Breast Reduction Instructions2018-11-24T09:46:03+00:00

Post-operative Instructions English (PDF)  Instructions postopératoire français (PDF)

What can I expect after the surgery?

    • You will experience some discomfort for the first few days. Swelling and bruising are normal.
    • You may note some numbness of the skin around the incision and on the breast, this is normal and temporary.

Do I have to wear a special bra after surgery?

We recommend that you purchase a surgical bra or sports bra (no underwire) before your surgery date and bring it to the hospital with you. This bra will be worn continuously until your first post-operative visit.

What kind of medication will I be prescribed after surgery?

  • Pain medication and medication to help you sleep. We highly recommend taking over the counter stool softener to prevent irregularities in your bowel routine.

It is very important NOT to take your prescribed medication and any other type of pain medication at the same time. 

Always check with your pharmacist to make sure taking Tylenol will not interfere with any of the medications you are taking. 

Advil or any other type of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications are not recommended for the first 7 days after surgery. 

What do I do with the dressing?

  • You do not need to do anything with the dressing. Your dressing will be removed 7 to 10 days after surgery by our nurse. It is normal to see blood on your dressing, do not be alarmed.

If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact our nurse. 

When can I shower?

  • You may begin showering 2 days after surgery. Shower with your back to the spray with normal soap and water.
  • You can gently pat your small supportive tapes dry
  • Baths are not recommended until your incisions are healed over (10 to 14 days after surgery.)

What can I do to optimize the healing process?

  • Eat a healthy diet full of vitamins, minerals, and proteins. Drink 2-4L of water every day.
  • Wear your compressive garment and follow physical restrictions.
  • We strongly recommend you quit smoking before surgery.

How can I promote optimal healing of my incision?

  • At your initial post-operative visit we will provide you with Kelo-Cote gel. Instructions on daily massage and application of this product will be discussed that day.

What am I allowed to do after surgery?

  • No strenuous work or heavy lifting for the first 4-6 weeks after surgery
  • We encourage you to be mobile after your surgery; do not stay stationary
  • Walking, and light activities are permitted to prevent excessive swelling in your legs
  • Driving is permitted if you are not taking any medication that could affect your alertness and you feel that you are able to drive safely and comfortably
  • Running is not recommended until 2-4 weeks after surgery. We strongly recommend a supportive bra during high impact workouts.

It is important to listen to your body, it will let you know when you are doing too much.

When do I return for follow-up care?

  • 1 week with nurse
  • 6 weeks with nurse and Dr. Howley
  • 6 months with nurse for after pictures
  • Whenever needed

What should I watch out for?

For help with fitting, sizing, and choosing the right bra post-surgery, Elle Mio in Moncton has experts on hand to guide you: Elle Mio Website.


  • One of your breasts is significantly larger, firmer, and more painful than the other
  • If you have significant redness or drainage from one or both breasts
  • Severe nausea caused by pain medication
  • Allergic reaction to your antibiotic
Dr Howley, Plastic & Cosmetic Surgeon - Moncton