A breast reduction is a great procedure to decrease the size of the breast and reduce the stress on your back, neck and shoulders and improve your mobility. When we remove the excess tissue we also rearrange the remaining breast tissue and skin to create a perkier, more pleasing shape of the breast.
To get ready for surgery there are a number of things you prepare for and can purchase to have on hand that will make the early recovery time easier. First of all, make sure you have someone committed to being with you (around the clock) for the first 24-48 hours after surgery. It is important for them to be there with you to get instructions because you (the patient) will not be able to remember all of the details after the anesthetics and while you are on the pain medicine. Also, you will not be able to drive yourself anywhere until about 5-7 days out, when you are off the pain medication and feeling limber. You will wake up from surgery and you will have a special surgical bra on, but we also suggest getting a FRONT CLOSING SPORTS BRA so that you have something to change into while you wash the surgical bra. Also, having BUTTON DOWN OR ZIP-UP SHIRTS will make getting dressed and undressed easier. You will need some GAUZE SPONGES for post-operative dressings to place over the incisions inside the bra. There tends to be a lot of oozing along the incision lines for the first dew days after surgery.
You will get a prescription for narcotic pain medicines after surgery from your doctor. These are necessary for the worst of the pain the first day or two, but also have some TYLENOL at home. As the pain gets less you can change over to the Tylenol and get off of the narcotics earlier. Narcotic pain medicines have a lot of side effects that you want to avoid. The worst of those is constipation. Narcotics slow down the intestines severely, and many patients end up constipated and uncomfortable if they do not take precautions. We recommend you start on a STOOL SOFTENER OR LAXITIVE as soon as you start the narcotics, and if they are not effective then be ready to move on to a suppository or enema before it becomes a crisis (that’s the last thing you want to deal with while you are trying to heal!).
ICE PACKS can also help with the discomfort and swelling. Putting ice off and on the tops and sides of the breasts can cut down on pain and narcotic use in the first few days after surgery (But, do NOT use heat!). After surgery your appetite will not be great and sometimes people even get nauseated from the anesthetics and the medicines. You should have some BOTTLED WATER or GATORADE on hand as well as CRACKERS and SOUPS along with other foods that are easy to digest and not heavy or spicy. It is more important to stay hydrated after surgery than to worry about how many calories that you intake. You almost need to treat yourself like you have the flu for a couple of days until your stomach gets settled and you care off of the narcotics…. and definitely do not take the pain medication on an empty stomach, or else you will for sure get sick!
Every patient has a slightly different experience with surgery and recovery, but these tips may help you get through the process a little easier!