Before Breast Reduction Surgery

Like with any procedure, our board-certified plastic surgeon emphasizes patient education with breast reduction. During the consultation, Dr. Zemmel will determine if you are a good candidate for breast reduction or if an alternative option is more appropriate for your needs. If a reduction is considered the most beneficial method for obtaining your goals, he will move forward with discussing every aspect of the surgery to ensure you make an informed decision about your care. By knowing what to expect before and after your surgery, you can be more prepared and plan accordingly.


Chimere Hendrickson

November 20, 2013


What Is the Breast Reduction Consultation Process Like?

Your First Breast Reduction Consultation

doctorpatientYour first visit with Dr. Zemmel will take approximately 45-60 minutes and will include an interview and a physical exam. During the interview, he will discuss what bothers you about having large breasts, as well as what you hope to achieve through surgery. You should mention specific areas of pain, if you get rashes, and if bra straps tend to cut into your skin. You will also need to communicate any pain medication you have taken or physical therapy you have received to alleviate these issues. Your surgeon will then review your medical history to determine if you are a good candidate.

For the exam portion of the consultation, your surgeon will evaluate the following:

With this information, your surgeon can determine how much breast tissue will need to be removed.

If you have any medical problems caused by overly large breasts, our team will send a letter to your insurance carrier to preauthorize your procedure. Once authorized, your surgery can be scheduled. If you are undergoing breast reduction surgery for strictly cosmetic reasons, you will be given a full quote with a detailed list of all fees related to the procedure. Plastic surgery financing options are available to help make your breast reduction cost more affordable, should you be interested.

Your Final Breast Reduction Consultation

After your surgery has been scheduled, you will come in for a second consultation to go over the details of your procedure again. At this time, another exam will be performed, and you will discuss what you hope to achieve through surgery to ensure it is well-planned for your unique desires. This includes the type of incision technique, position of the areola, and your final cup size. Your surgeon will also educate you on the risks, benefits, alternatives, and recovery process.

Dr. Zemmel puts a high value on patient education; he is committed to helping you make informed decisions about every aspect of your treatment to ensure you obtain the results you desire.

To conclude this visit, you will be provided with a packet of information, including the prescriptions and instructions for pre- and post-operative care.

Questions to Ask Your Breast Reduction Surgeon

Choosing the right plastic surgeon is the most important decision for your breast reduction procedure. An experienced, highly qualified surgeon can ensure your safety and design a surgical plan that addresses your concerns, helping you achieve optimal results. To get to know your surgeon’s background and expertise in breast reduction, it can help to ask the following questions during your consultation:

It is important for you to feel confident in the hands of your surgeon and comfortable to ask questions at every step of the process. If you ever feel unsure if a surgeon is right for you, never hesitate to consult with one or more other surgeons until you feel at ease in their care.

What Should I Say at My Breast Reduction Consultation?

Your consultation is your allotted time to learn about the plan for your treatment. In addition to questions about the details of your procedure, we encourage you to use this visit as an opportunity to tell your surgeon about your medical history, including previous surgeries, health issues, and whether or not breast cancer or other diseases have occurred in your family. You should be upfront about any medications you are taking. If you drink, smoke, or take recreational drugs regularly, you should also disclose this to Dr. Zemmel. All of this information can help him plan a safe, effective course of action for your breast reduction.

As Dr. Zemmel take pride in personalizing each breast reduction to meet the needs of the patient, he also urges patients to be transparent about their aesthetic goals. During your consultation, you should feel free to communicate your expectations for the surgery and the outcome you desire. Our surgeon will listen to these wishes and tailor your experience around them.

What Should I Wear to My Breast Reduction Consultation?

Because you will be examined and evaluated during your initial consultation, you should wear loose, comfortable clothes which are easy to remove. For the same reason, you may also want to refrain from wearing excessive jewelry. Remember that since one of the primary goals of this consultation will be to obtain your measurements, you will not need to worry about “dressing up” for this meeting.

Can I Bring Someone to My Breast Reduction Consultation?

In general, Dr. Zemmel allows patients to bring loved ones, friends, or family members to their consultation. This can be extremely helpful for some patients to not only remember certain details, but also get valuable input from someone they trust. If there are any changes to this policy, you will be informed prior to your appointment.

How Do I Prepare for Breast Reduction Surgery?

As your surgery date gets closer, you will need to begin preparing for your procedure and the recovery process. In general, you can expect to follow the timeline below, which will be explained in more detail by our team and in the instructions you will be provided:

About One Month Before Your Breast Reduction

One to Two Weeks Before Your Breast Reduction

Days Before Your Breast Reduction

Will I Need Any Medical Tests Before My Breast Reduction?

A physical examination will be performed before your breast reduction can be scheduled. Patients will also need to undergo a Complete Blood Count (CBC) test before they are eligible for breast reduction surgery. This evaluates the patient’s overall health to ensure they have no underlying health issues that may affect their safety during surgery and ability to properly recover after. Depending on the results of this test, further medical tests may be requested. If you are over the age of 40 or have a family history of breast cancer, you may need to schedule a mammogram to detect the presence of any abnormal masses.

What Medications Should I Stop Taking Before Breast Reduction?

Certain medications should not be taken before breast reduction surgery, as they may interfere with anesthesia or your healing process. You will be provided with a detailed list of these medications ahead of time, allowing you enough time to plan accordingly. Common medications that should be avoided include NASAIDs (e.g., ibuprofen, aspirin, and Motrin), herbal supplements, dietary supplements like vitamin E, and other blood thinners.

In most cases, you will need to stop taking these at least two to three weeks before your scheduled surgery date. This is for your safety during surgery and to ensure a smooth healing process as you navigate your recovery. Your surgeon will discuss your medical history with you during your consultation, and can advise you on any prescription medication you take.

How Long After My Consultation Will I Have a Breast Reduction?

Once you have been determined a good candidate for breast reduction and have undergone the necessary examinations and tests, a date for your surgery can be booked. That said, there is no concrete amount of time for patients to wait between their final consultation and the day of the procedure. The length of the period depends on factors such as insurance (as a waiting period may be required), the usage of certain medications, whether or not you are a smoker, and more. Rest assured that Dr. Zemmel will take all of these factors into account before scheduling your surgery.

What Can I Expect on the Day of My Breast Reduction?

On the day of your breast reduction procedure, you should shower using antibacterial soap; do not apply any deodorant, lotion, or powders to your skin. You will also not be able to wear makeup, jewelry, contacts, or nail polish during surgery. Since you will be put under general anesthesia during your breast reduction, you will need to bring someone to drive you home after your procedure, as you will be too groggy to safely drive yourself. They will most likely need to wait in the waiting room for three to four hours until you are released to go home.

Dr. Zemmel and Megan Goff, PA-C are known for having a friendly and professional bedside manner. They will help you feel comfortable and at-ease when you arrive for your scheduled surgery. If you have any final questions or concerns, they encourage you to express them, so they can calm any anxiety you may be having and make you feel confident that you are in good hands.

Schedule Your Consultation

If you are ready to schedule your consultation, or have any questions about the time leading up to your surgery, please feel free to contact us, and one of our friendly staff members will be happy to assist you.