Introduction Breast reduction is the surgical procedure we use to make overly large breasts smaller and more proportionate to the rest of the patient’s anatomy. The procedure is frequently performed in the United States and other countries around the globe, and it often has a strong medical recommendation behind it, more than an aesthetic motivation. When dealing with overly large breasts, there are numerous discomforts that can put a strain on the patient’s quality of life. The discomforts associated with having breasts that are overly big for your anatomy can be both physical and emotional. Due to the fact that the overdevelopment of the breasts can occur even in patients as young as 14 years old, these patients often are confronted with bullying due to the size of their breasts and other emotional and physical pains. Breast reduction can be performed on patients of different ages as long as the development of the mammary gland is complete. In some extreme cases, the procedure can even be performed on patients who haven’t finished the development of the mammary gland if it will help them have a better life and get rid of health conditions that can occur due to the large volume of the breasts. Just like any other plastic surgery procedures, it is important for the patients to know the details of the procedure before scheduling it. In this article, we will discuss important details of breast reduction surgery that people considering the procedure should be aware of. Important details about reduction mammoplasty The procedure is performed with the patient under general anesthesia There is a myth about how general anesthesia takes years off your lifespan. If this is what you believe, breast reduction is not the best procedure for you. The procedure is often quite complex and can take up to five hours. This means that for the comfort of the patient, most plastic surgeons will recommend the procedure to be performed under general anesthetic. When general anesthesia is administered, the patient will have no memories of the time spent in the operating room, and also no pain or discomfort will be experienced during this time. The substances used for anesthesia nowadays are safer than ever, and the side effects associated with it are fewer compared to how things were a few years ago. A consultation with the anesthetist will be scheduled in the days before your breast reduction surgery. Make sure to discuss your current medication if you are taking any, life habits such as smoking or drinking, potential allergies and previous reactions to anesthetic medication, if any. The patient needs to prepare for the procedure Breast reduction is a complex plastic surgery procedure and requires a preparation period that can take two weeks to a month. During this time, the patient needs to adopt a certain behavior to ensure a fast recovery period and a smooth healing process. Among the instructions for the pre-operative period are stopping birth control treatment and avoiding anti-inflammatory medication especially ones containing aspirin as well as all natural supplements, because they could also have an anticoagulant property and cause excessive bleeding during and after surgery. The preparation should also include having a balanced and healthy diet and not trying to lose weight in the weeks before the procedure as this could make the recovery process longer and more difficult. The body needs to be in good emotional and physical condition to undergo the breast reduction surgery. Moreover, make sure to avoid any situations that could cause the occurrence of an infection or even a simple cold as this could mean that your procedure will be rescheduled to a later time. Your home needs to be prepared for the recovery period as well. Make sure to have enough food, drinks, and entertainment in the house so you can stay inside for at least a few days post-op. Also, you should talk to your friends and family members to tell them how things will be and what to expect during the first few days following the return home from the medical facility. Patients are also advised to have someone staying with them full time for at least 48 to 72 hours post-op as this is when complications can occur. The procedure can be combined with other plastic surgery procedures Many patients interested in undergoing breast reduction surgery are not aware of the fact that other procedures can be performed at the same time. Patients of bariatric surgery often have their breast reduction surgery combined with a tummy tuck or an arm lift, and women who have had multiple pregnancies often have it in combination with liposuction and a tummy tuck. Generally speaking, breast reduction is mostly performed together with liposuction of the nearby areas to improve the aesthetic results achieved with the procedure. The recovery period is about two weeks post-op Breast reduction is a surgical procedure that requires a downtime of about two weeks. During this time the patient is advised to take things slowly, avoid intense physical exercises and activities, as well as other things. Among the instructions for post-operative period are the need to sleep exclusively on the back or sides of the body and never on the tummy, to avoid smoking in order to allow for a fast cicatrization and healing of the tissues injured during surgery, and to avoid lifting heavy objects for a minimum of two to three weeks post-op. There are some potential complications that could occur post-op Just like any other complex plastic surgery procedure, breast reduction is associated with certain complications that can occur after the procedure. Even if the complications occur in very rare cases, it is important for patients to be aware of this possibility and to know when they need to get help. A severe complication that could occur after surgery is an infection. The infection will make a debut presenting symptoms such as high fever, pus coming from the incision site, redness in the area, and intense pain. To prevent infections from occurring, the plastic surgeon should prescribe an antibiotic to be taken for five days post-op. Moreover, the patient has to keep the operated area clean and dry at all times until the incisions are fully closed. If you notice any signs of infection, make sure to get medical assistance immediately. Other complications that can occur post-op after surgery are seroma and hematoma, excessive bleeding, delayed wound healing, and necrosis of the skin. Unsatisfactory results or asymmetries can also occur after this procedure, so make sure to get an experienced, talented and board-certified plastic surgeon to play out the procedure if you want to get the best results possible. There are permanent scars left behind An important thing that patients interested in the procedure need to understand is that breast reduction surgery leaves behind permanent scars. The appearance of the scars will change in time, and after a year when the cicatrization process is complete, the scars should look like fine white lines, similar in color and appearance to the surrounding tissues. To avoid unsightly scarring due to the development of abnormal scar tissue, make sure to go to the follow-up consultations with the plastic surgeon so he can diagnose and treat them in time. Conclusion Breast reduction is a complex plastic surgery procedure that provides good results for a vast majority of patients, especially when performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon. To be a good candidate for the procedure, the patient has to be aware of the important details about reduction mammoplasty. Knowing the details will reduce the pre-operative anxiety and also help the patient reduce the stress that can occur during the recovery period. In this article we have discussed just a few of the important details of the procedure. To find out all about it and how it will work for your particular case, you need to schedule a pre-operative consultation with the plastic surgeon. Make sure to prepare well before the procedure and follow the post-operative protocol to get the best results possible. Also, keep in mind that the procedure is performed under general anesthetic and often requires a work stoppage of about ten working days.