How likely is edema after breast reduction?

The post-operative swelling that normally happens after any invasive procedure is called an edema. Edema is a side effect of the incisions placed during a surgery. Breast reduction surgery is highly invasive as it involves major incisions and removal of the excess skin, glandular tissue, and fat from the breasts. Breast reduction procedure is used to treat overly developed breasts. When the breasts become very large, they look aesthetically unpleasant and create pain for the patient. To get rid of the condition, patients often undergo breast reduction surgery.

Like other surgical procedures, edema after breast reduction is not something new or abnormal. The condition always happens after surgery. The post-operative swelling simply indicates that your body is working to overcome the surgical trauma and heal the incisions. It indicates the activeness of your immune system that is trying to recover after surgery.

The edema after breast reduction does not vanish right after the procedure. It will slowly subside over the next several weeks and even months. On average, it takes about ten weeks for the swelling to completely disappear. The results of the surgery will not be fully visible until the edema has disappeared and the incisions have completely healed.

Many patients are anxious to see the final results, which is why most of them ask for ways to speed up the vanishing of the edema. You can do certain things to expedite the process. Keep in mind that during breast reduction surgery, the nerves, tissues, and blood vessels will be impaired. As such, the edema may prolong.

Remember, post-operative swelling after breast reduction is normal and there is nothing to be concerned about. However, you should look for certain signs because in rare cases, a prolonged or extended edema may indicate underlying complications. If the edema prolongs and does not reduce over time or if the swelling expands beyond the surgery area, you should contact the doctor since it can be an indication of a complication such as an infection.

Under normal conditions, about 30 percent of the edema should disappear within the first 2-3 weeks following the surgery. Six weeks after the surgery, 60-70 percent of the swelling should be gone, and by the 10th or 11th week, the swelling should completely disappear. However, the healing behavior after the surgery differs from one patient to another. What this means is that the swelling may decrease slowly in one patient and quickly in another.

To speed up the process of reducing the swelling, be sure to stop smoking if you are a smoker. Also, when sleeping or taking rest, keep your head high and drink as many fluids as possible. It will help remove the toxins from your body and enhance blood and oxygen supply to the incisions, which will in turn expedite the edema reduction process. If the swelling expands beyond the surgery area, contact your surgeon immediately.


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