What is NORMAL Recovery after a Breast Reduction?


Having breast reduction surgery so you can move more freely at the gym? Or to feel less self-conscious at the beach? Longing to wear beautiful lingerie and nicely contoured bras, instead of those heavy-duty extra-large support bras available in neutral-only colours?  Wish you didn’t have such large, heavy or pendulous breasts?  Make no mistake, breast reduction surgery is one of the top-rated plastic surgery procedures for changing the lives of women who are struggling with very large, heavy breasts. It’s a surgery that can reduce back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain and bra-strap dig-ins caused by having heavy volume in the breast area. Then there’s skin chaffing and unwanted comments, when others make insensitive comments about your chest area or breast size. But what about recovery after breast reduction surgery?

What might be helpful for you to know in terms of surgery recovery?  If you’re researching your Breast Reduction Surgery options and Recovery time frames, please phone us on (03) 8849 1444 to find a Melbourne or Sydney Plastic Surgeon who focuses on precision, natural-looking Reduction Mammoplasty techniques. Our top teams in Melbourne and in Sydney offer drain-free surgery options and Le Jour incision techniques (for less scarring than anchor incisions, for Le Jour suitable candidates).

Ask for details during a no-obligation consultation after you’ve downloaded and read our e-book GUIDES to Breast Reduction.

Recovery from Breast Reduction (Melbourne, Sydney)

Have you read the Breast Reduction procedure page or downloaded a guide (below)? That’s your FIRST step for understanding breast reduction and normal recovery after breast surgery. Phone us on (03) 8849 1444 for an information appointment with our Melbourne or Sydney Breast Reduction Surgery experts (FRACS Plastic Surgeons). We also have monthly INFORMATION NIGHT events (no charge to attend).

General time frame and surgery recovery information for Reduction Mammoplasty with Melbourne and Sydney expert Breast Surgeons (FRACS qualified Plastic Surgeons).

  • Breast Reduction surgery can vary in time but the average duration of the surgery, itself, is often around 2 hour (but might take from 2 to 3 hours or longer).
  • That’s the general time most Breast Reduction patients are under General Anaesthesia in an accredited hospital, when one of our expert Breast Reduction Surgeons performs a breast volume reduction and breast lift, with or without additional liposuction for improving contours or reducing bra area bulges.
  • Allow for at least one night’s stay in the hospital for increased comfort (ask about your options).
  • The average stay in hospital after Breast Reduction is 1 to 2 days, although could be longer.

Pain, Movement, Walking and Exercising after Breast Reduction Surgery

Your comfort as you heal is our Surgeon’s top priority; we will give you tips and recommendations for preparation and recovery from Breast Reduction surgery.

  • We’ll also provide advanced pain management strategies (many patients are surprised the recovery period is not nearly as uncomfortable as they envisioned).
  • You’ll need to be off of work for about 1 week although some patients may need 2 weeks off of work (it depends on what you do, and if you can return to light duties).
  • You can generally engage in light walking and light activities within a few days (but no lifting to start with – including children – ask your Surgeon for a detailed recovery plan).
  • Exercises will need to be abstained from for the recommended period of time (check our guide for details).

Exercising after Breast Reduction Recovery – find out more in our downloadable GUIDE books.

Recommended reading for Breast Reduction Surgery and Recovery tips:

Download Our Breast Reduction Guide for Women for Melbourne or Sydney Operation information with expert Doctors

Our team has bonafide Specialist Plastic Surgeons who have extensive experience and international expertise in getting you a long-lasting, well-contoured and shapely breast result after a reduction procedure.

Phone us on (03) 8849 1444 and schedule a consultation with an expert Surgeon in Melbourne or Sydney, who will help you understand what the Breast Reduction/Reduction Mammoplasty procedure can accomplish for you, including nipple reduction or nipple reshaping and asymmetry correction to even out your breast size and balance out your nipple location.

Download Our Breast Reduction Guide

Looking for Male breast Reduction for Gynaecomastia? Click here to get the guide for Male Breast Reduction for “man boobs”

Examples of Female Breast Reduction Surgery (Photographs)

Click here for photos of before and after Breast Reduction Surgery.

Tips for Recovery after Breast Reduction Surgery:

Be sure you read all the materials given to you so you know what’s NORMAL and what’s NOT NORMAL during recovery after breast reduction.

Some of this is covered in our Guide. Additional information is given to you directly by your Melbourne or Sydney Breast Reduction Surgeon and his or her nursing team (before your operation). It’s important you do your reading and ask questions so you know what to expect and when to seek additional assistance or assessment during your recovery.

For a good recovery experience, it’s crucial you attend ALL post-operation check ups as recommended by your Surgeon.

And whatever you do, rest well, eat nutritiously and DO NOT smoke!

Smoking is a big NO NO and greatly impedes your healing, health and safety both before, during and after having an operation.

Recovery after Breast Reduction Surgery – General Overview

  • This information is NOT medical advice and you’ll need to ask your personal Surgeon for details and recommendations and guidelines.
  • Remember, the healthier you are before surgery – and the closer you are to your ideal weight or “happy weight” – the better you’re likely to feel as you recovery AND as you examine your results once you have finished with your healing.

General tips for Breast Reduction Recovery

  • Lifting: You’ll need to avoid heavy lifting for several weeks up to a few months – so if you have children or grandkids, keep this in mind (you can have them sit next to you on the sofa for a cuddle instead of lifting them).
  • Driving: You also shouldn’t drive for at least a FEW DAYS AFTER your operation – that’s for your comfort and safety and for the safety of others on the road.
  • Ask Questions: Ask your Surgeon how long to WAIT before getting behind the wheel of your car again. This may vary, of course, and may depend on how comfortable you are during your recovery.
  • Discomfort and movements: In other words, how freely you feel to move easily in terms of your recovery may impact what you CAN do easily and safely. If you’re sore and need to make a sudden movement to turn the wheel of your car, it could be trouble. So DON’T try to do too much, too soon – use common sense and follow your Surgeon’s recommendations – and ASK if you’re not sure.
  • If you’ve heard about a quicker-recovery or less invasive breast reduction method, think twice and do your research.
  • The LIPOSUCTION only method of breast reduction is usually not suitable for candidates who are wanting a moderate reduction to significant reduction in breast volume/breast size.
  • Find out why the so-called scarless method of liposuction-only breast reduction ISN’T usually the best option for patients with large, pendulous breasts.

Within approximately 3 months, with some variability, life will tend to be back to normal for you after recovering from Breast Reduction, including being able to exercise and lift your children.

But you’ll find newfound freedoms in what you can wear comfortably, and how exercising feels.

  • Imagine being able to comfortably walk, jog, run or participate in yoga, boxing or other favourite activities and gym classes!
  • Your scars will be either vertical and around the nipple (Le Jour technique) or vertical, around the nipple and under the breast crease (the Anchor Technique).
  • The Le Jour technique results in less scars for most patients, but not all surgeon and not all operations are amenable for this technique – ask YOUR surgeon which technique they use, and why!
  • But your SCARS tend to mature over about 12 months, to 18 months or longer – meaning it may take that long before they fully settle.
  • At six (6) months you’ll usually be able to participate

Scars healing after Breast Reduction – what’s normal?

  • Ask your Surgeon’s team in advance what’s normal and what’s not in terms of healing of the incision lines and what to expect.
  • Incision lines that become very red, itchy, raised (keloid) or warm/hot to the touch may be signs of something having gone wrong – see your Surgeon immediately if your incision lines are a concern.
  • Read your Post-Operation instructions and follow all Surgeon recommendations to reduce your surgery risks and complication risks; but remember, some risks/complications occur randomly despite best-practice care.
  • If you DO experience a complication or infection, work closely with your SURGEON to manage it in the best-way possible to reduce any consequences.
  • Occasionally, such as if you have a hematoma after surgery, you may require re-operation; but fortunately this is a less common complication.

The vertical scar technique of breast reduction surgery leaves the least scarring as it’s a vertical incision (plus around the nipple areola complex or NAC).

  • Scars can be managed with silicone strips, Laser Treatments such as Fraxel, and/or other light based treatments at the COCO RUBY clinic – ask your Surgeon for information.
  • Remember, too, that at our Melbourne & Berwick clinics, you’ll get a RAPID RECOVERY PACK – filled with recovery aids and creams – all included in your surgery price/quote for Breast Reduction.
  • Sydney Surgeons may have a different approach to post-surgery care – ask your SURGEON how to maximise your healing and recovery period for an optimal surgery experience as you recover.

Cost of Breast Reduction in Melbourne vs Sydney (Breast Reduction Operation Prices)

  • Every person’s breast reduction needs are different.
  • Your skin health/skin laxity, degree of ptosis, amount of reduction needed, nipple locations/size and other factors can influence HOW LONG you’ll be in surgery – e.g., how long your Breast Reduction operation will take.
  • The Breast Reduction procedure usually takes between 2 hours to 3 hours in theatre and is best with an overnight or 2 night stay in hospital.
  • This theatre time estimate can vary however, depending on numerous factors such as your presenting tissues, the size of the reduction, your Surgery procedure details and whether or not extra shaping is going to be used to sculpt your breasts or side boob (side boob/bra area or back fat).

Are you combining a procedure or having a subsequent operation? Breast Reduction usually is the first part of a Body Makeover after pregnancy, weight loss or simply having too much breast tissue or heavy, pendulous breasts that don’t help you to feel comfortable in your body.

  • Some patients choose to have further reduction of excess skin or fatty tissues during or subsequent to the breast reduction surgery procedure.
  • Tummy Tuck surgery is another popular post-breast reduction surgery option that some women choose to have after having a breast reduction operation.
  • Find out more in a consultation with an expert Surgeon (if you’re wanting to combine surgeries, you may need two consultations OR request an extended consultation).
  • Most patients begin with one surgery so they know what to expect, and healing is easier from one procedure versus two at the same time – we’ll help you understand the PROS and CONS of combining procedures if that’s your main aim.
  • For Breast Reduction consultations, phone (03) 8849 1444 in Melbourne or our 1300 number in Sydney.

Range of Pricing Differences for Breast Reduction Surgery and Surgeons in Melbourne and Sydney

All quality Plastic Surgery is customised to suit your needs; and your needs are unique to your body and your physique as well as your breast surgery size reduction goals and post-operation shaping needs.

We cannot give you a fixed price by phone.  We can, however, provide you with a range of costs for your Breast Reduction procedure – and you’ll get a specific PRICE QUOTE for the cost of your customised Breast Reduction operation with an expert Plastic Surgeon in our group (we have SYDNEY and MELBOURNE and BERWICK options for your consultations – and our patients love the care excellence our team is committed to providing to each and every one of our surgery and anti-ageing skin care patients.

Visit our payment methods page for tips on paying for the cost of breast reduction surgery by a plastic surgeon.

Plastic Surgery Costs in Melbourne

Further reading recommended by our Expert Sydney & Melbourne Plastic Surgeons:

Scarless Breast Reduction: are you suitable for liposuction only breast reduction?

Surgery Planning Tips – Helpful Ideas to Help You Prepare for Surgery

Silicone Strips: Do they really help scars heal better?

Need help finding an expert SURGEON for your Breast Reduction Operation in Melbourne or Sydney?

Remember – NOT ALL BREAST REDUCTION SURGEONS are alike.  Some Breast Surgeons might only be a Dentist or Skin Doctor/Dermatologist rather than a bonafide Plastic Surgeon who spent their entire life performing cosmetic, plastic and reconstructive surgery.

Plastic Surgeons usually have much higher levels of industry monitoring, medical and surgical training and technical expertise than so-called “cosmetic surgeons” who operate only in their clinic back rooms.

“Cosmetic Surgeons” are NOT FRACS recognised Specialist Plastic Surgeons.

Do you know the difference between a Cosmetic Surgeon versus a Specialist Plastic Surgeon? Find out what they are.

And watch the FOUR CORNERS special episode on the Cosmetic Surgery industry.