How will my cosmetic surgeon conduct the evaluation for Breast Reduction surgery?
– At this time, the surgeon will examine your breasts, take measurements, and photograph your breasts for your medical record. The doctor will carefully evaluate the size and shape of your breasts, the quality of your skin, and position of the nipples and areolas.
– Your medical history will be also discussed during the consultation so you must be prepared to provide pertinent information about any medical conditions, allergies to medications, medical treatments received, your surgical history including breast biopsies, current medications. It is important that the information you provide is complete.
– If you are planning to lose a significant amount of weight, notify your plastic surgeon especially if you have noticed that your breasts become smaller with weight loss. Stabilizing one’s weight before undergoing the procedure may be recommended by your surgeon.
How should I prepare for surgery?
– A baseline mammogram may be recommended depending on your age or if there is a history of breast cancer in your family. This is done before surgery and another one several months after. Doing so will help detect any future changes in your breast tissue. After the procedure, breast self-examination can still be performed. Risk of breast cancer development is not increased by undergoing Breast Reduction surgery.
– Smoking should be stopped in advance before going through with the surgery. Aspirin and certain anti-inflammatory drugs should be avoided for a period of time before surgery as these can cause increased bleeding. Additional pre-operative instructions will be provided by your surgeon. However, even if you are released on the day of surgery or the next day, it is imperative that you have someone to drive you home and to stay with you for at least one to two days.
What will the day of surgery be like?
– Breast reduction surgery may be done in a hospital, a free-standing ambulatory facility, or an office-based surgical suite.
– Most of the time, administration of a general anesthetic is done making you asleep throughout the procedure. After the completion of surgery, you will be closely monitored in a recovery area. In most cases, small drain tubes will be placed in your breasts to avoid fluid accumulation. Gauze dressings with an elastic bandage or a surgical bra will be used in order to cover your breasts.
How will I look and feel initially?
– A day after surgery, you are encouraged to get out of bed for short periods of time. You will be able to move more freely and comfortably after several days. On the other hand, some activities such as bending and lifting must be avoided as they may cause increased swelling or even bleeding. You may also be advised to sleep on your back so as to keep pressure off your breasts.
– If surgical drains are placed, they may be removed one or two days after the procedure, at which time dressings may also be changed or removed. A support bra should be worn for a few weeks up until there is diminished swelling and discoloration of the breasts. Over a period of approximately three weeks, your stitches will be removed in stages starting about one week post surgery.
– There will be noticeable loss of sensation around the nipple and areola areas; however, this is usually temporary. On the other hand, return of normal sensation may take weeks, months, or even more than a year. Your breasts may also necessitate some time to acquire a more natural shape. Initially, the incisions will be color red or pink and will stay this way for many months following the procedure.
When can I resume my normal activities?
– After undergoing the procedure, depending on the kind of job that you have, you may possibly return to work within just a couple of weeks. Several weeks after the procedure, you may resume to the majority of your normal activities. However, mild intermittent discomfort may be felt during this time but this is expected. On the other hand, when severe pain is felt, it should be immediately reported to your doctor.
– Sexual activity should be avoided for at least one week or so. After that period, you must be extremely gentle with your breasts for a minimum of 6 weeks.
How long will the results last?
– Your breast size will remain stable unless you gain or lose a large amount of weight or if you become pregnant. However, because of gravity and the natural process of aging, your breast size and shape will eventually change. If after several years you are not satisfied with how your breasts appear, a breast lift procedure may be done to re-establish a more youthful shape of your breasts.