Women and men with unusually large and heavy breasts are turning to breast reduction surgery to solve the physical and emotional discomfort it brings. While most clinics will tell you the benefits of undergoing the procedure, very little information would be available on the side effects, complications, recovery time, and breast reduction scars that happen after the surgery. Here, we will dig deeper and learn about what happens after the breast reduction surgery.
Breast reduction recovery time
After the breast reduction surgery, your plastic surgeon will advise you to have one to two weeks off from work to recover from the surgery. The wounds are still fresh during the first week after surgery, so minimal activities are allowed. Physical activities would have to be tapered down for at least a month to avoid unwanted complications after the surgery. Expect pain and tenderness around your breasts for the first few weeks. You can take prescribed pain medications and use supportive bandages and bra.
Breast reduction scars
Breast reduction scars are one of the most popular concerns for patients contemplating about getting this surgery. There is no guarantee that the breast reduction scars will be unnoticeable post-surgery. Some even consider this as the make-or-break factor in deciding who and where to get their breast reduction surgery.
How do breast reduction scars look like?
Breast reduction surgery is done using two different methods – the vertical or the inverted T approach. When your plastic surgeon uses the vertical breast reduction, the incisions are made around the areola and below the areola to the bottom crease of your breast, creating breast reduction scars that look like a lollipop. The inverted T breast reduction involves incisions around the areola, a vertical line from the areola to the underboob, and a horizontal incision along the breast crease. This approach gives you anchor-looking breast reduction scars after the procedure.
How do you care for your breast reduction scars?
During the first few days or weeks following your surgery, your breast reduction scars will look reddish, lumpy, and raised. This wound presentation is caused by the increased blood supply in the wound and build-up of collagen that aids wound healing. As time passes, these scars should look faded and lighten if you follow the wound care instructions of your plastic surgeon.
There are topical creams and ointments containing silicone that help lighten your breast reduction scars. Plastic surgeons also suggest applying light pressure on the scar as it is found out that introducing light pressure prevents the breast reduction scars from becoming noticeably uneven. Some surgeons prescribe silicone gel sheets or micropore tape applied over it to provide light pressure. This practice also shields it from rubbing onto clothes and causing irritation.
You should avoid sun exposure for the first few weeks to ensure that the breast reduction scars will not develop into a more visible patch on your skin. If in case you are a keloid former and getting hypertrophic scars is inevitable, the use of steroid injections may be useful in making your breast reduction scars look smooth, light, and faded. It is always best to discuss all these steps with your plastic surgeon so you would know what scar-minimizing steps would best suit your situation.