Breast reduction The recovery

Immediately after breast reduction, the shape and size of the new breast will be significantly changed, but the final shape will take several months to settle down.

Early stages

In the early stages after operation, the breasts will probably feel uncomfortable and sometimes painful. In the, beginning, stronger painkillers may be required, but in most instances paracetamol and codeine are sufficient to control the pain and discomfort. Aspirin must be avoided as a painkiller as it promotes bleeding and can create significant problems.


The dressings placed after surgery need to be kept dry for the first week after the operation. A comfortable, well fitted bra is useful during the first six weeks and is worn above the dressings.


When the early dressings are removed, lighter tapes are applied to the scars and should be continued for the first six weeks as they will improve the texture of the scars.


It is very important to refrain from smoking for at least two weeks before and four weeks after the operation as it increases significantly the risk of damage to the nipple-areola and the skin of the breast as well as the risk of infection.

Physical activities

You can expect to feel tired for the first week or two after breast reduction surgery. In the beginning, walking is recommended as it will decrease the risk of blood clots in the leg veins, but exercise should be deferred for the first 3 to 4 weeks.

Return to office work is often around 10 to 12 days, with a return to more physical activities around the mark of three weeks.

Bruising and swelling

Bruising of the skin around the breasts is relatively common but tends to be limited. The swelling creates the impression that the breasts are larger and positioned higher in the beginning and as the swelling decreases the shape of the breasts matures and becomes more aesthetically balanced.

Nipples sensitivity

Some numbness around the nipple-areola as well as the skin under the breast is relatively common in the early stages after surgery. Many patients experience return of sensation relatively quickly after the surgery and in most instances the feeling in the nipples is normal in the long term.

Get in touch. Talk to our helpful team or book a consultation with Mr Lucian Ion. Call 0207 486 7757

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