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Breast Reduction


Breast reduction, or reduction mammaplasty, is surgery to make one or both breasts smaller.



  • Pain medicine: You may be given medicine to take away or decrease pain. Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine.
  • Antibiotics: This medicine is given to fight or prevent an infection caused by bacteria. Always take your antibiotics exactly as ordered by your healthcare provider. Do not stop taking your medicine unless directed by your healthcare provider. Never save antibiotics or take leftover antibiotics that were given to you for another illness.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

You may need to return to have your wound checked, drains taken out, or stitches removed. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.


  • Do not lift, pull, or push: This will decrease strain and pressure on your breasts. Ask when you can return to your daily activities or sports.
  • Do not lie on your side: This will decrease pressure on your breasts.
  • Wear a support bra: This will help decrease pain. Ask what bra is best for you.

Wound and drain care:

When you are allowed to bathe, carefully wash the incisions with soap and water. Dry the area and put on new, clean bandages as directed. Change your bandages if they get wet or dirty. Check your drain sites for redness or swelling when you change your bandages. Do not pull the drains out.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have a fever.
  • You have pain in your chest or armpit that does not go away, even after you take pain medicine.
  • You have redness, pain, or pus in the area where the drain was inserted.
  • Your incision drains blood, pus, or has a foul-smelling odor.
  • You have nausea or vomiting.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • Blood soaks through your bandage.
  • You feel a lump under your skin that bulges out and does not go back in.
  • Your shoulder, arm, or fingers feel numb, tingly, cool to touch, or look blue or pale.
  • Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
  • You suddenly feel lightheaded and short of breath.
  • You have chest pain. You may have more pain when you take a deep breath or cough. You may cough up blood.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.