Post operatively activity and sleeping? (photos)

I wasn't really given any clear concise directions postoperatively. I'm really not sure how high I can lift my arms what my lifting restrictions are etc. Am I allowed to sleep on my side or do I have to sleep on my back. I had a bilateral breast reduction on Thursday. They used the anchor technique. I went from a G cup to a C Cup. I am a healthy 34 year old woman...happily married with three young children.

Doctor Answers 4

Post Op Instructions for Breast Reduction

I advise my patients to sleep on their back for 3 weeks following their breast reduction, no lifting anything over 5 lbs. until the 2 week mark, and no lifting anything over 15 lbs. until the 3 week mark.    I also advise my patients that they are not allowed to exercise until 6 weeks following surgery and the same goes for swimming.  I suggest scheduling a follow up with your board certified plastic surgeon to go over your post op instructions as every doctor has different protocols!

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 18 reviews


Thank you for the question and I would contact my surgeons office and ask his opinions as each surgeon has his own regimen post surgery.  I am actually surprised that you were not given immediate post operative instructions prior to discharge.

Dr. Corbin

Frederic H. Corbin, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Postop activity

Hello and congratulations on your recent surgery! You should refer back to your plastic surgeon to clarify, but at my office, we restrict chest exercises for 6 weeks and encourage early activity, including range of motion in the upper extremities. We also recommend that you sleep on your back for the first week or so, then on your sides if you can get comfortable.

Carmen Kavali, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Breast reduction recovery

We surgeons each have our own recommendations for postop recovery, so it's really important that you call your surgeon's office and clarify what his/her recommendations are. It look like you are on your way to a nice result.

In general, here are some some of my recommendations for my own patients:
No restrictions on arm movement - Ok to raise arms to do hair etc.
No restrictions on sleep position, although many women are most comfortable on their backs for awhile, especially if there was liposuction on the sides or a longer T- scar. Sleeping on side is OK.
No restrictions on bras - comfy and stretchy is usually best. We provide bras, but sometimes patients prefer their own and I believe comfort is important and that the bra does not create the result.
Sleeping in a soft stretchy bra is usually more comfortable than going without.
Showers are unlimited starting the day after surgery.
Avoid lifting more than about 10 pounds, for 1-2 weeks,primarily due to risk of bleeding (risk diminishes after the first couple of days but bleeding can still happen)
Avoid driving if taking pain medicine.

I hope those general suggestions might help you, but please do clarify with your surgeon.
Best wishes-

Susan MacLennan, MD
Banff Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 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.