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Breast reduction

Breast reduction surgery shrinks too-big breasts by surgically removing fat, glandular tissue (used in milk production), and skin.

Before You Go

Questions to ask your doctor:

  • Am I a good candidate for breast reduction surgery?
  • How much improvement can I expect after surgery?

Pre-procedure prep for breast reduction: Ease up on anti-inflammatory drugs for two weeks before and one week after surgery. Smoking within two weeks of surgery can affect the body's ability to heal as well.

On the day of treatment: As with most serious surgical procedures, you'll be instructed to stop eating and drinking at midnight the evening before your surgery. Plan ahead, and bring comfortable clothing for after the operation.

What To Expect

A breast reduction can be completed as an inpatient or outpatient procedure. Inpatient surgery require that you stay over for one night in the hospital. Breast fat and tissue are frequently removed through an "anchor" incision - a cut that circles the nipple, extends downward on the breast, and runs horizontally across the breast crease. This method may also be called a lollipop incision, T-scar, T-incision, inverted T pattern, keyhole, or donut incision.

Unless your nipple is going to be lifted and repositioned, there is no need to detach it from the breast during surgery. Stitches are used to seal up incisions, and drainage tubes are tucked into the breast to remove excess liquids for one or two days. Right after surgery, your breasts are covered with gauze dressings and elastic bandages.

Who should do it: If you're interested in having a breast reduction, the first step is to consult a board certified plastic surgeon and discuss your desired results.

Duration: Breast reduction surgery takes between two and four hours.

How Painful Is It?

Pain is common after surgery. It can be reduced with prescription painkillers provided by your surgeon. Significant discomfort can last between a few days to one week.

Options for anesthesia: Breast reduction surgery is completed under general anesthesia.

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