20 Days Post Op. Is It Too Early to Start Massaging my Scars? And When Will Swelling Decrease to be the Final Result? (photo)

I have 3 questions! I'm 20 days post Op (Breast Reduction), I was wondering if it is too early to start massaging my scars with creams? My second question is how long would it take for the swelling to go down? And my third question is if there's any chance for my breast to further reduce in size? Sorry for too many questions! Many Thanks in advance

Doctor Answers 6

Breast Reduction Swelling and Incision Line Care?

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Thank you for the question and picture.

Congratulations on having undergone the breast reduction procedure; based on the picture it appears that you are doing well. You may find that the breasts may “settle” and appear smaller/softer within the next few months.You may find that it will take several additional months before you see the final results of the breast reduction surgery. It will take several additional months for the swelling to completely subside.

In regards to incision line care, it is best for you to ask your plastic surgeon;  you will find that every surgeon has his/her preferences.  Out of respect for your surgeon (and considering that he/she is ultimately responsible for your outcome) you should follow his/her “protocol”.

Best wishes.



Best to follow up with your PS and ask about massage.

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It’s not unusual for patients to have significant swelling following breast reduction surgery.The majority of this swelling resolves in 3 to 6 weeks.However, small amounts of residual swelling may persist for up to 3 to 6 months following surgery.As swelling resolves patients often note a corresponding decrease in breast size.In most cases this is a relatively minor change.
We generally don’t recommend breast massage in the immediate post-operative period.This procedure dramatically alters the breast architecture and massage might create shear forces that might disrupt the internal healing and lead to seromas, bleeding and hematomas.In the late post-operative period massage is appropriate and will help soften breast tissue.
It’s important that you discuss this issue with your plastic surgeon before starting massage in the immediate post-operative period.Your surgeon understands the specifics of your operation and will be able to provide you with appropriate direction.

Swelling and scar treatment

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You should ask your surgeon these questions for their answers, because they know more about your situation.

If your incisions aren't crusty and have closed properly, then  you may start scar creams. 
For swelling, it can take several months for all of it to subside, but the majority of it will disappear in three or four months. Once swelling has subsided, your breasts may decrease in size a bit. 

20 Days Post Op. Is It Too Early to Start Massaging my Scars? And When Will Swelling Decrease to be the Final Result

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Thank you for your question.  Swelling after a breast reduction and final results will take 6-12 months.  I encourage my patients to massage their scars and use silicone sheets 3 weeks post op.  Discuss ypur concerns with your surgeon and follow his recommendations. Best Wishes. 

Recovery from Breast Augmentation

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Yes, it may take several weeks for the swelling to go down and the tissues to settle.  I suggest to may patients to start gentle massage the day after surgery.  However, you should consult with your surgeon and follow their directions.


Good Luck.

Three weeks post surgery

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Questions regarding post-op care should really be addressed by your surgeon.  It looks like you are healing very nicely.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 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.