Breast Reduction Procedure: Before and After Surgery

Are you considering or have you already decided to have breast reduction surgery? Understandably, you would have questions about preparing for this surgical procedure. It is perfectly normal to have concerns about what will happen after surgery so that you know what to expect.
What Should You Expect During Your Surgery Consultation?
Before having breast reduction surgery, you will need to have a consultation with your plastic surgeon. Your surgeon will ask questions about your medical history and that of your family so that he or she can assess your risks for surgery. You will be asked if you have had any previous medical issues with your breasts like having a lump removed.

Your surgeon will examine your breasts, measure them, take photos, and discuss how much tissue you would like to have removed. You will be asked whether you smoke or take any medications, including over-the-counter medications. The surgeon may ask that you refrain from smoking before and after your surgery to enhance your body’s ability to heal. If you take medications like aspirin, ibuprofen (e.g., Motrin), or naproxen (e.g., Aleve) you may be asked to stop taking them at least one week before surgery to prevent excessive bleeding.

Preparations for Your Surgery Day
It is important that you be healthy before undergoing surgery and have followed all your surgeon’s instructions. You will need time to rest and heal immediately after your breast reduction. Therefore, you will want to have items on hand that you will need during your recovery, including:

  • Extra ice in your freezer to follow your surgeon’s directions to reduce pain and swelling
  • Gauze for changing dressings
  • Clean towels and washcloths
  • Comfortable and loose blouses and T-shirts
  • Ointments or creams that your surgeon recommends to help heal your incisions and reduce scarring

Do not wait until the day before surgery to try to find someone to drive you home from the hospital or surgery center after your breast reduction. You will be unable to drive after your surgery. If you are not spending the night after your surgery in the hospital, you will need someone to stay with you at home for the first night. Make plans to be off from work or school for at least a week or two after your surgery.

What Should You Expect During Recovery from Breast Reduction?
When you are discharged after your breast reduction, your surgeon will give you instructions to go for a follow-up appointment to remove your bandages and stitches. You will be instructed to not participate in any physical activity or heavy lifting for at least a month after your surgery.

It is normal to feel tired after your surgery and to have pain in your breasts during your recovery. Your surgeon will prescribe an oral painkiller for you to take during the first few days after your surgery.

The surgeon will advise you to contact his or her office immediately if:

  • You experience any signs of infection, including fever or unusual swelling, redness, or tenderness at the surgical site
  • You have pus or any unusual discharge from your incisions
  • Any stitches come out before you are scheduled to have them removed
  • You experience depression after your surgery

Don’t Be Shy! Ask Away!
If you have any concerns about having a breast reduction procedure, you should never hesitate to consult with your plastic surgeon. The caring staff at the Florida Center for Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery understands your concerns and is always ready to answer your questions.