What should I expect post-operatively?

The patient may be placed in two bras as well as an Ace bandage.  In some cases you may remove the top bra only and rewrap the breasts with the Ace bandage the day after surgery.  Some patients are told not remove the Ace bandage or bra for 3 days.  Patients may choose to wear the Ace bandage for up to 10 days if they find it to provide added comfort. Patients are usually instructed to wear their surgical bra for 21 days both day and night. Please ask your own surgeon for specific instructions.

During recovery, the patient is carefully monitored and is allowed to be driven home a few hours later. Although, a surgeon should insist that you remain near the vicinity in case you experience complications.

Some patients are instructed to ice continuously for the first 48 to 72 hours.  If this is the case, you will put an ice bag (or bags bags of frozen peas) over the breasts to maintain the coldness continuously. This will reduce any discomfort and swelling significantly.  The pain connected with the procedure is minimal to moderate and is controlled with oral pain medication.  The antibiotics that were prescribed will be taken for several days post-operatively to prevent infection.  Instructions for the day and night after surgery include bed rest with limited activities.  Your surgeon will determine when normal activities can be presumed at your post operative visits -- normally at 3 weeks.  Strenuous activities and heavy lifting must be avoided for several weeks.

You should notice a gradual reduction in discomfort.  Sometimes swelling will increase over the first three days.  Fever greater than 100.5 should be reported to your surgeon.  Marked increases in tenderness after 48 hours along with redness may indicate an infection.  This should be reported immediately.

You may only sponge bath for the first 3 days after surgery as you must not get the bandage wet.  You can remove the bra after 8 days but only to put on a fresh one.  Replace the bra quickly after washing. After 14 days a normal shower may be take.  Be sure to replace the bra immediately after showering or bathing.

There will be swelling and your doctor may prescribe a pharmaceutical grade Arnica montana for the relief of this.  There may be some bruising but the Arnica montana will help alleviate some of this.

You should be wearing your bra 24 hours a day for the first 3 weeks.  After the 21 day period, the bra should be worn at least during the day time for 6 months.  The tapes that are over the suture lines should not be removed as your surgeon will remove them in approximately 10-15 days.

Complications and slow healing are rare, however there are certain inherent risks connected with reduction mammoplasty which will be thoroughly discussed at your consultation.  The risks and instances of slow healing are more significant in smokers.