What is Normal Recovery after a Breast Reduction?


Breast Reduction Recovery tips. Breast reduction surgery can reduce back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain and bra-strap dig-ins caused by having heavy volume in the breast area. Then there’s skin chaffing and unwanted comments, when others make insensitive comments about your chest area or breast size. But what about RECOVERY after breast reduction surgery?

Recovery from Breast Reduction (Melbourne, Sydney)

Have you read the Breast Reduction procedure page or download a guide (below)?

  • That’s your FIRST step for understanding breast reduction and normal recovery after breast surgery.
  • Allow for at least one night’s stay in the hospital for comfort (ask about your options).
  • The average stay in hospital after Breast Reduction is 1 to 2 days, although could be longer.

Pain, Movement, Walking and Exercising after Breast Reduction Surgery

Your comfort as you heal is our Surgeon’s top priority; we will give you tips and recommendations for preparation and recovery from Breast Reduction surgery.

  • We’ll also provide advanced pain management strategies (many patients are surprised the recovery period is not nearly as uncomfortable as they envisioned).
  • You’ll need to be off of work for about 1 week although some patients may need 2 weeks off of work (it depends on what you do, and if you can return to light duties).
  • You can generally engage in light walking and light activities within a few days (but no lifting to start with – including children – ask your Surgeon for a detailed recovery plan).
  • Exercises will need to be abstained from for the recommended period of time (check our guide for details).

Download Our Breast Reduction Guide

Breast Reduction Guide Download

Looking for Male breast Reduction for Gynaecomastia click here?

Examples of Female Breast Reduction Surgery (Photographs)

breast reduction surgery experts in Melbourne and Sydney

breast reduction melbourne and sydney - expert doctors and surgeons for recovery information

Click here for photos of before and after Breast Reduction Surgery.

Tips for Recovery after Breast Reduction Surgery:

Be sure you read all the materials given to you so you know what’s NORMAL and what’s NOT NORMAL during recovery after breast reduction.

Some of this is covered in our Guide. Additional information is given to you directly by your Melbourne or Sydney Breast Reduction Surgeon and his or her nursing team (before your operation). It’s important you do your reading and ask questions so you know what to expect and when to seek additional assistance or assessment during your recovery.

For a good recovery experience, it’s crucial you attend ALL post-operation check ups as recommended by your Surgeon.

And whatever you do, rest well, eat nutritiously and DO NOT smoke!

Smoking is a big NO NO and greatly impedes your healing, health and safety both before, during and after having an operation.

Recovery after Breast Reduction Surgery – General Overview

  • This information is NOT medical advice and you’ll need to ask your personal Surgeon for details and recommendations and guidelines.
  • Remember, the healthier you are before surgery – and the closer you are to your ideal weight or “happy weight” – the better you’re likely to feel as you recovery AND as you examine your results once you have finished with your healing.

General tips for Breast Reduction Recovery

  • Lifting: You’ll need to avoid heavy lifting for several weeks up to a few months – so if you have children or grandkids, keep this in mind (you can have them sit next to you on the sofa for a cuddle instead of lifting them).
  • Driving: You also shouldn’t drive for at least a FEW DAYS AFTER your operation – that’s for your comfort and safety and for the safety of others on the road.
  • Ask Questions: Ask your Surgeon how long to WAIT before getting behind the wheel of your car again. This may vary, of course, and may depend on how comfortable you are during your recovery.
  • Discomfort and movements: In other words, how freely you feel to move easily in terms of your recovery may impact what you CAN do easily and safely. If you’re sore and need to make a sudden movement to turn the wheel of your car, it could be trouble. So DON’T try to do too much, too soon – use common sense and follow your Surgeon’s recommendations – and ASK if you’re not sure.
  • If you’ve heard about a quicker-recovery or less invasive breast reduction method, think twice and do your research.
  • The LIPOSUCTION only method of breast reduction is usually not suitable for candidates who are wanting a moderate reduction to significant reduction in breast volume/breast size.
  • Find out why the so-called scarless method of liposuction-only breast reduction ISN’T usually the best option for patients with large, pendulous breasts.

Within approximately 3 months, with some variability, life will tend to be back to normal for you after recovering from Breast Reduction, including being able to exercise and lift your children.

But you’ll find newfound freedoms in what you can wear comfortably, and how exercising feels.

  • Imagine being able to comfortably walk, jog, run or participate in yoga, boxing or other favourite activities and gym classes!
  • Your scars will be either vertical and around the nipple (Le Jour technique) or vertical, around the nipple and under the breast crease (the Anchor Technique).
  • The Le Jour technique results in less scars for most patients, but not all surgeon and not all operations are amenable for this technique – ask YOUR surgeon which technique they use, and why!
  • But your SCARS tend to mature over about 12 months, to 18 months or longer – meaning it may take that long before they fully settle.
  • At six (6) months you’ll usually be able to participate

Scars healing after Breast Reduction – what’s normal?

  • Ask your Surgeon’s team in advance what’s normal and what’s not in terms of healing of the incision lines and what to expect.
  • Incision lines that become very red, itchy, raised (keloid) or warm/hot to the touch may be signs of something having gone wrong – see your Surgeon immediately if your incision lines are a concern.
  • Read your Post-Operation instructions and follow all Surgeon recommendations to reduce your surgery risks and complication risks; but remember, some risks/complications occur randomly despite best-practice care.
  • If you DO experience a complication or infection, work closely with your SURGEON to manage it in the best-way possible to reduce any consequences.
  • Occasionally, such as if you have a hematoma after surgery, you may require re-operation; but fortunately this is a less common complication.

The vertical scar technique of breast reduction surgery leaves the least scarring as it’s a vertical incision (plus around the nipple areola complex or NAC).

  • Scars can be managed with silicone strips, Laser Treatments such as Fraxel, and/or other light based treatments at the COCO RUBY clinic – ask your Surgeon for information.
  • Remember, too, that at our Melbourne & Berwick clinics, you’ll get a RAPID RECOVERY PACK – filled with recovery aids and creams – all included in your surgery price/quote for Breast Reduction.
  • Sydney Surgeons may have a different approach to post-surgery care – ask your SURGEON how to maximise your healing and recovery period for an optimal surgery experience as you recover.

Need help finding an expert SURGEON for your Breast Reduction Operation in Melbourne or Sydney?

Remember – NOT ALL BREAST REDUCTION SURGEONS are alike.  Some Breast Surgeons might only be a Dentist or Skin Doctor/Dermatologist rather than a bonafide Plastic Surgeon who spent their entire life performing cosmetic, plastic and reconstructive surgery.

Plastic Surgeons usually have much higher levels of industry monitoring, medical and surgical training and technical expertise than so-called “cosmetic surgeons” who operate only in their clinic back rooms.

“Cosmetic Surgeons” are NOT FRACS recognised Specialist Plastic Surgeons.

Do you know the difference between a Cosmetic Surgeon versus a Specialist Plastic Surgeon? Find out what they are.

And watch the FOUR CORNERS special episode on the Cosmetic Surgery industry.


Last updated: 25/09/2020
Author profile image
Dr Geoff Barnett MBBS FRACS(Plas)
Dr Geoffrey Barnett, FRACS (Plas) is a Melbourne based Specialist Plastic Surgeon who has over 35 years of expertise in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon for Cosmetic Surgery, Plastic Surgery and Body Contouring Surgery after Bariatric Surgery. Qualifications and Memberships: Specialist Plastic Surgeon (FRACS) Member - Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery [FRACS (Plast). The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) is the only professional body recognised by the Australian Medical Council (AMC) and the Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ) to train Surgeons in Australia and New Zealand. Author BIO page: https://cocorubyplasticsurgery.com.au/dr-geoff-barnett/