This handout tells you how to prepare for breast reduction surgery and how to care for yourself after you go home. If you have any questions or concerns when you are home, please call one of the numbers listed at the end of this handout.
What Is Breast Reduction?
Breast reduction is surgery where extra breast tissue and skin are removed in order to rebuild the size and shape of the breast(s). A breast reduction is most often done when breasts are too large for the shape and size of your body. The weight of large breasts often causes back and neck pain.
Planning for Surgery
- You will go home the same day as your surgery.
- Do not take medicines that contain aspirin or ibuprofen, large doses of vitamins or herbal supplements for 2 weeks before surgery.
- Eat a well balanced diet. A healthy diet before surgery helps wound healing afterwards.
- Maintain your proper weight. You should be at your best weight before surgery.
- Plan to take it easy a few weeks.
- You will have a special support bra put on during surgery.
- Check your nipples daily. Report any color change to your doctor
- Clean the incisions gently with soap and water once a day. You may shower.
- Only remove the bra for your shower and during dressing changes.
- Wound drainage will be bloody at first but will turn to a straw color as it decreases in amount.
- Change gauze dressings over drain sites when they become wet
- Wound drains, which are placed under each breast, will be removed in clinic. They may be removed before you are sent home from the hospital.
- Your sutures will dissolve. They will feel prickly at first, this is normal.
- Bruising is common and may increase before going away completely.
- Do not wear an underwire bra for 6 weeks.
- Keep wearing your support bra until your doctor tells you differently. Be sure it is not too tight.
- Avoid strenuous exercise for 2-3 weeks. Slowly return your normal routine as you are able.
- Do not drive while you are taking prescription pain pills.
- Your doctor will let you know when you can return to work. It depends on the kind of work you do. This may be 2-3 weeks.
When to Call Your Doctor:
- any change in nipple color
- constant nausea and vomiting
- fever over 100.5° F for two readings taken 4 hours apart
- pain not controlled with medicines
- wound drainage that contains pus or is foul smelling
- suture line becomes red or more tender
Plan to visit your surgeon about a week after you leave the hospital and then every week for a few more weeks.
Surgery Clinic: (608) 263-7502 Monday through Friday 8:00-4:30.
After hours, weekends or holidays, this number is answered by the paging operator. Ask for the Plastic Surgery Resident on call. Leave your name and phone number with the area code. The doctor will call you back.
If you live out of the area, please call: 1-800-323-8942
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 09/04/2012
Copyright © 09/04/2012 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#4522
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