Breast Reduction Care Instructions
for Our Baltimore Area Patients
At our Baltimore area practice, we work with breast reduction patients to ensure they understand all pre- and post-operative care instructions in order to maximize safety, comfort, and satisfaction throughout their procedure.
TWO WEEKS BEFORE BREAST REDUCTION SURGERY:
- Stop taking aspirin and products containing aspirin. Must be off all aspirin-containing products for two weeks before surgery and for two weeks after breast reduction surgery. Check all medications with us; some medications such as Motrin and Advil may also affect clotting.
- Confirm your “pre-op history and physical” appointment with your family doctor/internist.
- Please notify our Baltimore area office if you develop a cold or illness prior to breast reduction surgery.
- Vitamins are important in healing. Begin taking multi-vitamins with C, minerals and iron.
- NO SMOKING. Smokers are at much greater risk for scarring, poor healing, hair loss, and skin loss.
- Make certain arrangements have been made to have someone pick you up after surgery and to stay with you for the first 24 hours.
- Stop all herbal and phentermine-type medications as well as supplemental Vitamin E. The small amounts of vitamin E found routinely in standard multivitamins is fine.
TWO DAYS BEFORE BREAST REDUCTION SURGERY:
- Go to the drug store and fill all prescriptions.
- Go to the grocery store to buy “light foods” such as juices, tea, soup, toast, crackers, bagels, jelly, etc.
- Buy Betadine™ Scrub liquid soap.
- You may want to purchase a stool softener, such as Colace, as pain medication may cause constipation.
EVENING BEFORE BREAST REDUCTION SURGERY:
- Shower with Betadine™ soap for three full minutes. Avoid contact of jewelry with Betadine™; it stains.
- Eat lightly – avoid heavy or gassy foods.
- Get a good night’s rest.
- Do not eat or drink anything after 12:00 midnight the night prior to your breast reduction surgery.
DAY OF BREAST REDUCTION SURGERY:
- Do not eat or drink anything prior to surgery. DO NOT SMOKE.
- Shower with Betadine™ for three full minutes. Do not put on any make-up or deodorant after washing.
- Do not wear wigs, hairpins, hairpieces, or jewelry. Dress in loose, comfortable clothes. Do not wear pullover tops or panty hose.
- Have someone drive you to your breast reduction surgery and make certain a responsible adult will be available to take you home and stay with you for 24 hours.
AT HOME AFTER BREAST REDUCTION SURGERY:
- After any breast surgery, including breast reduction, it is important for you to rest but not to stay in bed. You may lie on your sides or back. While in bed, move your legs and feet to increase the circulation in your legs.
- A small amount of bloody drainage through the bandage is normal.
- For the first 48 hours, keep your arm movements to a minimum. You may brush your hair and teeth. Do not use your arms to support yourself or lift anything heavy. Afterwards, you may begin to increase your arm movement gradually.
- A liquid diet is best for the day of surgery. Begin by taking liquids slowly and progress to a light diet as tolerated. You can start with a regular diet the next day.
- Any discomfort should be relieved by the pain medication. Take extra-strength Tylenol™ or Ibuprofen (Motrin™/Advil™) regularly to help with general discomfort. You may then take the additional prescribed pain medication as needed.
- It is normal to have pain and swelling after any breast surgery. However, call our Baltimore area office immediately if swelling after breast reduction surgery feels hard or appears much larger on one side than the other.
OTHER POST-OPERATIVE BREAST REDUCTION INSTRUCTIONS:
- Keep your bandage clean and dry. Sponge bathe only. You will remain in bandages for about one week. One week after surgery, when your bandages are changed, plan to buy a “post-op” bra after visiting the office. “Elastic” support or sport bras work well after breast reduction surgery. Avoid underwire bras as they may cause discomfort. You will probably continue using this type of bra for about a month after surgery as your breasts continue to heal.
- If drains have been used, empty and record the drains three times daily.
- NO SMOKING for two weeks after the surgery.
GENERAL INFORMATION ABOUT BREAST REDUCTION SURGERY:
- Bruising and swelling is expected after breast reduction surgery. This will disappear with time. Be patient. It takes three months for breasts to regain their softness and natural appearance.
- Spotty areas of numbness are common and may last six weeks to six months. Avoid underwire bras until a good amount of feeling has returned.
- Feelings of sharpness, burning and other sensations are common during the healing process.
- You may drive after one week, provided you are comfortable enough to stop in an emergency.
Contact our Baltimore area center to learn more about breast reduction or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Schuster today.