A breast reduction procedure is a major surgery. You cannot just waltz in and have it done on a wing and a prayer. There are several things you need to do and matters that must be addressed before you can undergo the procedure. It is, therefore, important to thoroughly discuss the pre-operative matters with your plastic surgeon before scheduling the procedure. Just like any surgery, you need to give your surgeon your full medical history and past and current medications to preclude life-threatening medical situations during and after surgery.
Your physical exam is a crucial pre-operative step. Your surgeon will review your health history and medications, past and current, to determine your eligibility for the surgery. If you are suffering from serious health issues like diabetes and heart disease, you may be told to avoid the breast reduction surgery because it could put you under too much risk.
Your plastic surgeon may require you to go through a few tests and scans before the surgery such as blood tests, mammogram, x-ray or ECG. Make sure the tests and scans are done and the reports are sent to your surgeon before scheduling the breast reduction procedure.
If you are taking drugs like blood thinning medicines, anti-inflammatory medicines, herbal drugs, mood enhancement drugs, or supplements, you will be required to stop taking them a few weeks before the surgery. If you smoke, you need to quit smoking at least 4 weeks before and after surgery. You must also avoid drinking alcohol a week before surgery and a month after the surgery.
Preparing your home for your recovery is also crucial. Make sure you have enough stockpiles of pre-cooked foods in your refrigerator, including fruits, vegetables, and juices. It is also important to arrange for someone to accompany you to the hospital, drive you home and stay with you for the first 24-48 hours after the surgery. If you have small children, make arrangements for someone to take care of them during your recovery period. You cannot lift anything over 5 pounds for at least several weeks. Set aside the clothing you will wear during your recovery period and keep them in places within reach without requiring you to lift your arms or unnecessarily strain yourself.
No makeup or any cosmetics on surgery day. Take a bath and wash yourself before going to the hospital as you cannot shower for 24-48 hours. Wear loose, comfortable clothes and bring your important documents to the hospital, such as your identity card, insurance card, medical papers etc. Don’t wear jewelry. Patients who have weak immune system may have to take antibiotics before the surgery to protect them from potential infections during the surgery.
Rule of thumb: Preparation is the key to success. The more prepared you are for your breast reduction surgery, the better results you will achieve. Patients are always encouraged to ask questions about pre and postoperative care, so they have a better understanding of what to expect. If you have any concerns, make sure to discuss them with your surgeon prior surgery.
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