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How Much Pain am I Going to Have After my Breast Reduction Procedure?

When a patient is considering breast reduction, a common question during their first consultation is how much pain should the expect following their procedure and during their first few weeks of recover. In this article and video below I touch on this topic to help address some of those concerns.
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How much pain will I have following my breast reduction surgery?

Most patients would really just need Panadol and regular Nurofen after their surgery for the first two weeks. Sometimes some patients might need slightly stronger medication for their breakthrough pain, especially during the evening or overnight to ensure that they’re sleeping comfortably.

It’s also important that you wear a compression bra after your operation, as the compression bra is going to help settle down any swelling that you might have. The more swelling that you have that is not controlled initially (by the compression bra), the more pain and discomfort you’re going to have after your operation.

So, it’s important for you to be wearing the compression garment 24 hours, seven days a week, for the first six weeks after your operation at a minimum, except when you’re hopping into the shower of course.

Can I lift up my arms after surgery?

I get asked a lot if you can put your arms up after your procedure, and this is very important.

The answer is yes, because if you don’t try and put your arms up in the air and you continue to favour that shoulder, you’re going to come back ten days to two weeks after your procedure with a fairly frozen shoulder joint, and that’s not a good thing.

So, providing you’re not doing anything strenuous, I would highly encourage you to even put your arms up to get your T-shirt or your shirt over your head, to clean in the shower and just other simple activities to care for yourself in that manner. You will be a little bit uncomfortable at the very beginning, but that will slowly settle down as you get your shoulder joint moving.

What exercise can I do after surgery?

I would also recommend to my patients to walk around the block when they get home just so that they don’t feel like they’re stuck at home all the time, provided that they’re not doing anything too strenuous.

Most patients would find that pain is well and truly managed on Panadol and Nurofen to be able to take a walk around the block initially and potentially even get behind the wheel to drive at the end of a week, or maybe at the end of around ten days to two-week mark if they need a little bit of extra time. Their pain is usually well and truly controlled by the end of the two-week mark to allow them to get back to normal things in life.

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