A: Breast Reduction is usually performed on women between the ages of 18 and 65. For insured patients, a letter from the primary care provider and referral is usually required before the first appointment. A basic history and physical is performed at the initial consultation, which quickly and easily determines the underlying health of the patient. After this initial evaluation, the doctor will discuss candidacy with each individual patient.
Q. How long will I be out of work?
A: Patients usually require 1 full workweek off following breast reduction. This procedure is performed under general anesthesia as directed by our board certified anesthesiologists, here at the Philadelphia Surgi Center. As a result, patients feel tired and worn out for a few days after surgery. No lifting over 10 pounds should be performed until 1 full month after surgery.
Q. When can I return to the gym?
A: At 1 month, patients can begin to exercise the chest muscles. Most patients will actually begin to exercise their legs and abdomen as early as 2 weeks. As long as you discuss your exercise plans with the doctor, a safe regimen can be “worked out”.
Q. What kind of pain can I expect?
A: Most women are so relieved by the smaller breast volume, that pain is rarely a complaint after breast reduction surgery. Often, ice and acetaminophen are all that is required for pain relief. Prescriptions for appropriate pain medicine are written during the pre-operative visit.
Q. What scars will result from the procedure?
A: The skin of the breast including the nipple and areola supports excellent healing. Contrary to popular belief, the nipple is not removed during breast reduction surgery except in very rare circumstance. The incisions required to reduce breast volume and create a “lifted” cosmetic appearance result in a scar that exists only below the areola. Therefore, low cut neck lines and bathing suits can still be worn after most reduction procedures.
Q. Do I still get mammograms?
A: Absolutely. Special techniques are used by the mammographer to assure a complete radiographic evaluation. Continue to see your primary doctor and gynecologist with the appropriate age related evaluations.
Q. Can I breastfeed?
A: Yes. No change in the ability to breastfeed has been related to breast reduction. Eighteen percent of new mothers cannot breast feed for a multitude of reasons related to both the mother and the child. This procedure in no way changes that percentage.