How to Prepare for Breast Reduction

The Blog
Dr. Jude LaBarbera, MD Plastic Surgeon


How to Prepare for Breast Reduction

Preparation List for Breast Reduction

The decision to undergo a breast reduction surgery is a big one, and most women are keen to make sure everything goes on as planned. The initial step to a successful outcome is to find the best breast reduction surgeon in Scottsdale AZ and book a consultation visit.

Step 1: Consultation

The initial consultation with your selected breast surgeon is a great opportunity to discuss any issues that you may have regarding your surgery and look at a before and after breast reduction gallery. Be prepared to explore your medical history. Your surgeon should be made aware of any drug allergies, medical conditions, as well as previous treatments you may have received. The more you tell your surgeon during this early stage, the better informed and equipped they will be to perform a successful procedure. Every detail – including how your breasts respond to a loss of weight – should be included and shared during this visit.

Step 2: Comprehensive Examination and Planning

The next step in getting prepared for breast reduction surgery is to conduct a thorough examination of your breasts. Your surgeon will take precise measurements and photos of your breasts. Everything from the shape, symmetry, and size of your breasts, as well as the measurement of your nipples and areolas and skin quality,  are carefully examined. Once your surgeon has got a clear picture, they will work to develop an individualized treatment plan that is geared to suit your goals.

Step 3: Are You a Good Candidate for this Procedure?

At this stage, your surgeon should help you figure out whether you’re an ideal candidate for this procedure and go over insurance weight requirements to see if you’re a candidate. In some cases, solutions such as attempting to lose weight may be preferred instead of surgery.

Breast reduction surgery is generally not recommended for individuals who smoke, are very obese, want to avoid scars, or have certain medical conditions such as diabetes. Also, you may want to postpone reduction surgery if you have certain future plans:

  • Childbirth – if you are yet to start a family, or your family is not complete yet, it might make sense to wait till after you’ve completed all pregnancies. Keep in mind that breast reduction can have a dramatic impact on your ability to breastfeed after breast reduction. However, experienced surgeons employ certain surgical techniques to preserve your ability to breastfeed.
  • Weight loss – if you have any plans to lose weight by altering your diet and commencing an exercise program, you may want to wait till you decide to carry on with the reduction. Losing weight will often result in a change to your breast size.

Step 4: A Few Weeks Before Surgery

If you’re a smoker, you’ll be instructed to quit a few weeks before the procedure. Your surgeon may recommend a mammogram to learn more about your breasts depending on your age and family history. This makes it easier to detect any future changes in breast tissue. Keep in mind that reduction surgery does not increase your risk for cancer or impact your ability to self-examine your breasts. Your surgeon will also tell you to avoid certain medications before the surgery to minimize the risk of complications. In addition to strictly adhering to your surgeon’s instructions, you should get ready for recovery and know what to expect after the procedure.

Step 5: Establish a Home Recovery Area

Establishing a home recovery area is a very important aspect of preparing for breast reduction surgery. This area should be set up this area to cater for all your needs and should include the following:

  • Loose t-shirts and blouses
  • Clean washcloths, gauze, and towels
  • Surgeon-prescribed pain medication
  • Surgical bras issued by your surgeon
  • A telephone within easy distance of your rest area
  • Antibiotic ointments as prescribed by your surgeon
  • Magazines, movies, etc.

Step 6: The Day of Your Reduction Surgery

Breast reduction is an outpatient procedure performed under general anesthesia. Once the surgery is complete, you’ll be taken to a recovery area where your progress is monitored by the surgeon’s support staff. Your breasts will be dressed with gauze and covered with bandages. In some situations, surgeons place small tubes to drain fluids from your breasts. Patients are usually able to go home the same day as the procedure. Have someone handy to drive you home immediately after you’re released by your surgeon on the day of the surgery.

What to Expect After Reduction Mammoplasty

After breast reduction treatment expectations should include your breasts being swollen and sore. Appropriate pain medication provided by your surgeon should help arrest this discomfort. Patients are required to keep activities to a bare minimum level over the first 1-2 weeks following this procedure. Any form of bending, heavy lifting or strenuous activity should be avoided for a period of 4 weeks after surgery. You may be instructed to sleep on your back so that you do not apply any pressure on your breasts. Support bras are usually required until the swelling has subsided. If drains are inserted, they’ll need to get removed in about two days. Your surgeon will use scheduled follow-up visits to gauge your recovery and remove surgical dressings.

Resuming Normal Activities

Most patients are able to resume their daily activities within a few weeks, depending on the nature of their job. You may feel intermittent discomfort throughout the duration of your recovery process. Anything beyond mild pain should be reported to your surgeon right away. Take extreme care for your breasts until you get the green light from the surgeon. Once you make it through the initial recovery phase, you’ll be able to enjoy a life free from the burden of oversized breasts.

Your Breast Reduction with Dr. LaBarbera 

Dr. LaBarbera is a board-certified plastic surgeon in Gilbert AZ and Scottsdale AZ who works with patients in the Gilbert, Scottsdale, and surrounding Arizona areas. He has helped countless women achieve dramatic life changes with breast reduction surgery. If you’re considering this type of plastic surgery, get in touch with him to book a free consultation visit.