After the procedure, you will be taken from the operating theatre to a recovery room, where you will come round from the anaesthesia under close supervision.
You may experience some pain, swelling and tightness of the chest immediately after the procedure. This is perfectly normal. We will give you pain relief medication while you’re with us and we will provide you with a supply of all the medicines your consultant feels you need to take home with you after you've left hospital, up to 14 days. This may be at an additional cost to some patients.
You will go home with bandaging in place and wearing your supportive bra which helps prevents the weight of the breasts pulling on the wound and slowing the healing process. You will be given a contact phone number for the hospital and a date for a follow-up appointment with your surgeon, when the dressing and stitches will be removed. This is usually about a week later. Dissolvable stitches will disappear on their own in about seven to ten days.
Your consultant will advise you on how to make your recovery as quick as possible but when you get home you’ll need to take things easy at first.
You should arrange at least a week off work and you should gradually be able to return to normal activity within four to six weeks.
Avoid stretching, strenuous exercise and heavy lifting for up to six weeks after your operation. You should keep your breasts supported by wearing a well-fitting, wireless sports bra for up to three months. If you don't have something suitable ask your consultant for advice.
You should avoid driving until you no longer experience any pain when wearing a seatbelt, which may be several weeks. Check with your car insurance company to see what their policy is on driving after surgery.
You may feel that your breasts look unnatural at first, but this is almost always temporary - they will start to look and feel better within a few months. You should continue to wear the supportive bra for four to six weeks after the operation. The scarring will continue to fade for several months after your surgery. Occasionally some women are left with small folds of skin at the end of the scar, both between and at the sides of the breasts. These can be removed in a further small operation a few months later.
How your loved ones can help
Once you’re ready to be discharged, you’ll need to arrange a taxi, friend or family member to take you home because you won’t be able to drive. You should also ask them to help with shopping and cleaning for a few weeks.
Looking after you
We’re with you every step of the way through your recovery, even after you’ve left hospital. After a breast reduction typically our consultants will want to see you a week after your procedure to see how you are doing.
The chance of complications depends on the exact type of operation you are having and other factors such as your general health. We will talk to you about the possible risks and complications of having this procedure and how they apply to you.
If you have any questions or concerns about your recovery, we're ready to help.