Breast Reduction

Leading Up To Surgery

Medication & Supplements

Stop taking aspirin, products that contain aspirin, and all other supplements two weeks before surgery. This includes:

  • Alka-Seltzer
  • Anacin
  • Bufferin
  • BC or Goodies powders
  • Execedrin
  • Fish oil
  • CoQ10
  • Weight loss medication
  • Vitamin E
  • Herbal supplements
  • Meal replacements or protein shakes


Please make sure to get your prescriptions filled prior to your surgery date. You will be expected to bring your prescriptions with you the day of surgery. 

The pain medication that is prescribed can cause constipation. You can start prevention as early as two days before your surgery by taking Colace, or Activia yogurt. After your surgery, you can have things like MiraLAX or Milk of Magnesia, but these should not be taken before.

If you become ill or have to postpone your surgery for any reason, please notify us as soon as possible. 

Day Before Surgery

You will receive a call and email the day before your surgery with instructions regarding where and when to arrive.

This will include instructions regarding medications. 

Day Of Surgery Instructions

Food and Drink

Do not eat anything after midnight the night before your surgery. 

  • You can brush your teeth, but do not swallow any toothpaste or liquid
  • Do not consume candy or gum
  • You may drink water or Gatorade (any flavor except red) up to two hours before your surgery


Do not wear jewelry or make-up to your surgery appointment. Wear loose, comfortable, and warm clothing. A top that zips or buttons up is preferred. Please wear glasses instead of contacts if applicable

A responsible adult must take you home. You will need someone to stay with you for the first night after surgery.

Note: If you are a minor, a parent or legal guardian must accompany you.

What to expect

Once you arrive in our surgery suite, the clinical staff will discuss the details of your procedure and ask you to sign an informed consent. If applicable, you will take a pregnancy test prior to surgery.

You will speak with your anesthesia provider prior to your surgery. They will go over your history with you one last time before we get started and tell you what to expect when you are in the operating room. 

You will only need to undress from the waist up. 

From there, your surgeon will come in, discuss the procedure, and create his markings before we get started. 

After Your Surgery

What to Expect Physically

You can expect a little pain and discomfort, as well as some swelling and bruising on your breasts and surrounding tissues. If you had liposuction under your armpit, you may notice bruising that travels down your sides and soreness on your sternum and ribcage. 

You will have areas of numbness especially at your incision line. More than likely, your nipple will be numb the days following surgery. If this is the case, there is still a good possibility that the sensation will return.

You may feel a burning sensation at your incision line post-operatively. This will subside after about 24-48 hours.

What to Expect Visually

Your breasts may appear very round and the skin tight and shiny with an upside-down appearance. It may take months for your breasts to assume a more relaxed and normal shape.

Your incision line will go around your areolar and down your breasts in a straight line in a lollipop shape. There is always a possibility that there will be an incision under your breast that looks like an anchor. Your surgeon will explain the likelihood of this during your consult.

You may experience a small amount of bloody drainage at your incision site. You can use panty shields or sanitary pads, which are held in place by your bra, for drainage. This usually subsides in the first two to three days after surgery.

You will have steri-strips and paper tape applied over your incision sites. Please leave these in place.

If you had liposuction, you will have an incision in your armpit. This will be covered with gauze and paper tape, which can be changed as needed.

Care Instructions

Sit in an upright position for the first two to three days to help with swelling.

We will provide a bra for you to wear after surgery. If it feels better without it, you can leave it off.

Do not wear an underwire or push-up bra for six weeks after your surgery. If you are given an upper band, wear it at all times, except when showering. You can wear this with or without the bra or over a t-shirt.

Wait six hours after surgery before showering. The incision area can get wet, but do not wash it directly. After your shower, gently pat the incision site dry.

Do not engage in chest exercises for six weeks after your surgery. Do not run or do any type of exercise that would cause your breast to excessively bounce for two weeks after your surgery.

Rapid Recovery Instructions

If you got breast implants with your reduction, please follow these rapid recovery instructions.

Take the first six hours to relax, take medications as needed, and recuperate. After six hours, we will start your rapid recovery plan.

Step One: Lay flat on your stomach and on your new breasts for 15 minutes. If this is terribly uncomfortable, it may be easier to kneel and lean forward against the side of your bed for 15 minutes.

Step Two: Start your exercises. Do the first set in the shower with warm water running. Slowly lift your arms straight in front of you above your head. Hold your hands above your head with your arms straight for 10 seconds, then slowly bring your arms back down. Do this three times for each set. After your shower, pat your incision sites dry but leave the tape in place.

Step Three: Do a set of three arm raises every 20 minutes while you are awake for the first three days. 

This is a way to keep your muscles limber and loose. Think of it like running a marathon. After a long run, it is important to keep your muscles loose and limber so they don't tighten and become painful. We are doing the same thing with your pectoral muscles with these two exercises.

Pain Management

You can place ice packs to the upper part of your breasts to help with swelling and pain. Use for 30 minutes on then 30 minutes off to prevent frostbite. 

Do not use heating pads to help with pain. This could cause a burn. 

Resume your normal activities as you feel comfortable. If it hurts, don't do it. If it doesn't, it is ok to do. 


Stop taking aspirin, products that contain aspirin, and all other supplements two weeks before surgery.

Do not use alcoholic beverages while taking pain medication.

You will be prescribed three different medications.

  • Pain medication: Norco or Hydrocodone and Tylenol
    • Take one to two tablets every six hours, as needed for pain
    • This medication contains Tylenol. Do not take additional Tylenol
    • Do not take more than 11 in one day
  • Anti-nausea medication to be taken prior to surgery: Zofran or Ondansetron
    • Take four tablets one hour prior to surgery
    • After surgery, take one tablet every six hours, as needed for nausea
  • Anti-nausea medication for extreme nausea: Phenergan or Promethazine
    • Take one tablet every four to six hours, as needed for extreme nausea
    • Note: This may cause drowsiness

When To Call The Office

Call the office if you have a fever over 101 degrees, experience any sudden increase in swelling (especially on one side), or notice redness around your incision sites (especially if it’s warm to the touch).

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do I have to take off work?
Three to five days

How long does the procedure last?
About 2 hours

How long will I have to be in recovery?
At least 45 minutes

When can I drive again?
You can drive when you are no longer taking pain medication and feel comfortable driving again. Always consider that you would need to be able to react in case of an emergency. 

When can I start exercising again?
You can start exercising two weeks after surgery. Avoid things that would make your breasts bounce excessively. Avoid chest-specific exercises for six weeks after surgery. 

Can I sleep on my stomach after surgery?
You can sleep on your stomach as long as it doesn't cause you discomfort. Generally this will happen five to seven days after surgery. 

When can I get in a pool/beach/lake?
You can get in a pool, beach, or lake six weeks after surgery.

When can I wear a normal bra again or go shopping for a new bra? 
Wait until six weeks after surgery. We would not recommend doing this earlier due to restrictions and healing. 

Do I need to buy a bra for after surgery?
After surgery, you will be given a loose-fitting bra, called a Coobie bra. If you would like multiple options, you can buy more bras like this. Do not wear bras with underwire or push-ups until six weeks after surgery. 

Can I go to a tanning bed or get spray tanned after surgery?
You can get a spray tan two weeks after surgery, but make sure your incision line is protected or covered. We do not advise patients to go to the tanning bed until six weeks after surgery. 

What can I do for scar care after surgery?
Continue to wear the steri-strips/tape until your surgeon says you can remove it. After the tape has come off, you can use a scar gel of your choice. We would recommend a product that contains silicone, like Scaraway. This is the only thing proven to support scar improvement.

Will I need another lift after I have children?
Most women's bodies change during pregnancy and breastfeeding. There is a possibility you would need a revision after this, but it is not guaranteed and is up to the individual.