Recovery and aftercare after breast reduction surgery

When you’ve had a breast reduction, your body, skin and breasts need time to recover. The average recovery period is six weeks, but the final result often takes a little longer. We’re happy to inform you about recovery after breast reduction surgery and what you can and cannot do after surgery.

The first day after surgery, your breasts will feel sore and will still be swollen, but that feeling lessens within a few days. Scars may be temporarily red and swollen after the procedure. Only after about three months will you see the final result.

The first days after breast reduction

Depending on the extent of the procedure, you’ll stay in the hospital overnight, but usually you’ll be allowed to go home the same day. We check that everything is fine with you and after our plastic surgeon’s approval, you may go home. Your breasts will feel sore but that feeling lessens after a few days. In order to obtain the best possible result and speed up your recovery, we recommend the following: (unless expressly stated otherwise by the plastic surgeon.)

Wear a sports bra

You must wear a sports bra until 6 weeks after surgery and it should only come off while showering. The bra should provide adequate support: it’s important that the bra fits your breasts nicely after surgery and that it is not too big. On the website,, the shop features 17 different compressive bras. Of these, we recommend the Bonnie variety. Take the bra with you to the hospital.

Medication and pain relief

If you feel lousy or your breasts are very painful, you may always take paracetamol and any additional painkillers prescribed by the doctor. When problems occur at home, such as a lot of pain, increasing swelling or tension on one side, you should contact us.

If you were taking certain medications before surgery, such as blood thinners, you can resume them in consultation with the plastic surgeon.


If you go home with drains after breast reduction surgery, they’re usually removed the next day. You’ll receive a call from the assistant at MOOI Clinic and you can expect this call starting at noon. If you don’t receive a call, we may not be able to reach you, so please call the clinic. Until the drains are taken out, you should not shower! After the drains are removed, you may shower quickly starting three days after surgery.

DON’T: Alcohol and smoking

Definitely don’t! Smoking adversely affects blood flow to the tissues, which is precisely what’s important for proper recovery. We therefore recommend that you stop smoking weeks before and after treatment. It is also better not to smoke after treatment. This accelerates the aging process.

Do not use alcohol in the first week after treatment because of the risk of post-treatment bleeding.


One thing you should not do immediately after surgery is get behind the wheel yourself. So make sure there is someone with you who can drive you home safely. The recommendation is not to drive a car for 2 weeks.


For the first 10 to 14 days after your breast surgery, you should take it easy. This means you should rest a lot and avoid doing (heavy) household chores. Is there someone who can cook delicious meals for you, help you get dressed and undressed or occasionally get up for you? After surgery, you may have trouble getting up and so it’s nice to have someone around to help you. Note! Resting too much and too long is not good for your body either. Stretch your legs occasionally with a short walk to reduce the risk of thrombosis or embolism. Further:

  • do not lift or stoop
  • do not reach with your upper arms higher than the shoulder
  • don’t push yourself up with the your arms
  • don’t run, bike or engage in other sports activities
  • walking and gentle movements with the arms are allowed

The duration depends very much on the procedure: two to six weeks if the surgery is extensive.


If you don’t have drains, you may shower again 24 hours after surgery if you feel the need. If you do have drains, then you should wait to shower for at least three days. Of course, you can freshen up your body with some warm water and a washcloth. However, you should not bathe for the first 6 weeks!


It probably won’t occur to you so soon after surgery, but for the first 6 weeks after your breast reduction, you absolutely must not sleep on your side or stomach. It is best to sleep completely flat for the first few weeks. Put two pillows behind your back so you lie more upright.

Two weeks after surgery

After two weeks, you’ll come for a check-up at MOOI Clinic.


After two weeks, the stitches will be removed and the assistant(s) will give you instructions on aftercare and/or massaging the scars.

Two weeks after the procedure, you’re allowed to do a little more again, but by no means everything!


  • Driving
  • Depending on your occupation, you may start working again
  • Walking and gentle movements with your arms
  • If your recovery goes well, you may fly again after 2 weeks


  • Sports
  • Taking off your sports bra (permanently) without consultation
  • Heavy lifting
  • Taking a bath
  • Sauna, tanning or tanning bed

Six weeks after surgery

After 6 weeks, you are usually well recovered from the surgery. The swelling has gone down considerably and the scars are healing nicely. Most people can fully resume their normal lives after 6 weeks. A scar takes 12 months to fully mature. The color and thickness at that point will likely remain. Protect the scar from the sun during this period.


Exercise is good for your body and after all those weeks of not exercising, maybe it’s also time to get back in shape? Fortunately, after 6 weeks, you can return to sports. Fitness, swimming, cycling, running, if it feels good and you experience no pain then you can start doing these.

Final check-up and result

After about 3 months, you’ll come for a final check-up at MOOI Clinic. The periods of recovery mentioned are averages and can vary greatly from person to person.

In general, you’ll experience the benefits of breast reduction fairly quickly, such as less neck, shoulder and back pain; as well as a nicer appearance and shape of the breasts.

As for scars, they may take longer to become less visible. Scars begin to turn from red to purple sometime between 6 and 12 months, eventually turning pale and then becoming almost invisible.

Do you have any doubts about your situation, as to whether or not you should be allowed to do something? Then contact us!

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