Medical News Today: Breast reduction surgery: Everything you need to know

Before surgery, a person may need to stop taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, such as aspirin and ibuprofen, as these can increase bleeding.

Doctors also encourage people who smoke to quit several weeks before the procedure. Smoking will increase the risk of nipple or areolar damage, tissue necrosis, and other complications. Therefore, it is essential that people discuss any tobacco product use, including vaping, with the doctor.

The plastic surgeon performing the procedure will use a marker to draw guidelines for the incisions. The size of the breasts, the position of the nipples, and the person’s preferences will determine the exact incision pattern.

The wise pattern, or anchor pattern, is the most common skin removal technique for breast reduction surgery, according to the authors of one 2019 article.

A surgeon starts by making an incision around the areola. Then, they continue the incision beneath the breast, at which point they may remove excess skin from the sides of the breast.

After making the incisions, the surgeon will remove excess breast tissue, reshape the remaining tissue, and reposition the nipple and areola. The surgeon will close the remaining skin with sutures and surgical tape.

If the breasts are particularly large, it may be necessary to remove the nipples and areolas from the body and then place them back on the breasts in a procedure called a free nipple graft. The nipples will regrow into the new position, but they will usually be permanently numb afterward.

After the procedure, the surgeon or a nurse will wrap the breasts in gauze bandages. The insertion of small tubes into the breasts is sometimes necessary to drain excess fluid and reduce swelling after the operation. People should avoid showering until a nurse removes these drainage tubes.

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