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What Will My Breast Reduction Recovery Be Like?

In this short discussion, Dr Marion Chan touches on what a typical breast reduction surgery recovery process will be like including how long you’ll be in hospital, what you can expect to do within the first few weeks, when you can consider driving and when you can start thinking about returning to work and exercising.

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How long will my hospital stay be / when can I go home after surgery?

Some of my breast reduction patients would be well enough to go home on the day of their procedure. However, I would say most would like to stay overnight. I find if they do stay overnight and their pain is under control, we know exactly what kind of pain medications they’ve been taking throughout the evening so we can make sure they go home on the same things.

We can also ensure that they’re getting up and about, using the bathroom, able to self-care and move around, that they’re ambulating and well and truly feel comfortable by the time they’re discharged the next morning.

When can I start driving?

Most patients would feel comfortable hopping behind the wheel and starting to drive at around the one-week mark. I do see a lot of my patients coming back for their post operative appointment at around the seven to ten-day mark driving to their appointment themselves. Sometimes they find they would need an extra week and that’s very much dependent on the patient themselves.

When can I go back to work?

In terms of work, most patients would take a couple of weeks off work, particularly if they are doing desk duties or administrative tasks at work. If your line of work is a lot more physically demanding that requires a lot of heavy lifting, probably don’t get think about returning to that until around the five-to-six-week mark after your operation.

What about starting to exercise?

In terms of exercise, I would encourage my patients to return to, for example the gym, at around the two-week mark. You could go back for a lower limb or a leg day that early, provided you’re not doing anything too strenuous that’s going to use your upper limb muscles or upper chest muscles like chest presses, overhead presses or lat pulldowns for the first four to six weeks after the operation.

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