How to Reduce Swelling After Breast Reduction [Explained]

Dr.Edna Skopljak

Dr.Edna Skopljak

Edna Skopljak is a Doctor of Medicine. She has over 10 years of experience in the medical field. She is also a volunteer at several organizations, and is always looking for ways to improve the health of her community.

Breast reduction surgery is a fairly common procedure for women who want to reduce the size and weight of their breasts. Overly large breasts can cause nerve issues, pain, and poor posture which is why many women opt for this surgery to ease this discomfort. It is normal for women to be nervous about this procedure and have many questions regarding the surgery.

What can be done to prepare? What are the risks and complications? Can you get a breast reduction while pregnant? Our article will provide guidance on all of these questions as well as some important items you can add to your shopping list that will reduce swelling after breast reduction surgery to make your recovery easier.

How to reduce swelling after breast reduction

Wearing a supportive bra

A surgical or supportive bra is one of the top items that will help to reduce swelling after breast reduction surgery. Your surgeon will provide you with guidance on the type you should get and how long you should wear it.

Applying cold compresses

Cold compresses or ice packs are useful for reducing swelling after surgery as they help to constrict blood vessels and decrease circulation to the area. There are all types of cold compresses you can use, including bags of frozen peas. Just make sure to avoid direct contact with the skin by wrapping your compress in a towel.

Keeping the incisions elevated

Keeping your body propped up using pillows or a wedge will help to reduce swelling, improve circulation and promote healing. You can also use a chair that provides you with good back support and allows your upper body to remain elevated.

Taking Prescribed Medications

Have a discussion with your surgeon about what type of pain medication is safe to take after your breast reduction surgery. They may provide you with a prescription, but having some anti-inflammatory medication on hand can help reduce swelling and manage pain.

How much swelling is normal after breast reduction surgery?

Swelling is a normal part of surgery and is caused by surgical trauma to the breast tissues, inflammation from your body responding to the surgery, and also the accumulation of fluid in the tissues due to changes in blood flow and lymphatic drainage.

How can I make my breast reduction heal faster?

Following your doctor’s orders regarding activity restrictions, medications, and wound care is the first step in a fast healing process. Additionally, eating healthy, nutritious foods and drinking lots of water can also speed up your recovery. Avoid smoking as smoking can affect blood flow, slow healing and increase the risk of complications.

When to seek medical help if swelling after breast reduction surgery does not reduce?

If the swelling does not begin to go down within a few days or worsens, it is important to seek medical help immediately, as this could be a sign of infection.


It is important to know what to expect before, during, and after breast reduction surgery. The more prepared you are, the easier it will be. Your surgeon’s office will provide invaluable advice on how to reduce swelling after breast reduction surgery as well as recommend a shopping list of items that will make your recovery easier. They will review the potential risks and complications and how to best avoid them.