more manageable level of discomfort. You may still experience some soreness or tightness, especially around the incisions, as these will still be healing; however, the discomfort should be less intense.

Increased Activity

It is still important to prioritise rest during this time, however, you can gradually start to increase your activity level. Light household chores, short walks, and gentle stretching exercises to promote blood flow, reduce stiffness, and promote healing. However, continue to avoid any strenuous exercise, heaving lifting until you are cleared by your surgeon.

Scar Care

At this stage in your recovery, Dr Scamp recommends continuing to wear the healing tape for three months to minimise scarring. After this period, you may use creams or scar management gels if advised. Scar massage, which involves gently manipulating the scar tissue to improve its flexibility and appearance, can also be considered following Dr Scamp’s guidance.

Follow-Up Appointments

Dr. Scamp sees patients within a week post-surgery to assess healing progress, remove any remaining sutures, and address any concerns. It is important to attend all follow-up appointments post 12 months as scheduled to ensure optimal healing and discuss the next steps in your breast reduction surgery recovery.

Weeks 3-4: Returning to a Routine

By weeks three and four post-breast reduction surgery, many women feel ready to return to their daily routines. This period is marked by gradually easing restrictions and enjoying increased energy levels.

What To Expect?

Easing Restrictions

Depending on the nature of the surgery and your surgeon’s advice, you might be able to resume work if it doesn’t require strenuous physical activity. It’s important to be attentive to your body and avoid pushing yourself too hard. Once your wounds are fully healed, you can consider gentle exercises like walking, swimming, and Pilates, with your surgeon’s approval. However, activities like hot yoga, saunas, or spas should be avoided until the wounds completely heal.

Scar Maturation

By this point in your recovery, your scars will continue to heal and mature. Your scars may be raised and reddish, however this will gradually fade and flatten with time. This process can take several months to a year.

Weeks 5-12: Ongoing Healing & The Final Results

As you progress through weeks five to twelve, you will transition into enjoying the full benefits of your breast reduction. This phase is typically characterised by continued scar maturation.

What To Expect?

Returning To Exercise

By now, you should be able to resume your regular everyday routine of work and exercise. However, it is still important to listen to your body and avoid any movements that cause pain or discomfort in your chest and breast area. If you do experience any concerns, consult with your surgeon for guidance on safe and effective exercise routines.

Scar Fading

You would have noticed your scars continuing to fade and mature during this time. While they will never disappear completely, they will typically become a faint line that blends in with your skin tone.

Psychological Well-Being

As you adjust to your new body and return to your normal routine, it’s important to prioritise your psychological well-being. Continue to embrace self-care, enjoy regular activities, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you experience any lingering anxiety or negative feelings, consider seeking support from a counsellor or psychologist. Remember that emotional healing it just as important as physical healing!

12 Weeks & Onwards

By now, you should be completely healed and enjoying both the physical and emotional benefits of the procedure.

Breast reduction surgery can have a lasting positive impact on the quality of life for many women. Many women report significant relief from physical discomfort, and improved posture post-surgery.

Some Final Tips from Dr Terrence Scamp

  • Wear Supportive Bras: Continue to wear supportive bras, especially during physical activity, to maintain your results and minimise any discomfort.
  • Protect Scars From The Sun: Remember to use sunscreen or clothing to cover your scars from the sun’s harmful rays. This will help prevent discolouration and promote optimal healing.
  • Stay Hydrated & Eat a Balanced Diet: Nourishing your body with plenty of water and nutrient-rich foods will support ongoing healing and health.
  • Be Patient with Yourself: Remember that it takes time for your body to completely adjust to the changes. Be patient with yourself, celebrate your progress, and embrace your new look!

Ready to Take the Next Step?

Getting breast reduction surgery (reduction mammoplasty) is a personal decision that only you can make. If you are interested in this procedure, whether for functional or aesthetic reasons, a discussion with a qualified and accredited plastic surgeon can help. Dr Terrence Scamp is an experienced fully qualified and accredited plastic surgeon who will provide professional care throughout the surgical process, with the necessary information and guidance you need. He will work with you to create a surgical plan with your goals, health and preferences in mind.