Preparing for Breast Reduction Surgery
Each patient scheduled for the surgery will have a pre-operative visit with the surgeon, about one week prior to the date of surgery. At that time it will be determined if you are healthy for the surgery (no colds, coughs, fever, etc.) and if any lab or other tests are needed. More breast measurements may be taken at this time.
You will have an office or telephone appointment with the pre-op nurse, who will go over your hospital stay.
If you are 50 years old or older, you will also receive an appointment with an Anesthesiologist and your primary care physician. It is important to give him/her a list of all medications you are taking including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal remedies.
Expect to be off work 14 to 30 days depending on the type of work you do and your recovery. You will be tender and sore for the first 5-10 days, and then there should be improvement day by day.
You will receive a work release form at your pre-op visit. If disability forms are needed, submit a copy of the work release form to the business office (on the first floor of the hospital), and complete your portion of the State form they will give you. This should be taken care of before your surgery day.
Arrangements for Surgery and After Care
Make arrangements for childcare, grocery shopping, transportation, and general support during your recovery. It is a good idea to have several meals set aside in the freezer for the immediate post-operative period. Plan to stay within reach of the clinic until your first post-op visit. This is not the time to plan an out of town vacation.
If you live alone, arrange for someone to either stay with you the first night home and/or check on you frequently by telephone. You will need someone to drive you from the hospital. You cannot drive right after the surgery! You will need to have someone who will be responsible to get you safely home. Arrangements should be made for someone to bring you to your first post-op appointment.
The time of your surgery will not be available until the day before your surgery. The number to call is included in the surgery packet you will be given sometime after your consultation.
Purchase a Sports Bra
Many of our breast reduction patients have reported they were very glad to have at least two sports bras (one to wash, one to wear). You will be wearing these bras 24 hours a day for several weeks. Be sure to bring one sports bra to the hospital on the day of the surgery and to the first post-op visit.
Your approximate new cup size will be decided at your pre-op visit. You can purchase a bra with the same chest diameter as you currently wear. The cup size can be one smaller than what you now wear. You will need to accommodate for bandages and swelling after surgery. The goal is to give you firm support and some compression. Reasonably priced sports bras ($15 to $20 range) can be found at stores such as Target, Mervyn’s, Sears, Penney’s, or Walmart.
Features to Look for:
- Front closure (it will be too difficult to wear back close or over the head types).
- Wide side and shoulder straps
- No seams over the front of the breast.
- No under wires.
- The bra should provide a snug fit to prevent swelling.
Stop all non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (prescription and over the counter) 2 weeks before surgery. These include: aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®), naproxen (Aleve®, Naprosyn®), and several arthritis medications. If you are taking a daily low dose of aspirin, stop it, too, 2 weeks before surgery.
The Night Before and Morning of Surgery
Do not eat or drink anything after midnight the night before surgery. You will be advised if you should take any regular prescription medications with just a sip of water.
You will probably want to take a shower and shampoo your hair at this time, since you will be unable to shower for 2-5 days after surgery.
Please arrive a few minutes before your stated arrival time and go to the admitting office in the hospital, first floor. Bring your Kaiser card and only enough money for your co-payment. Please leave all valuables (money, jewelry, etc.) at home.
Wear comfortable clothing with an open-down-the-front shirt. You will change into a hospital gown after you arrive in the surgery area. Your clothing will stay with your entire hospital stay.