Patient Questions

QUESTION

What Should I Consider Before Having Breast Reduction surgery?

I am 20 yrs old and I'm seriously looking into having breast reduction. I have always had very large breast but now that I've had a child and breastfed my bra size is 34DDD. I am 5'3 and I weigh about 140 lbs. I have been hunching more than ever and now it hurts to sit up straight in addition to severe back pain at the end of the day. My husband is worried about me regretting the surgery and I do not know anyone who has had breast reduction surgery. What should I consider before having the surgery? What questions should I ask my doctor? Any information is welcomed and thank you in advance!

ANSWER

Breast reduction considerations

We go through a careful process to make sure that our patients have as much information as they need to make an informed decision.

As with any surgery one of the things to think about first is are there ways to achieve your goals without surgery. Things like weight loss (though this likely does not apply to you), physical therapy and supportive bras can make a difference in patient symptoms.

Another thing to consider is child status. You've mentioned that you've had one child which you breast fed. There is a small chance that after breast reduction you will not be able to breast feed in the future. In addition, additional pregnancies or weight gain can undo some of the improvements obtained through breast reduction surgery.

The next issue to deal with are the implications of the surgery itself. This includes:

Scar - be sure to see pre and post-op examples of your surgeons work and be sure to understand the surgical options.Shape Change - breast reduction surgery usually includes a substantial breast lift. Have a clear discussion about the shape change.

Consider potential complications, even the rare ones, including nipple numbness, nipple loss and asymmetry. Discuss your surgeon's rates of these complications and what to do if any of these occur.

Finally, talk about your recovery. How much time will you need off of work? If you have young children you will likely need some help taking care of them for the first week or so.

In our San Francisco area practice we take the time to review these issues with our patient. Make sure your surgeon does the same for you!

I hope this helps.

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