How Long After Breast Reduction Surgery Are Breasts Swollen?

I had a breast reduction two weeks ago. I started at a 32F, and my doctor and I agreed that "around" a small C-cup would be better for my petite, athletic frame. I have had an excellent recovery so far; however, my breasts are still big for my size. I can even fit into a DD-cup bra. I'm a bit nervous that I will have gone through a major surgery and still have over-sized breasts. Even though my breast size hasn't decreased much since the day after surgery, could they are still swollen? If not, can this be corrected without undergoing extensive surgery again?

Doctor Answers 28

Post op swelling after breast reduction

Two weeks is very early after a breast reduction--you will certainly still have a lot of the expected and normal postoperative edema.  I typically tell patients that postoperative swelling resolves slowly; maybe 80% is resolved within 6-8 weeks, but the rest may take up to 6-8 months to resolve.  Be patient!

Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Post Breast Reduction Healing

Some discomfort, swelling and discoloration of the #breasts are to be expected for several weeks. The scars at the incision lines typically become reddish and a few weeks after surgery are raised and firm. After a number of months they become pale and soft. After 8-12 months, the scars are relatively inconspicuous. The #nipples and some areas of the skin may be numb or sensitive after surgery. Sensation may return within a few weeks or months, but may be diminished or overly sensitive.

If you have severe redness, swelling, drainage or odor, it is important to call the office and speak with the doctor or medical staff. You may need to be seen in the office and evaluated. If the wound becomes separated or you develop a small opening, this again should be evaluated so that appropriate steps can be taken as soon as possible.

Jed H. Horowitz, MD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 110 reviews

Two Weeks is Early, 12 Months Minimum.

3 Dimensional studies of post operative patients show that it takes a whole year for swelling to subside. 

Stay In communication with your plastic surgeon.  Voice your concerns.  Give it time.  If you and your plastic surgeon agree that an adjustment is needed, a simple revision is possible.  

Many size issues resolve with patience.  Patience is often rewarded with better than expected outcomes. But never fear, help is available if needed. 

Breast Reduction and Post operative Swelling

Bruising and swelling following breast reduction surgery can take weeks to months before achieving a more stable final result. Most of my patients will experience significant swelling for at least two weeks following breast reduction surgery. The breasts  after reduction surgery typically begin to settle around one month and by three months post operation the breasts seem to have settled into a more consistent position and size. 

Jason S. Cooper, MD
Jupiter Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Swelling after Breast Reduction

Post-operative swelling can take 6-12 months to completely subside.  Since you are still very early in the healing process, I would advise you to hold off on assessing your results and breast size for quite a while until you are much further along in your recovery process.  Best of luck!

Stephen T. Greenberg, MD
Woodbury Plastic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Swollen Breasts After Reduction Surgery

Two weeks is still very early in the recovery process. The swelling that you are experiencing is common and completely normal. It could take 6-12 months to see the final results.

Jeffrey Weinzweig, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 63 reviews

Still Swollen at 2 Weeks

At 2 weeks you are very early after surgery to judge the outcome.  However, it may not be possible to go all the way down to a C cup from an F cup. There are limitations based on the amount of tissue that must be preserved to maintain circulation and sensation to the nipple, and allow for healing of the skin. It is best under these circumstances to tell your board certified plastic surgeon that you would like to get as close to a C cup as possible, and let them reshape your breast at the time of surgery to the size that is most appropriate based on your anatomy. Then you will get the best breast shape that can be achieved, and maximize the chances of a risk free recovery!

Gary Lawton, MD, FACS
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 136 reviews

Breast will be swollen after augmentation for a few months, at least


Breast reduction results particularly those of large reductions usually take several months to show themselves. Initially things look "tight high and swollen." On the reduction target, did your surgeon really say he could take you from an F to a small C cup? You might want to talk with him about this again.

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

How Long After Breast Reduction Surgery Are Breasts Swollen?

You are very early in your postoperative course. You still have a considerable amount of swelling from surgery and that should dissipate over time. Typically it can take at least six months before you get to the point where the swelling is gone, and can take upwards of year for the final result. Be patient. Sounds like you're right on course.

Richard Pecunia, MD, FACS
Hattiesburg Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Post-Surgical Swelling After Breast Reduction

One of the most difficult parts of undergoing any cosmetic surgery is waiting for the final results to become apparent. That's true with breast reduction. As others have already mentioned, 2 weeks is much too early to assess the outcome of your procedure. Swelling is expected to last several weeks, even months, before resolving fully. Be patient and, if you remained concerned after another month or so, contact your plastic surgeon. Remember also that different styles and manufacturers label their bra sizes differently. I always remind my patients that the label is not important, only the proportion between your breast size and your overall figure. Good luck.

James N. Romanelli, MD, FACS
Long Island Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 23 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.