13 Things to Know Before a Breast Reduction and Breast Lift
- Last updated: 1 month ago
Breast reduction surgery with a breast lift is a very popular set of surgeries with RealSelf Worth It Ratings in the 90s. As someone who has had both procedures (see my story), here are the 13 things I wish someone had told me before surgery.
1. I would have done it sooner.
If I had known how wonderful I would feel after my breast reduction and lift, I would've done it years ago. All my back, neck, and shoulder pain is gone. My confidence also went through the roof. When I woke up in recovery, I could instantly feel the difference and loved how perky my breasts were. My husband commented on my improved posture.
2. Ask your doctor when your drains will be removed.
The day after surgery, my doctor checked my drains and was able to remove one right away. This was nice and totally unexpected. If I had known he was going to pull it so soon, I would have doubled up on the pain meds.
Also, do not watch them pull your drain out. In my situation, it did hurt a bit, and I had not eaten much and was nauseous. I became really dizzy and had to sit down. I blame most of that on the meds and lack of food.
Learn more: Breast Reduction: Frequently Asked Questions
3. Stitch removal can hurt.
Two weeks post-op, I had the stitches removed from my nipples. If I had known it was going to hurt so much, I would have medicated myself heavily before this appointment as well. It felt like someone was pinching my nipples really hard…ouch.
4. Massage, massage, massage.
Two weeks post-op, I started massaging my breasts with Palmer’s Vitamin E Skin Therapy Oil. It felt great and helped the extremely dry and flaky skin I had on my breasts. Be gentle and patient. Today, my scars are barely visible, with no raised or red areas. To this day I still use the oil on my entire body.
5. Take the smooth way home.
We should have driven home from the hospital on a less bumpy route. Every bump on the way home made me tense up in pain. You also need to have a pillow in the car to place under the seatbelt which goes across your chest — never thought of that prior to surgery!
6. Don't be shy, strike a pose.
I should have taken a camera to the hospital to have some good "before" pictures taken.It would have been fun to take pictures of the markings the doctor made before surgery.
7. Don't buy bras until later.
I purchased bras before surgery in what I thought would be my new size. Dumb idea. Until you are healed and the swelling goes down, you really have no idea what your final size will be. Please wait a few weeks before shopping for bras.
8. Prepare your significant other for what to expect.
I should have shown my hubby some pictures of breasts after a reduction. When he had the first look that evening I thought he would die. He tried not to react but it was so obvious he was freaked out. Imagine his horror when he got a look at the incisions and stitches in the nipples, bruised, bloody, swollen…I think he was worried they would never look normal again.
9. Your breasts might look weird for a while.
Before surgery, I didn't realize that my breasts would look a little boxy for a while post-op. They need time to settle and drop.
10. No heavy lifting.
Very important: Do not attempt any heavy lifting or exercise for the first month after surgery. I went back to the gym at four weeks post-op and was able to exercise without any pain, but only with my doctor’s approval that it was OK to go back.
11. You're going to have scabs around your nipples that will itch something fierce.
Resist the urge to scratch! I discovered that I was actually scratching in my sleep, and woke up one morning with a bloody nightgown. Do not scratch your wounds at all costs, and sleep with socks on at night to avoid night scratching.
12. Surgical bras are comfortable, so wear them for the first six months.
I woke up in one after the surgery, but wish I had thought to get a couple more right away. Have at least three on hand. The longer you wear them, the better your results will be. No underwire bras for at least four months.
13. Do not sleep on your stomach during the first month.
I slept on the reclining sofa for the first few nights. When you do go back to your bed, put a pillow under each arm/elbow. It hurt to lie flat on my back with my arms falling to the mattress. They need to be elevated a little bit.
Want to know more? Read Kimmers25 transformative beauty journey.