||You’re finally done! You’ve made it! Many of our breast reduction patients notice that they feel lighter immediately after they wake up from surgery. After spending approximately two hours in Rexford Surgical Institute’s recovery room under the care of our experienced registered nurses and physicians, it will be time for you to go home or to an aftercare facility depending on the extent of your surgery and medical condition. If you need to stay at an aftercare facility such as the Serenity plastic surgery aftercare facility in Santa Monica, our staff will help you arrange all the details prior to your surgery.
The Serenity staff will pick you up from the Rexford Surgical Institute when ready and after your overnight stay, they will bring you back to our office for a check-up. Before being released, you and an accompanying family member, friend, or caregiver will be given specific instructions that may include:
In order to ensure a safe, successful and speedy recovery, it is important to carefully follow all of Dr. Golshani's instructions.
- How to care for the surgical sites
- Specific concerns to look for at the surgical sites or in overall health
- Emergency contact information
- When to follow-up with Dr. Golshani
- Medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection
PROGRESS & HEALING
Initial healing may include some swelling and discomfort which may be controlled with proper medication, nutrition and resting. An elastic bandage or support bra should be worn for the first few weeks to minimize swelling and support the breasts as they heal. Your drains will be removed one to two days after surgery and you may shower 48 hours after your drains are removed. It is extremely important to keep the incision sites clean with gentle antibacterial soap and water. Within 10 days following surgery, all sutures are removed.
Because breast reduction is basically a skin operation and does not involve the muscles, bones or joints, you need not and should not stay in bed! You will be instructed to engage in light walking as soon as possible in an effort to minimize the potential for certain complications (e.g., blood clots). Usually within a few days of surgery, a return to light activity is possible for those patients who feel ready. Many patients are often ready to return to work and resume normal activity also at this time. Patients shouldn't, however, engage in any heavy lifting or vigorous exercise for approximately one month after surgery. Specifically, patients need to avoid lifting arms above the shoulders or pulling and lifting heavy objects for four to six weeks after surgery.
Healing will continue for several weeks as swelling dissipates and breast shape and position settle. Patients should continue to follow Dr. Golshani's instructions and attend all follow-up visits. Remember that regardless if you don’t feel any pain or discomfort, your body is still healing and you may not have your usual amount of energy for a couple of weeks. Take it easy and gradually increase your level of activity until you are back to normal.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM YOUR BODY & NEW BREASTS
The following are normal and expected symptoms of your body and new breasts after breast reduction surgery:
SWELLING AND BRUISING
DISCOMFORT AND PAIN
- Moderate swelling and bruising are normal.
- Severe swelling and bruising may indicate bleeding or possible infection.
- Mild to moderate discomfort or pain is normal after any surgery.
- If the pain becomes severe and is not relieved by pain medication, please contact us right away!
SHAPE & SIZE
- Because your body is building new blood vessels and increasing blood flow and oxygen to your new breasts, do not be alarmed if you have pinkish breasts and increased warmth of the breast skin.
- Your new breast shape will not emerge right after surgery. As the swelling subsides and your breast skin starts to settle, a more natural, rounded breast shape will begin to develop.
- As the swelling goes down and healing progresses, your breasts may show a slight decrease in size.
- After surgery, it is common for one or both nipples to have some numbness. This usually subsides within a couple of weeks to several months.
- Crusting along the incision lines is to be expected as small amounts of bleeding and drainage is common. We usually treat this with antibiotic ointment.
- Incisions are usually completely healed in two to six weeks.
- Full strength to the incisions will return by six months after surgery.
- Small sensory nerves to the skin surface are occasionally cut when the incision is made or interrupted by undermining of the skin during surgery.
- The sensation in those areas gradually returns – usually within 2 or 3 months as the nerve endings heal spontaneously.
REDNESS OF SCARS
- Itching and occasional small shooting electrical sensations within the skin frequently occur as the nerve endings heal.
- Skin moisturizers and gentle massages are frequently helpful.
- These symptoms are common during the recovery period.
- All new scars are red, dark pink, or purple.
- Scars on the face usually fade within 3 to 6 months.
- Scars on the breasts or body may take a year or longer to fade completely.
- Some scars may be initially raised and become flat after the wound matures.
WHEN TO CALL THE DOCTOR
If you experience any of the following problems, please notify us!
- Fever over 100°F
- Excessive bleeding accompanied by a noticeable enlargement of one or both breasts or increasing pain
- Foul odor and drainage
- Purple, blue or gray nipples that are cold to touch
- Continuous vomiting
- Dark urine
Every breast reduction patient needs to develop a new body image. This won’t happen overnight or in a few days. It may take weeks or even months to feel a sense of well-being. This is normal. Right after surgery, you may feel extremely excited and relieved, but before you begin to feel increased self-confidence, you may feel confused or disappointment. Unexpected feeling and fears may arise. My breasts are gone! I don’t feel the same! My breasts are still too big! Again, these anxieties are normal and will disappear with time. A great source of support can be other breast reduction patients. If you would like to speak to another breast reduction patient, please let us know and we will be happy to try to connect you with another Avosant patient. Most of our breast reduction patients will tell you that the permanent relief of having large, heavy breasts far outweigh the temporary feelings you may have right after surgery.
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