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Adam G. Tattlebaum M.D.

A Patient’s Guide To: After A Breast Reduction

What is a Breast Reduction?

Whether you’re planning to get breast reduction surgery or you’re still on the fence, you’ll need to know what to expect afterwards.

The procedure involves reducing both the size and the weight of the breasts, by removing excess fat, tissue, and skin from the breasts. Depending on the size of the breasts and the reduction technique employed, the procedure itself takes about two-and-a-half hours.

Benefits of Breast Reduction Surgery

Women undergo a breast reduction procedure for many reasons – addressing both medical and aesthetic concerns.

Medical concerns may include chronic back, neck, and shoulder pain, restricted physical activity, and skin irritation. In some cases, breast reduction may improve or alleviate these symptoms.

Aesthetic concerns may include the inability to fit into bras and other clothing and, in some cases, loss of self-confidence. 

Having breast surgery can be a big decision, but the overwhelming majority of patients are highly satisfied afterwards, and here are a few reasons why:

  • Better proportioned breasts, giving you a more balanced look
  • Lifted breasts will give you a more youthful look
  • Strong evidence suggests reducing the weight of the breasts helps alleviate neck, back, and shoulder pain
  • Your bras and other clothing will fit better and may help to boost your self-confidence

What can I expect after Breast Reduction Surgery?

It’s been described as having the weight of the world being lifted – not from the shoulder, but from the chest – both literally and figuratively.

After they’ve had it done and their breasts have settled nicely into place, most women are pleased that they went forward with the surgery and regret not having done it sooner. In fact, this surgery is consistently cited as one of the highest patient satisfaction in cosmetic procedures. That’s certainly the case among my patients.

Immediately after surgery, you will be wearing either a surgical bra or elastic bandage, which you will need to wear for about a week.

Most patients will then wear a gently compressive sports bra for about six weeks. All sutures are dissolvable. If necessary, you may need to go home with drainage tubes, though I generally don’t use them.

Breast reduction recovery time will vary, but you will need help for a few days afterwards. You should also avoid any strenuous exercise for at least 21 days. Normal activities can usually resume after this point.

Your breasts will continue shaping, which you and I will watch together, for six months. And if we’re happy with the results – excellent! Otherwise, we can make adjustments. Check out our gallery of breast reduction before and after photos.

Post-Surgery Concerns

Many of my patients ask about nipple sensation after breast reduction surgery. If it’s a standard breast reduction in which we leave the nipple attached, then – yes, it’s possible to maintain nipple sensation, though it is not guaranteed.

Another common question I get is, “Will I be able to breastfeed after breast reduction surgery?”.

Again, like the nipple sensation question, with standard surgery, breastfeeding is possible but not a guarantee.

Scarring after breast reduction surgery is another concern. I take great strides to minimize the cosmetic impact of the scars, but they will be present. And genetics plays a crucial role in the healing process.

Breast Reduction Scars 

When it comes to breast reduction, patients are naturally concerned about the appearance of scarring post-surgery.

In every surgical procedure, there will be scarring, but many patients worry about how visible the scars will be. This is completely normal.

To help, I’ve written an entire blog post on the scars after a breast reduction procedure, and how you can minimize them.

Massage After A Breast Reduction

Breast massage after breast reduction surgery is important for several reasons. It can help to:
  • Reduce swelling and bruising
  • Break up internal scar tissue
  • Improve blood flow to the area
  • Promote healing
  • Make the breasts feel more natural and comfortable
You can start massaging your breasts after your incisions have healed and you’ve been given the okay by your doctor – usually after a post-surgery check-in. You should massage your breasts for several minutes at a time, three or four times a day, and follow these instructions:
  • Use gentle, circular motions.
  • Apply light pressure.
  • Do not massage over any incisions.
  • Feel free to use a moisturizer or massage oil to help your hands glide over your skin.
  • If you experience any pain, stop massaging and get in touch with your doctor.

Can Breast Tissue Grow Back After Breast Reduction Surgery?

Simply put, yes, the breasts can grow in size after reduction surgery.

It’s not common, but it can happen in the right circumstances. To learn more about it, check out my blog on the subject: Can Breast Tissue Grow Back After Breast Reduction Surgery?

Breast Reduction Consultation

Again, breast reduction surgery has a high rate of satisfaction. If you’re ready to explore your options or have more questions, then please get in touch to organise a free consultation.

We serve patients in two locations: Maryland and North Virginia. And due to our proximity, we also take patients from Washington D.C. With years of experience and countless reduction surgeries under our belt, we can create your ideal breasts.

Please fill out a form via our contact page to request a consultation.

March 15, 2022 9:57 am
Categories: Blog

Written by Dr. Adam Tattelbaum

Dr. Adam Tattelbaum is a highly skilled and compassionate plastic surgeon with over two decades of experience.

Double-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and the American Board of Surgery, Dr. Tattelbaum believes in providing personalized patient care and customizes his treatment plans to suit the individual.

Dr. Tattelbaum's candid and realistic approach has earned him recognition, not only with his patients but in the Top Doctor lists of the Washingtonian and Bethesda magazines. He is also a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, a mark of distinction in the field of cosmetic surgery.

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