What to Expect After your Breast Reduction Surgery?

Breast Reduction Surgery
Breast Reduction Surgery

Reduction mammaplasty, also known as breast reduction surgery, is a surgical procedure in which the underlying tissues, fat, and skin is removed from the mammary glands or breasts. This surgery is for patients who complain of having heavier or larger breasts that cause uneasiness, back or shoulder pain, inability to perform certain physical activities, poor self-confidence, trouble fitting into certain clothes, and so on. If you are considering breast reduction surgery or any plastic surgery, you must consult an experienced plastic surgeon to understand every step of the procedure and any possible risks or complications you may face after the surgery.

Problems to expect after breast reduction surgery

Like every surgical procedure, breast reduction surgery has associated risks. However, the benefits that patients get from the surgery outweigh the risks, which is why breast reduction surgeries are so popular these days.

These are some of the health risks or problems which patients may expect after breast reduction surgery:

Weakness and chest soreness

After the surgery, some patients complain of tenderness around the breasts, which is common. After every plastic surgery or surgical procedure, that area would be sore or tender for a few days or weeks till it heals. For some patients with a lower pain resistance capacity, it might be painful to perform daily activities until the area has healed up completely. Due to the pain, patients might feel weak and light-headed.


Scarring is natural after surgery, and breast reduction surgery is no exception. The severity of the scar depends on the type of surgery you have opted for and your body chemistry. It is natural to get scarring around the nipple-areola area, and there might also be a vertical scar on your skin. However, the scarring generally goes away with medication. However, if you’re curious about the severity of the scarring, discuss the same with your surgeon.

Nipple asymmetry

Breasts are not perfectly symmetrical in most cases, and it is quite natural that post surgeries, it would take time for the tissues to settle. So, initially, after the surgeries, patients often complain that their breasts appear asymmetrical; however, after the tissues settle down, they appear symmetrical after full recovery.

Loss of nipple sensation

Sometimes patients complain of losing nipple sensation, which is temporary in most cases. After taking appropriate medication, this problem generally goes away in most cases. However, sometimes it may persist longer than usual, so patients need to follow up with their respective doctors.


A hematoma is a blood clot beneath the skin. It resembles a bruise and is less serious than a blood clot in the veins. Haematomas do raise red flags when they expand. When a blood artery begins to bleed after surgery, it may be an alert for an enlarging hematoma. Visit a doctor immediately if you suspect you have a haematoma or anything similar.

Nipple necrosis

Nipple necrosis occurs when the blood supply to the nipple is unsuccessfully reattached after the breast is relocated during surgery. Your surgeon has two options if a physician or other healthcare provider determines that you have nipple necrosis. They would go back and reconnect the nipple to the blood supply, or they would conduct a free nipple graft.

Risks and complications of breast reduction surgery

The most common side effect of breast reduction surgery is scarring. Although they won’t disappear, these scars will eventually lighten. If you carry heavy objects too soon after surgery, they could worsen.

Other possible complications include:

  • Short-term or long-term loss of Nipple sensation
  • Infections
  • Adverse effects of the anaesthesia
  • Bleeding
  • Blood clotting
  • Bruising and swelling around the operated area
  • Serious damage to your body’s nerves and blood vessels
  • Requirement for another surgery

When should you contact your doctor?

After the breast reduction surgery, it is necessary to take care of yourself so that the body may heal faster. Patients are often advised to follow precautionary measures to recover quickly after the surgical procedure. However, despite taking healthcare measures, certain patients complain of severe side effects for which they must consult their doctor immediately. These are some of the signs you must look out for if you have any of the following-

  • A fever of at least 100.4° F
  • Breast swelling or severe soreness or redness
  • Chills
  • Your body has developed a lot of bloody, bright red discharge from the point of the incision
  • After surgery, your breast has turned firm or enlarged

Parting thoughts

Breast reduction surgery is a common and safe procedure with quick patient recovery. Most women wish to know how quickly their recovery will be so they can return to work and normal life. Hence, patients can appropriately gear up for recovery by knowing what to anticipate after the treatment. Following the directions mentioned by the surgeon, doctors, and medical staff is crucial if you are worried about scarring and the length of the breast reduction recovery period. Most women who have had this plastic surgery report that they are happy with the outcomes; however, there may be specific side effects sometimes. It is advisable to contact an experienced plastic surgeon and understand the possible risks and complications before opting for this surgery.

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