Postoperative care


Avoid physical activity after your breast reduction

Our patients stay in the hospital overnight for medical care after the breast reduction. After the rounds in the next morning, the patient is discharged and may go home accompanied by an adult (not alone, not even in the taxi). Our rule of thumb: first week in bed, second week on the sofa. The regular daily activities may be slowly resumed with frequent breaks the third week. Heavy physical activity should be avoided. After 3 weeks you will be able to go to work and perform regular daily activities.

In order to achieve the desired result, you should follow the following instructions after the breast reduction:

  1. Important: Please refrain from smoking at least 21 days before and after the surgery. Smoking impairs and delays the healing process. 
  2. Wear the compression bra for 3 weeks day and night. The bra can be washed at 30˚C and dried in the drier.
  3. The drains are removed between the 2nd and 7th postoperative day. Write down every day at the same time (for instance 10am) the fluid level in each drainage bag (right and left) and bring this information to your follow-up appointment.
  4. You may shower 1 day after removal of the drains.
  5. Get help to wash your hair for the first 14 days so that you don`t have to move your arms too much. Total avoidance of physical activity for 14 days (first week bed rest, second week rest on the sofa). Sleep on your back the first 7 days, after that you may lie on the side (after implants sleep on the back for 14 days).
  6. Do not drive for about 14 days.
  7. Physical exercise after about 8 weeks.
  8. Gentle massage of the breast and nipple 1 month after the operation in order to increase their sensitivity. Physical therapy in our practice is available after 1 week, recommended 2-3 times a week for about 3 weeks (additional costs).
  9. Scar treatment with scar gel and silicone sheets according to medical prescription, starting 1 month postoperatively, for 3-6 months, daily 12 hours.


After the breast reduction the drains are pulled on the 2nd day at the earliest. In most cases however, the drains stay in 3-5 days. In rare cases we leave them in for more than 7 days. We attach the drains with special adhesive plaster, not with sutures, so there are no needle sticks when the drains are removed. In most cases the drains come out with gentle puling. The removal takes only a few seconds.


The sutures are resorbable. They are invisible and the patient doesn’t feel their resorbtion. There is no suture removal.

Lymph drainage after the breast reduction

What is manual lymph drainage and why should I do it after my surgery?

The manual lymph drainage denotes physical therapy techniques that activate the flow of lymphatic fluid and decongest the tissue. Special manoeuvres create a sequence of high tissue pressure, followed by low tissue pressure, followed by a pause of neutral tissue pressure along the lymph vessels. This decongests the tissue so the lymph drainage runs better.

The small vessels of the lymph system form a network in the whole body and have the function to transport and filter fluids that collect in the tissue as a consequence of various metabolic processes. When this function is impaired, like after an aesthetic procedure, fluid accumulates in the tissues. This leads to swelling. The manual lymph drainage promotes the drainage of the fluid that collects after a breast operation, supports the wound-healing process and prevents scar formation.

The manual lymph drainage is carried out by trained physical therapists in our practice.

Scar treatment

After the operation the scars are initially dark red, rubbery and hard. After roughly 2 months they become pale and softer. With the passage of time they become barely visible. The scars must be treated with special adhesive plasters until they are fully healed. These adhesive plasters will be provided by the hospital on the discharge day. After the scars have healed, we recommend daily pressure massage of the scars, which makes them soft and supple. The patient will be taught the massage technique in the hospital. We also recommend the generous use of gels, creams or silicone strips. If the breast skin is dry, moisturising creams should be used.

Medicines and cooling

Before the operation you will receive from us a prescription with a list of all the necessary medicines. You will receive pain medicines, an antibiotic, antithrombotic medicines, circulation medicines, decongestants and ointments, gels and silicone sheets for scar treatment. In addition, we recommend cooling the breast with cooling compresses soaked in Rivanol for the first couple of weeks after the breast reduction. This can reduce swelling.

Support bra

In most cases a stiff bra (support bra) should be used for 4-6 weeks day and night. After the breast reduction, sexual activity is in general not restricted if the general condition of the patient allows it. Sensitivity disturbances in the breast could develop at the beginning. The breast should not be subjected to excessive stress. It is important to know that the operation suspends the effect of the birth-control pill. Other birth-control measures could be necessary.