Is breast reduction right for me and what is the recovery period?

Dr. Gregory Bland - Colorado Springs Plastic Surgery

Source: American Society of Plastic Surgeons

The success and safety of your breast reduction procedure highly depends on your complete candidness during your consultation. You’ll be asked a number of questions about your health, desires and lifestyle.

Be prepared to discuss:

  • Why you want the surgery, your expectations and desired outcome
  • Medical conditions, drug allergies and medical treatments
  • Use of current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drugs
  • Previous surgeries
  • Family history of breast cancer and results of any mammograms or previous biopsies

Dr. Bland may also:

  • Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
  • Examine your breasts, and may take detailed measurements of their size and shape, skin quality, placement of your nipples and areolas
  • Take photographs for your medical record
  • Discuss your options and recommend a course of treatment
  • Discuss likely outcomes of your breast reduction procedure and any risks or potential complications
  • Discuss the use of anesthesia during your procedure for breast reduction

Upon waking up after surgery, patients can expect to feel tired, groggy, nauseous, and sore. Some of these symptoms are related to the anesthesia and others related to the actual surgery itself. Other side effects include discomfort, redness, bruising, reduced nipple sensitivity, and swelling. You can expect the breasts to be very tender and sore, especially for the first few days. Dr. Bland will most likely prescribe pain medication to help with this. It is normal to have dull pain continuing for several weeks after surgery.

In most cases, a compression garment or surgical gauze will already be placed over the breasts before you wake up. You will probably have sutures and fluid drainage tubes, both of which will be removed in about a week. It is important not to disturb the incisions or sutures during this time.

Sleeping may be difficult following your surgery. Many patients also find it difficult to bathe, as they must wait until the sutures have been removed and cannot lift the arms above the head. Because of this, you may want to arrange for a friend or hairstylist to help you wash your hair for the first few weeks.

Breast reduction is a surgical procedure, and because of this patients should expect some scarring from the incisions, although the size, position and appearance of scars varies from patient to patient. The incisions required, will depend on the amount of tissue being removed among other factors. Over time (and with proper care), these incisions should fade into the surrounding skin.

For the recovery period, you will be given specific instructions for breast reduction recovery that will include:

  • How to care for your breasts following breast reduction surgery, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the risk of infection, specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your general health, and when to follow up with Dr. Bland.
  • Dr. Bland will also give you specific directions on when you can resume your exercise schedule from moderate to strenuous.
  • Be sure to ask Dr. Bland specific questions and concerns.

CLICK HERE for more information and to determine if your plastic surgeon is board certified through the American Board of Plastic Surgery. CLICK HERE to ascertain which board your surgeon belongs to.

About Dr. Gregory Bland:  Dr. Bland holds two Doctorate degrees. His first was received in 1981, with a Doctorate in Pharmacy (Pharm.D.). He attended medical school at the prestigious University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) and received his Doctorate in Medicine (M.D.) in 1985 with AOA Honors (a national honor society for medical students).

Dr. Bland completed a full General Surgery Residency at the University of California at San Francisco in 1992, with Board Certification in General Surgery awarded in 1993. After an additional two years training at UCSF, Dr. Bland completed his Plastic Surgery training in 1994. Dr. Bland achieved Board Certification in Plastic Surgery in 1996, with re-certification in 2005 and again in 2016. Dr. Bland is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons as well as the prestigious American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. The Center for Plastic Surgery is a AAAHC accredited health care facility.