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How To Prepare For Breast Reduction Surgery

How To Prepare For Breast Reduction Surgery

Breast reduction surgery, also known as reduction mammoplasty, is a popular cosmetic procedure aimed at surgically reducing the size of the breasts. Reduction mammoplasty is a great option to help you improve the look and feel of your breasts and to alleviate some of the physical discomforts associated with large breasts such as back and neck pain, compromised posture, and skin irritation. As one of the more commonly performed plastic surgeries, you can expect to realize your goals for smaller, lifted breasts and relief from pain. But breast reduction is a major surgical procedure and being well prepared will help you heal comfortably and achieve optimal results. Here are some things to do to prepare for an easier journey to recovery.

Be Prepared

Preparing for your surgery and making certain accommodations to facilitate your recovery will put you in the best position for a quick and smooth healing process. Here are a few things to do to prepare for your surgery and recovery:

Prioritize Your Health

Prioritizing your physical health will help you tolerate the surgery, avoid complications, and help you to heal quickly. Take the time before your surgery to eat well, exercise regularly, and lose any excess weight. Your plastic surgeon will also recommend that you stop smoking. Smoking can put you at greater risk for surgical complications and slow down the healing process. And make sure you discuss all medications, vitamins, and supplements you take regularly with your surgeon. Your doctor may recommend that you cease taking certain medications for a period of time prior to surgery.

Schedule Your Time Off

Make sure that you book time off of work. Recovery from breast reduction surgery will take a few weeks. Most people are sufficiently healed to return to the job after two weeks, but it is always a good idea to give yourself a buffer in case you need some extra time to recuperate. And if your job is very physically demanding and requires a lot of lifting and stretching, your plastic surgeon may recommend that you take up to four weeks off before returning to work.

Ask For Help

You will need a ride home after surgery. Lean on friends or family to take you home and stay to assist you for at least the first 24 hours. Your mobility and movements will be compromised and simple tasks will likely be hard to complete. If you have children you will need to rely on your people to help care for them; you will not be able to lift or carry small children for several days post-surgery. Having one or more people on standby to help will make sure you are not overexerting yourself and compromising your healing.

Prepare Your Home

It is ideal to set yourself up for recovery success by preparing the space where you will rest and heal prior to your reduction mammoplasty. Have items that you will need to use immediately following surgery easily accessible from your bed or the couch. Keep water, acetaminophen and prescription pain medication, your phone, glasses if you wear them, reading materials, and even some light snacks nearby. Have slip-on shoes, warm layers, and clothing that is easy to get on and off ready for you. Set up a place for any post-surgical supplies from your doctors such as gauze or bandages. Your ability to lift heavy items will be compromised, so consider having smaller containers of milk or juice at hand. And your range of motion will also be impaired so move items that usually live on higher or lower shelves and cupboards to countertop level to avoid bending and reaching.

Buy Some New Bras

Your plastic surgeon will provide you with a surgical bra to wear immediately following your surgery. This bra will have a front closure for easy wear and be able to accommodate bandages and any drainage tubes. But your doctor will recommend that you wear a supportive, compressing bra 24 hours per day for at least six weeks post-op. Sports bras are ideal during your recovery. Look for front closure (you may not be able to pull a bra over your head or reach back to hook or unhook), stretchy, breathable fabrics, and comfortable bands and straps. Depending on the extent of your reduction, plan for your new breast size, but consider that you may have bandages and swelling for several weeks after surgery.

Optimal Results with Breast Reduction At Peterson MD

If you have chosen breast reduction surgery, taking some time to prepare for your surgery and recovery will help you heal well and achieve optimal results. To explore your options for reduction mammoplasty for cosmetic reasons or to address the pain and discomfort associated with larger breasts contact our clinic in downtown Kelowna by calling 1-250-868-9099 or by filling out our online contact form. Dr. Peterson and the team at Peterson MD are Kelowna’s choice for surgical cosmetic procedures including breast surgery, tummy tuck, liposuction, and arm lift surgery. Dr. Brian Peterson and the team at Peterson Surgery are committed to patient education and providing surgical and non-surgical treatments to help patients look and feel their very best.


Q: How long does it take to heal from breast reduction surgery?
A: It will take a few days of complete rest and minimal movement immediately after your reduction. At about the two-week mark, you will likely feel mostly healed and be cleared to return to work and driving. By week four the majority of your swelling and bruising should be gone, but you may not see the final results of your surgery for 6 months or even up to a year.

Q: Will I need drains after breast reduction surgery?
A: Not everyone requires drains after surgery. During your initial consultation, your plastic surgeon will create a plan for your surgery and recovery and be able to tell you if you should anticipate needing drains. If you do need drains after surgery, your doctor will advise you on proper care.

Q: Does breast reduction affect breastfeeding?
A: The ability to breastfeed after a reduction is dependent on several factors including the type of surgery chosen, the condition of nerves, ducts, and blood supply post-surgery, and the level of refinement done to the nipple. Many women are able to breastfeed after a breast reduction, but if you plan to breastfeed in the future, let your surgeon know. A full understanding of the risks and benefits will help you make the best decision for yourself.

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