Breast reduction - why and how?
Breast reduction surgery offers a great way for you to achieve a slimmer body shape. Oversize breasts can cause neck and back pain, and many women find their self confidence can be severely affected by oversize breasts. Another reason people opt for a cosmetic procedure is to correct an asymetry - that is, one breast being larger than the other.
The surgery itself is completely safe, and is regularly performed in the UK. However, if you are thinking of speaking to your doctor about it, it is worth bearing in mind that the recovery time can be longer than for other types of cosmetic surgery. The incision made is quite deep, and the tissue beneath is tender, so there will be some pain as you recover. In particular, it is worth noting that it can take a while before you see the full results of the reduction process.
The operation is performed under a general anesthetic, so you will need to stay in hospital for at least one night after the procedure. Providing the surgery has been successful, you should be able to go home the next day. You should expect the breasts to be sore and swollen, but you will be given cream to moisturise and soothe the swollen areas. You will need to wear a special bandaged bra for at least a week after the procedure.
Your doctor will probably advise you to avoid any strenuous excercise for the first 6 weeks or so. However, unless your job involves heavy lifting, there is no reason why you should not be back at work within 10 days.
Longer term recovery and swelling
If the swelling does not reduce in the first couple of weeks, that is no cause for alarm. It may well be that the swelling does not subside completely for 6 months following the procedure; this is when you will be able to see the new shape and size of your breasts. Do not worry if it seems like you are still able to fit your old bras in the first couple of months! This is completely normal - as mentioned above, there is considerable damage done to the tissue of the breast, and it takes time to heal.
Women often report that the swelling and soreness worsens around the time when they get their period. Again, this is normal, and should fade after 3-5 months. Although there will be some permanent scarring, the swelling is not permanent, and will have totally disappeared 6-8 months after the operation.