How Long After a Breast Reduction Are You Laid Up?

Doctor Answers 15

Recovery Period Following Breast Reduction Surgery

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.

Omaha Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 142 reviews

8900 West Dodge Road
Omaha, NE 68114

Breast Reduction Recovery?

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 1,053 reviews

8851 Center Drive
San Diego, CA 91942

Time off after breast reduction

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 17 reviews

112-03 Queens Blvd
Forest Hills, NY 11375

Recovery time for breast reduction.

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 55 reviews

170 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02116

How much time off after a Breast Reduction...

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
Edison Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

150 East 61st Street
New York, NY 10065

Down time after Breast Reduction

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 81 reviews

6401 Poplar Avenue
Memphis, TN 38119

Breast Reduction Recovery

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 62 reviews

9200 Pinecroft
The Woodlands, TX 77380

Return to work & activity after breast reduction.

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 58 reviews

880 W Central Rd
Arlington Heights, IL 60005

Recovery after breast reduction

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 30 reviews

2333 W Irving Park Rd
Chicago, IL 60618

Breast Reduction Recovery Varies

The time required for recovery following a breast reduction and all surgery varies a good deal among patients.  I have had some patients who were taking only Tylenol for pain control on the night of surgery and others who required narcotics 3 weeks post-op.  Most patients whose work is sedentary can return to work in 1-2 weeks, but women whose jobs involve heavy lifting and straining may need to take 6 weeks or so off.

John Whitt, MD (retired)
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

4001 Kresge Way
Louisville, KY 40207

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.