In the week before your surgery
- Complete household chores and prepare all meals for the first few days of post-operative recovery.
- Follow preoperative care instructions when eating, drinking, and taking medications. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before surgery, except for a sip of water with your medications.
After your surgery
- Arrange for someone to drive you home and stay with you for the first 24-48 hours, as you may feel drowsy.
- It is essential to go for a short walk (with assistance, if needed) every few hours after your breast surgery to decrease the chance of post-operative problems such as blood clots.
- Take 15-20 deep breaths every hour to keep your lungs open.
- Eat a healthy, light diet for 2-3 days, being careful to avoid spicy foods. Ease abdominal discomfort or indigestion after surgery by drinking water or warm liquids and prune juice to prevent constipation.
Remember to take your medications as directed by Dr. de la Pedraja to manage discomfort or symptoms. These are likely to include Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and some form of narcotic.
- You may shower or simply sponge bath two days after surgery with assistance and wash your skin with soap and water as you usually would. Avoid soaking the incisions and gently pat dry after washing.
- You may wear a camisole and post-operative bra provided by de la Pedraja after surgery. He will advise you when you may wear an underwire bra again – usually a minimum of four weeks after surgery.
- Most wounds will be closed with dissolving sutures that are buried as well as skin glue. Do not apply any lotions, ointments, creams, or solutions as these can harm fragile healing tissue.
- Do not smoke or expose yourself to nicotine or other smokers, as this can compromise wound healing.
- Infection is very rare, but please call Dr. de la Pedraja at any sign of infection, indicated by fever, increased pain, spreading redness, or significant swelling.
For the first few days after your breast surgery, avoid raising your heart rate or blood pressure as this could lead to bleeding. Gentle, full-range of motion exercises with your arms 3-5 times per day are recommended starting on the day of your surgery.
Do not lift anything greater than 10-15 lbs in weight, or perform strenuous exercises for 7-10 days. Chest muscle exercises or strenuous bouncing exercises should be avoided for six – eight weeks.
Massage of the breast and areas that received liposuction can help increase circulation and soften tight areas under the skin. Wait at least 3-4 weeks after surgery before starting massage to avoid increased swelling.
- Moderate swelling of your breasts after surgery is to be expected. Your breasts may initially appear relatively high and perky after breast reduction but will settle into their natural position over several weeks
- If you chose to have liposuction simultaneously as your breast reduction, swelling and bruising could be expected, and the swelling and sensation of tightness will gradually subside over the months that follow. Bruising may last for a few weeks and, due to gravity, can move down your body.
- Your incisions may appear lumpy and bumpy, but this is normal, and the incisions will flatten over a few weeks.
- Following breast reduction, the nipples may be inverted rather than projecting outward, but this is normal, and the nipples will usually project out again within a few days to weeks.
- The areolas can appear asymmetric or irregularly shaped, which is normal due to the dissolving sutures. The asymmetry will resolve over a few weeks.
- Sensations like shooting pain, numbness, and burning are common during the healing process and can take several weeks to gradually disappearing. If the nipples are sensitive, they can be desensitized with some gentle touching.
- Scars take up to a full year to mature. You may notice that they are red, raised, and firm for weeks to months before becoming soft, flat, and pale. Vitamin E should be avoided since it can irritate the scar. Tanning booths and direct sun should also be avoided. Silicone cream or a skin moisturizer with an SPF 30+ sunscreen and gentle massage may be helpful.
Please call our office at 305-441-9144 if you have:
- Continuous bleeding (a small amount of bleeding from the incision is expected).
- Significantly more puffiness or swelling on one side than the other.