Preparing for Breast Reduction Surgery
Oversized breasts can be a source of real pain and frustration. While some say they wish they had this problem, women who have dealt with them over many years know that it can interrupt normal functioning. From difficulty during physical activities to back pain to ill-fitting clothing, oversized breasts can really get in the way of living a comfortable life. If you think you might be a candidate for reduction mammoplasty, there are some things you should know about preparing for breast reduction surgery and what to discuss with your surgeon.
What Your Surgeon Might Ask of You
Every situation is different. Your surgeon will have a series of preliminary questions that could disqualify you from surgery. For instance, do you have a history of heart disease or stroke? Do you smoke heavily? Are you very overweight? Are you on blood thinners? These are all factors that could lead to serious and even deadly complications.
If you are a healthy non-smoker, the surgeon will likely order a series of tests. A preliminary mammogram (x-ray imaging of your breast tissue) may be ordered, along with blood testing. It’s important to look for hidden health issues before going into surgery.
Sometimes, if you are significantly overweight, your surgeon may ask you to lose weight to qualify for reduction mammoplasty. Often, losing 20-30 pounds could reduce your breast size enough to avoid the surgery altogether.
What to Discuss With Your Surgeon
Before your consultation, you may want to write down all of your questions. Your surgeon may answer them all before the end of the consultation, but when he or she asks you if you have any questions, you can pull out your list and make sure all your bases are covered. Don’t be intimidated and don’t feel rushed. Being well-informed will, at the very least, alleviate anxiety after the procedure.
You might have questions about nipple sensitivity or scarring. You may wonder what your recovery timeline will be. You might wonder what pain level to expect, or if special clothing should be purchased. Will you be able to breastfeed afterward at any point? While reducing the size of your breasts is your number one concern, you still want to have attractive and functioning breasts.
What to Expect Before Your Surgery
Preop protocols differ by surgeon, but there are some things that you can expect to do before surgery.
First of all, prepare your home environment, or wherever you will be recovering. For instance, if you will be recovering at your friend or relative’s home, make sure everything is prepared while you are still able-bodied. Set up a table by the bed or recliner (many people say recliners are a better place to recover than a bed). Make sure there is a large water bottle or container, remotes for the TV, books you may want to read, etc. Also, a tip for easy access to your phone charger cord is to tape the end of the charger to the table top so that you don’t have to go fishing for it.
Secondly, the surgeon will typically ask that you don’t eat or drink for several hours before the surgery. This is because general anesthesia can cause nausea and constipation, so having an empty stomach reduces your risk of dealing with these side effects.
Wear clothing that’s easy to remove and put back on. A button up top and sweats, though not the fashion statement of the year, will be easy to put back on and easy to wear home. Make sure your hair is washed and you feel really clean going in, because it might be some time before you can take a full shower afterward.
You shouldn’t take your decision whether to get breast reduction surgery lightly. While modern medicine has made it possible and for incidences of serious complication to be rare, it’s still an invasive procedure. Removing healthy tissue can lead to infection, necrosis, and long term health problems. So, follow instructions as precisely as you can, and go in informed and prepared.
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