Recovery Time for Breast Reduction if There Are No Complications?

How much time do most patients need off of work provided there are no complications from a breast reduction? Thank you

Doctor Answers 8

Wide Variation

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The answers that are already listed here show that there is a wide variation in return to work dates.  I find that many patients are eager to get back to work and others want as much time off as possible.  The fatique of surgey is more of a factor than pain.

My rules for activity after surgery are: Walking is Good.  Bouncing is Bad.  If it hurts, Don't do It!

I think most of my patients take off 2 weeks but many could return sooner; they just don't want to.

Pensacola Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

A patient needs about a week off from work for a breast reduction.

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In my opinion, a patient can return to work the next day after a breast reduction if it's non-physical job.  No harm will be done to the product of the operation.  However, many patients may not feel up to it for about a week-fatigue, etc.

Breast Reduction - Recovery Time for Breast Reduction if There Are No Complications?

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Obviously there are individual variations but I usually fine that about a week is adequate for most jobs.  I typically advise my patient that there is no exercise for about three weeks after surgery so if your job is particularly physical then you might have to wait a little longer than a week, or go on modified duty (if that's available) so as to not stress yourself physically.  In general, though, about a week.

I hope that this helps and good luck,

Dr. E

1-2 weeks off from work

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Generally speaking, 1-2 weeks off from work is sufficient if your job involves just desk work. However, if you need to be on your feet all day and have to lift heavy things, I would recommend about 6 weeks off to reduce the chances of complications occurring.

Recovery after Breast Reduction

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Thank you for your question. Many physicians have different opinions on exercise or work activity after surgery. As a general guideline , I tell my patients the following. No aerobic exercise for 10 days, then low impact aerobic for 10 days , then restrictions based on comfort only. For  returning to work, most patients would be able to return to work in 7-14 days depending on their job requirements, possibly with some work restrictions that most employers will permit.  Of course, you should always check with your surgeon for post-op instructions..

Steven L. Ringler, MD, FACS
Grand Rapids Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Breast Reduction Surgery Recovery

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Thank you for your question.  Every patient is different and you should speak to the surgeon who will be taking care of you for more specific information.  

In general, pain is usually relatively little, often being a degree of discomfort. Some swelling will occur but usually begins to go away by the third or fourth day. Rest as much as possible for the first week. Avoid raising your arms over your head for 2 weeks.



Resumption Of Physical Activities

Driving may be resumed in 1 week, non-contact sports in 3 weeks, contact sports in 6 weeks, sexual activity in 2 weeks. Avoid any strenuous exercising or lifting for 3-4 weeks.

I hope this helps.

Recovery Time for Breast Reduction

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Most patients take their pain meds for a few days and then switch to ibuprofen. The larger the breast the longer the recovery. The comment most patients make is it isn't as sore as they expected but they fatigue easily and this can go on for 2-4 weeks.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Recovery from breast reduction

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Most patients will only need to take off about three days from work to recover from a breast reduction. Since the surgery does not involve any dissection of the chest muscle the recover is usually quite reasonable for most patients. After about three days, most patients are off their pain medication (vicodin) and can drive and return to work. Discuss this is more detail with a board certified plastic surgeon before having any surgery.   Best wishes, Dr.Bruno


William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 410 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.