After Surgery – what to expect

Patients will be mobile immediately and can resume driving, light activities and light exercise such as walking with two weeks. They can usually return to normal activities and exercise within four to six weeks. Most patients are recommended to take around one to two weeks off work after the operation depending on the physical demands of their job.

Whilst scars are not completely predictable, most are barely visible and easily concealed in time.  They may appear pink and slightly thickened for a few weeks to months after the surgery but will usually fade to be pale and soft by around three to six months.  Their final appearance may take up to eighteen months to achieve.  Most patients experience very minimal scarring in the longer term.

Dr Hanikeri will usually recommend topical scar therapy such as silicone tape to be used from around the fourth postoperative week, until around three months after surgery

Breast reduction often makes a dramatic change in appearance as well as physical comfort.

Risks of breast reduction

All surgical procedures carries some risk. These are discussed in detail during the second consultation and a written list of the main things to consider will usually be given to you at the initial consultation.

Changes in nipple or breast sensation may occur and whilst they may be temporary, they can also be permanent though this is rare.

Pregnancy and weight fluctuations can alter breast size in an unpredictable way and could affect the results of breast reduction

Patients are instructed to wear a postoperative compression garment for the first four weeks

Incision lines result in scars which will fade over time.  These will be permanently visible; however, they are usually easily concealed. Occasional poor healing of incisions may lead to necessary revision surgery.

Breasts may not be perfectly symmetrical and nipple height and shape may vary slightly. Minor adjustments can be made if required, usually sometime later but patients should remember that natural breasts show some variation.

Gravity and the effects of ageing and weight fluctuations will alter the size and shape of every woman’s breasts.  Some patients may choose to undergo a second breast reduction procedure, though this is uncommon.


Can you breastfeed after breast reduction?

Yes, you should still be able to breastfeed after breast reduction however, every case is different. During breast reduction surgery some glandular tissue is removed along with some milk ducts. These factors can impact the ability to produce and express milk from the breast. With most techniques, surgeons may protect some parts of the breast that produce milk. Ensure you discuss your needs for breastfeeding after breast reduction, ahead of your surgery so your surgeon can adjust their surgical technique for the best outcome. Regardless of technique, if the ability to breast feed is essential to you, then you should reconsider having the surgery until you have finished breastfeeding.

This depends on your build and the size of your original breasts.  Generally the more tissue that is removed, the harder it is to produce a shapely breast with acceptable risks to the nipple blood supply and the blood supply of the residual tissues.  Most women can comfortably be made a large C to D cup.  Some will be a DD if they have a larger frame and start out with very large breasts.

Following your breast reduction surgery, you must be mindful of when and how you shower. Do not shower for the first 48 hours (2 days) after the surgery.  From day three, you may be able to take either a full shower or shower from the waist down, as instructed by your surgeon. Prior to entering the shower, remove your bra and check the temperature of the water with your hand as numbness at the surgical site may prevent you from feeling the heat. Wash the area gently with warm water and fragrance-free soap. Ensure the stream is not hitting the affected site directly, instead let the water run softly over the area and pat your incisions dry with a clean towel. If adhesive dressings are still on the incisions, these should be completely dried with a hair dryer on the cool or warm setting but not on the heat setting.  You should not let any gauze dressings get wet and should not leave any dressings moist as this will encourage the growth of some bacteria and may lead to infections.

You will probably experience itching for two weeks following surgery, however it is important to follow these steps to reduce itching. Do not scratch the wounds. Although this may be frustrating, you increase the risk of infection when you scratch. Take oral antihistamines to reduce the itching sensation. Add a cool compress to provide relief from the itching sensation. Do not apply any anti-itch creams until your incisions have completely closed over, to prevent infection. Keep yourself hydrated and avoid alcohol as it is inflammatory and may increase swelling and itching.

Much like any surgery, there can be long term pain after breast reduction surgery, however if you follow your surgeons’ instructions, these risks will be minimised. If you are experiencing any discomfort, it is important to contact your surgeon as soon as possible to minimise any pain.

Following your breast reduction surgery, you should follow your surgeon’s instructions for post-care. Methods to reduce scarring may include scar massage (check with your surgeon), keeping the area clean, protecting the scars from sunlight, using sunscreen, using a compression bra or bandage, protecting the healing area, and consuming sufficient calories from lean proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Mr Hanikeri recommends the use of topical silicone to the scars from around the fourth week after surgery, until the 6th month.  His staff will inform you when and how this is to be applied.  Aim to avoid alcohol and cigarettes during this time as this may delay the healing process.

There are several reasons why you may consider breast reduction surgery, however it largely depends on how uncomfortable you feel and if you are a candidate (someone with a healthy body weight and a non-smoker). You may consider breast reduction surgery if you have a substantial amount of emotional and physical discomfort, such as constant rashes under the skin of your breasts, the weight of your breast affecting your posture, having a hard time sleeping due to discomfort and pain in the neck, back or shoulders from the weight of your breasts.

Breast Reduction in Perth

If you are looking to undergo a breast reduction, specialist plastic surgeon Dr Mark Hanikeri and his team are ready to help you. If you would like to know more, or to request an appointment, please contact us today.