How Long After a Breast Reduction Are You Laid Up?


Doctor Answers (15)

Breast reduction recovery

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After a period of bed rest immediately following surgery, breast reduction patients are encouraged to begin moving around for short period of time. While the body may still be tender during the first few days of normal activity, movement should become more comfortable within the first week following the surgery. Patients should avoid any type of strenuous activity (like bending, lifting or otherwise straining the body). Engaging in activities like these is dangerous and can cause increased swelling or bleeding. It's possible for most women to resume a mild exercise routine after the first few weeks of healing.
We often instruct our patients to sleep on their back during the recovery process in order to avoid causing pressure to the breasts as they heal.

Most women return to work within one or two weeks (10 days is the average length of time), but patients with physically demanding jobs may require more time off. Any kind of strenuous activity should be avoided for at least three weeks. Sexual activity should also be avoided. Arousal can inflame the areas of the breasts where sutures are present.


Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 70 reviews

Recovery Period Following Breast Reduction Surgery

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Breast reduction is one of the more commonly performed surgical procedures in women.  Patients note almost immediate improvement in their symptoms and over the course of time develop increased exercise tolerance.  This often results in weight loss which allows them to wear different types of clothing.  They feel that people no longer stare at them and this results in improved self-esteem and self-image.
It’s important to remember that recovery varies from patient to patient.  We generally recommend taking one week off from school and work following this procedure, but many patients are able to return sooner.  Strenuous activity such as athletics should be avoided for at least four to six weeks following surgery.
Patients are typically given narcotic pain relievers for four to five days following surgery.  They are then usually switched to double strength Tylenol.  It’s important to have an adequate support system available in the post-operative period.
Patients are required to wear a specialized support bra for three weeks and a sports bra for an additional three months.  It’s important to remember that complete healing takes at least a year.

Richard J. Bruneteau, MD
Omaha Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Breast Reduction Recovery?

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Thank you for the question.
Like every procedure performed,  every patient will have a different recovery experience. Some of this experience will depend on the patient's personality/pain threshold etc.
Most patients are “laid up” for a few days and return  to light activities within 7 to 10 days. Heavy lifting should be delayed for 4 to 6 weeks.
Best wishes.
 

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 781 reviews

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Time off after breast reduction

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Patients do very well in terms of not needing pain medication after several days. I a, very conservative and suggest that my patients take two weeks off from work. In this economy, there is nothing worse than underestimating the time needed for recuperation and having an angry employer. Sutures are removed by or before two weeks. I am also cognizant that our NYC commuting experience is a trying one for many women and that they aren't ready to resume strap hanging a week after surgery and that it takes time to recuperate from the effects of general anesthesia. Many women are in very good shape a week after surgery and use week 2 to recoup before returning to work.

Robert L. Kraft, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Recovery time for breast reduction.

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Most breast reductions are done as outpatient surgery (IE, you go home the same day).  I instruct my patients to take 2 weeks off from work, but most feel able to return to desk work in about 10 days.  If the patient has a more active job, I recommend 3 or 4 weeks off to be sure there is proper healing.  As with most surgery, the most discomfort occurs in the first 2 - 3 days and then will begin to fade in the days after.  Discomfort after breast reduction is usually controlled by taking the pain medications regularly, wearing a support bra without under wires and using cool compresses along the incision lines on top of the bra.

Jeffrey M. Darrow, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

How much time off after a Breast Reduction...

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Breast Reduction is a procedure where the surgeon is removing excess breast tissue and skin to achieve smaller breasts.  Because the muscles are not touched there shouldn't be much pain, most patients complain of being uncomfortable.  The recommended recovery time would be one week for office jobs.  Any jobs requiring heavy lifting would need more time off, approximately two to three weeks depending on healing.  You would need to discuss your job requirements with your surgeon to find out the exactly how much recovery time is needed.

Shain A. Cuber, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

Down time after Breast Reduction

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People heal at different rates but the vast majority of women undergoing Breast Reductions return back to work in a wee to two weeks. The procedure is performed as an outpatient. Women return to full gym activities in 3-4 weeks after surgery. Dr. Peter Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Breast Reduction Recovery

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I recommend 2 weeks off from work and no heavy lifting or activity for 6 weeks.   Breast reduction requires lengthy incisions to optimize the shape, volume, and symmetry after removal of breast tissue.   The longer the incision, the more likely complications are to occur.   These can include infection, bleeding, thickened scar, or wound dehiscence.    Taking off the appropriate time to heal and following up with your surgeon will help minimize these problems and give you a great long lasting result.

Paul S. Gill, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Return to work & activity after breast reduction.

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In most instances in my practice, patients are back to desk work at about 7-10 days. However, return to full unresticted activities may be limited for 6 weeks or more. This will vary tremendously from individual to individual and with the surgical technique

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Recovery after breast reduction

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Depending on your overall health, a breast reduction could be done as an outpatient (meaning you go home the same day). Most plastic surgeons will encourage you to start walking the same day and not to stay in bed except for normal sleep. Taking narcotic pain medications for 3 to 7 days is typical and many patients return to light duty work within 1 week. By 4 to 6 weeks, most all other activities can be resumed. Although there is some "down time”, most patients don't mind since they quickly feel so much better with their new smaller breasts.

Karol A. Gutowski, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.