Bruising after Breast Reduction Surgery

Women who choose to undergo a breast reduction procedure for medical reasons are often relieved at the prospect of no longer having to struggle with unwanted attention, difficulty finding bras and clothing that fits, and back pain. They are also excited to see the final results from their surgery.

At Jefferson Plastic Surgery, we understand how eager you may feel to no longer have all of the issues that come with overly large breasts. However, it is important to be patient, particularly during the crucial first few weeks after surgery.

Your breasts will appear bruised, and it may be natural to worry that the surgery was not a success. However, with care and rest, and by understanding the timeline of your healing, you will be on your way to having breasts that are in better proportion to the rest of your body.

Read further to get more information about the timeline for bruising after breast reduction surgery and how you can reduce the amount and duration of bruising.

Bruising Timeline after Surgery

The most important piece of information to know is that bruising after your breast reduction surgery is perfectly normal. It is part of your body’s natural defense response to being injured. The body isolates that part so that germs do not get into the bloodstream and infect other parts of your body.

The bruise will also change colors, as your body heals at the incision sites.

  • One to two days: Bruise starts out red before turning blue, black, or purple
  • Five to 10 days: Bruise turns greenish-yellow
  • 10 to 14 days: Bruise turns brown tone before finally fading

How to Shorten the Bruising Timeline

Immediately following your surgery, you will be given a special compression garment to wear over your breasts, similar to a bra. This prevents bruising from spreading. Your surgeon will give you detailed instructions on how to wear and care for it.

Once your incisions have fully healed over and you no longer need to wear the compression garment, you can apply cold compresses or blue gel ice packs to the areas that are bruised. Gently pat your skin dry once you are done with the ice packs or compress.

Sleep with the upper half of your body propped up for the first seven to 10 days. This will prevent blood and other fluids from pooling in the areas around your incision sites. Sleeping on the sofa or in a recliner chair may be more comfortable than in a bed if you don’t have a wedge pillow.

Take Arnica montana or bromelain supplements, as these may also help reduce bruising. You can also get Arnica montana in topical gel form to use in any areas where you do not have incisions.

Finally, drink a minimum of 64 ounces of water a day. This will keep fluids circulating and flush out any toxins, reducing the chances of prolonged bruising after surgery.

In general, most of your bruising should have faded by the end of the second week after your surgery. If your bruising lasts longer than two weeks, stays black or purple, or becomes hard or painful, you should make a follow-up appointment with your surgeon.

Questions? Email us today.

To make or reschedule an appointment please complete the form below or call:  (215) 625-6630.

CALL US TODAY: (215)625-6630


Jefferson Plastic Surgery is located on the corner of 9th and Walnut streets in Center City, Philadelphia on the 15th floor of the Wills Eye Hospital Building.

Jefferson Plastic Surgery
840 Walnut Street - 15th Floor
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107
Phone: (215) 625-6630
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