Pre-op Breast Reduction Instructions
By Constance M. Barone, M.D. on May 14, 2016
If the size of your breasts is causing chronic back pain and discomfort, you may be considering breast reduction surgery. Breast reduction surgery can improve your contours, while also allowing women encumbered by their breasts to enjoy improved quality of life and renewed confidence.
Dr. Constance Barone provides personalized pre-op breast reduction instructions during patient consultations at her San Antonio, TX practice. Please note, the following guidelines are a general overview and do not replace personalized instructions. To receive your personalized pre-operative instructions, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Barone.
Four Weeks before Surgery
Preparing for breast reduction surgery begins at least four weeks before the procedure. During this time, patients who smoke should stop smoking and be prepared to stop throughout the recovery process. Smoking interferes with the body's ability to heal itself, prolonging recovery time and increasing the risk of complications after surgery. The sooner you quit smoking, the better.
After breast reduction surgery, patients will not be able to drive themselves home. It's important to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery. Patients should also arrange for a friend or family member to stay with them for at least the first 24 hours after surgery because many patients will require assistance.
Two Weeks before Surgery
In the two weeks before surgery, patients who take diet pills and herbal medications should stop, as these can increase the risk of complications during and after surgery. Additionally, large doses of vitamin E should be avoided, as should aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen pain relievers, as these can interfere with blood clotting. Normal multivitamins are typically fine, but should be approved by your surgeon.
The Week of Surgery
Real preparation begins the week before surgery. During this time, patients should gather all the items they need for recovery. Any prescription medications, such as prescribed pain relievers, should be filled.
Patients should also get their recovery area prepared with clean sheets and extra pillows to help them sit up with the head elevated. Patients should also have a selection of loose, comfortable clothing, including bras without underwires, to wear in the weeks after surgery.
Patients may want to have entertainment, like books and movies, on hand to help them stay comfortable while recovering.
Patients will not be able to lift their arms over their heads during the first few weeks of recovery so move anything you may need after surgery to a place where it is easily accessible.
Over-the-counter medications, including cough or cold medications, should not be taken without surgeon approval. Additionally, any signs of a cold, the flu, or infection should be reported to your surgeon.
The Day of Surgery
Each patient will be given specific instructions to follow on the day of surgery. If you require any medication, your surgeon will advise you whether or not to take it on the day of your procedure.
In general, patients will not be able to eat or drink after midnight and in the hours leading to surgery. Patients may brush their teeth but should take care not to swallow water while doing so. Eating or drinking anything can increase the risk of complications and may require surgery to be rescheduled.
Patients should shower and wash their hair as advised by their surgeon but should use a fragrance-free soap. Patients should not use any skin creams, moisturizers, deodorant, or other cosmetics on the day of surgery.
Certain things, like contacts and jewelry, cannot be worn during surgery so they should not be brought with you. However, you should wear comfortable clothing and a top that is easy to put on and take off, like a lightweight button-up blouse.
Schedule a Consultation
For answers to your questions about breast reduction surgery, or for personalized pre-operative instructions, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Barone.
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“Rating our experience with a perfect score is not enough. The care and attention we received from Dr. Barone and her team was as close to perfection as one can ask for.” Jacqueline W.