What happens during the surgery?
A breast reduction is typically done with the patient under general anesthesia. Your skin will be cleansed and marked to help guide Dr. Engineer. He will expertly make an incision that goes all the way around the areola and continues underneath the breast. From this incision, he will remove excess skin from the sides of the breasts. The tissue that he does not remove will be lifted and shaped to create a tighter, smaller appearance for the breasts. He may also re-position the nipple and areola. Once he has finished, the incisions will be closed with sutures.
It’s normal for breast reduction patients to resume sedentary type work about one week following surgery; however, you will most likely still be sore and have some bruising, stiffness, and possible rash at this point. In addition, lifting your arms will be difficult the first few days following surgery.
After surgery, you will be given a surgical bra to wear. This is to help support your new breasts, and to help with healing. You’ll need to wear this special bra for approximately one week, at which time you can switch to a soft bra with no underwire. It is important to avoid wearing underwire bras until Dr. Engineer advises you that it’s okay to resume wearing them.
You may also have drains placed to catch excess fluids during recovery. If so, you’ll need to keep them dry.
Avoid lifting anything over 1-2 pounds for two weeks, and stop exercising for six (or until Dr. Engineer tells you to). Do not put any pressure on your incisions, and expect to sleep upright for a week or two.