Recovering from Breast Reduction

On this page, Las Vegas breast reduction patients can get more information about what to expect during recovery. It's easy to visit Dr. Cambeiro for a consultation, and if you live outside of the Las Vegas area, please contact us to learn more about our fly-in program.

  • When breast reduction surgery is complete, you will be taken to a recovery area. In some cases, small drainage tubes will have been placed beneath the breast skin to help prevent fluids from accumulating.
  • Gauze dressings will be placed on your breasts and covered with an elastic bandage or surgical bra.
  • You should not drive until you have normal return of daily activity and are off any narcotic medications.
  • You should avoid strenuous activities such as bending, lifting, and sports for about three weeks.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol as it can lead to fluid retention and delays recovery.
  • It is necessary that a responsible adult escort be available to transport you to and from the operation, and be available for the first 24 hours.
  • During that time, the caretaker will assist the breast reduction patient in getting up to the bathroom, taking medications, and eating and drinking. During the first 12-24 hours you stay on a liquid diet and advance yourself as tolerated.
  • You will probably feel tired and sore for a few days following your breast reduction surgery, but you will be up and about in 24-48 hours. Most of your discomfort can be controlled by medication.
  • Antibiotics are continued for five days after the procedure to lower the risk of infection.
  • You should be up and walking on the morning following your breast reduction surgery, and a light solid diet begun to the point of tolerance.
  • If you have a temperature over 99.5 degrees, chills or sweats, a markedly different degree of swelling between sides, and/or increasing rather than decreasing pain—call the office immediately!
  • You should be able to return to work within a few days to week, depending on the level of activity required for your job.
  • You are allowed to bathe 48 to 72 hours after the breast reduction procedure. Showering is then permitted but the incisions should not be submerged, as in a tub or pool.

Final Result of Breast Reduction

Although everyone heals at a different rate, you can expect that your recovery will follow this general outline:

Within the first week:

  • You will begin to move about more comfortably and perhaps even return to (non-strenuous) work.
  • Surgical drains will be removed and dressings will be changed.

After several weeks:

  • Bruising, swelling and normal periodic discomfort will diminish.
  • You can discontinue wearing a support bra.
  • Sensation within the nipple and areola area will gradually improve.
  • You may return to most of your normal activities, including mild exercise.

After a few months:

  • Your breasts will start settling into a more natural shape.
  • Incision lines will begin to fade.
  • If you have not felt it sooner, you will notice relief from neck, back, and shoulder pain.

Without the excessive weight of large breasts, you may find that you enjoy life more. After your breast enhancement, your body will look better proportioned, clothes will fit you better and you will have greater freedom to enjoy physical activities.

Although the incision lines will be permanently visible, they will fade over time and are easily concealed by clothing—even most swimsuits and tops with low-cut necklines.

If you are considering breast reduction, Las Vegas plastic surgeon Dr. Cambeiro invites you to request a complimentary consultation or give our office a call at (702) 734-4100 for confidential and informative answers to all your questions. If you prefer, you can send us an email using our discreet online form.


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  Arthur M. Cambeiro, MD