Breast Reduction

Breast reduction surgery can make sense for large-breasted women who are diagnosed with early stage breast cancer or for high risk women.

Rather than opting for breast conserving surgery such as lumpectomy, such women can elect to have breast reduction surgery, thereby removing the tumor and reducing their risk of new tumors in subsequent years, as well as eliminating the discomfort associated with having large breasts.

Breast reduction surgery has also been proposed as an alternative to prophylactic bilateral mastectomy breast cancer gene mutation carriers for high risk BRCA1 and BRCA2.

Surgical Discharge Instruction

Leave the elastic binder or Ace wrap in place until the day following the procedure. If it is uncomfortable or if you feel any difficulty breathing, you may remove it sooner. In some cases, your doctor may advise you to leave the binder on until you are seen in the office.

When you remove the outer bandage, leave the steri-strips (skin tapes) in place. You may shower and get the incisions wet 24 hours after surgery.

Take Tylenol, ibuprofen or the prescribed medication for pain per the instructions on the label. Call the Hoag Breast Center for an appointment one to two weeks after surgery unless your surgeon instructs otherwise.

What you can expect

It is normal to see a small amount of blood on the skin or bandage and you will likely feel soreness after the local anesthesia wears off in six to 12 hours. Purplish or black and blue discoloration of the skin sometimes appears a day or two after surgery. You may also experience a low grade temperature of less than 101 degrees Fahrenheit in the first 24 hours.

When to call your surgeon

Call your surgeon if there is increased swelling that is often accompanied with worsening pain the day or evening of the procedure. Look under the bandage to make sure the breast is not larger than normal the day or evening after surgery. Increasing redness with red streaking, swelling, drainage or fever in the days or weeks following surgery are important indications of complications. Call your surgeon immediately.