Summary: Breast reduction is a common procedure chosen by women who’ve been experiencing back and shoulder pain due to overly large breasts, as well as those who feel uncomfortable or unhappy with their shape. If you’re considering breast reduction, the first thing you should do is consult a board-certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience in this particular procedure. Working with a reputable plastic surgeon is essential for excellent results and, of course, your safety. Doing your research will make sure you know what to expect before and after breast reduction, as well as what you can do to optimize the outcome.
What Makes a Good Breast Reduction Candidate
When you attend the initial consultation with your board-certified plastic surgeon, they will be able to assess your suitability for the procedure based on your individual circumstances and requirements. To give you a brief idea, the criteria for a good candidate include:
- Discomfort or back, neck and shoulder pain caused by the weight of your breasts
- Large breasts causing you to become self-conscious
- Significantly asymmetric breasts
- Good general health
Choose Your Plastic Surgeon Carefully
The plastic surgeon you work with can make a huge difference to the standard of results you can expect after breast reduction. Of course, you should always work with a board-certified plastic surgeon, but it’s important to do your research too. Your pre-breast reduction homework should include finding a plastic surgeon who carries out the procedure regularly, at least several times per month.
Remember to look at before and after photos on the plastic surgeon’s website to give you an idea of the look they can create. Don’t forget that qualifications alone aren’t enough; it’s essential to choose a plastic surgeon you’re comfortable with, as you’re sure to have questions and concerns as you make your decision.
Liposuction May Boost Breast Reduction Results
Not everyone needs liposuction along with breast reduction but, if you have a lot of tissue in your underarm region, you may find that your plastic surgery recommends the complementary procedure. Basically, removing tissue to the side of your breasts can go a long way towards boosting the results you achieve.
You’re sure to want to get the most from your breast reduction, so don’t immediately discount any recommendations of further procedures you hadn’t counted on. Your board-certified plastic surgeon knows what to expect during breast reduction, so why not benefit from their experience? It’s perfectly fine to ask for a little time to think over your options and a good plastic surgeon will never rush you into a decision.
Breast Reduction Involves More Than Just Reduction
The best results from any procedure are achieved when you know exactly what to expect and breast reduction is no exception. As the name suggests, the procedure will involve reducing the volume of breast tissue you have, but it’s not about just going smaller. Your board-certified plastic surgeon will discuss the specifics of your individual breast reduction with you, but you can expect to end up with smaller, naturally shaped and lifted breasts.
When you’re considering breast reduction, try not to get stuck on the size of your breasts, but think instead about how smaller breasts could alter your figure as a whole. Could there be the possibility of a whole new world of wardrobe options? Or you could see significant improvement to back and shoulder pain once the extra breast tissue has been removed, meaning you can expect much more than simply aesthetic advantages.
Considering the bigger picture and knowing what to expect can help you on your way to great breast reduction results.
What to Expect after Breast Reduction
While your main focus is likely to be the perkier, smaller breasts you could soon be sporting, don’t gloss over the recovery process too much. Eyes on the prize is one thing, but you do need to know what to expect as you recover.
Rule number 1 is that you must follow the post-surgical instructions provided by your plastic surgeon. As you start to feel better, it can be tempting to start cutting corners and skimping on your aftercare, but remember you need to live with the results. When you’ve gone to the effort of having breast reduction, why risk affecting the outcome for the sake of a little effort?
The exact time taken to recover fully varies between individuals but, as a general guideline, you can expect to be off work for around 2 weeks, although this may be longer if you’ve a particularly strenuous job. Some other aspects of breast reduction recovery can include the following although, again, this can vary from person to person.
- Wear the post-surgical bra provided by your plastic surgeon
- Swelling and bruising will normally start to reduce after a few weeks, although it can take up to 4 months to completely clear
- Although strenuous activity and exercise should be avoided for 3 to 4 weeks after breast reduction, you can expect your plastic surgeon to recommend that you move around as soon as you can to help aid your recovery
- Don’t lift anything weighing more than 5 pounds during the first 4 weeks after breast reduction
- Don’t lift anything at all over your head until your plastic surgeon has cleared you to do so
- You’re likely to need some help at home for the first few weeks, as you’ll need to avoid baths until your incisions have healed and probably won’t be able to wash your own hair initially. Household chores are best avoided too
- Your plastic surgeon will prescribe painkillers – use them!
- You should avoid sleeping on your front after breast reduction, particularly during the first couple of weeks. Sleeping on your back, with enough pillows to keep your chest area elevated, is the way to go
- Make sure to attend any follow-up appointments your plastic surgeon schedules
Of course, these are just general pointers and you should take your own plastic surgeon’s advice when it comes to what to do during recovery. Don’t hesitate to contact your plastic surgeon’s clinic if you’re worried or concerned about any aspect of your recovery.