I have decided to go ahead with breast reduction surgery so what happens next?

If you are satisfied with all the information in front of you and what you have been told then you can make your decision. Once you are happy with your choice of surgeon and clinic/hospital then you are ready to arrange your breast reduction surgery.

It is a good idea to take a couple of weeks out to have a final run through all your information. This ‘cooling off’ time will allow you to weigh up everything you know about breast reduction surgery. Think about what your surgeon has told you and if you are determined to go ahead then contact him/her.

The next step is for you to meet with your chosen surgeon to start the process. Your surgeon will want to be sure that you are fit enough to undergo surgery. He/she check your height, weight and blood pressure. He/she may also arrange for you to have a mammogram (a breast x-ray). He/she will discuss anaesthesia with you along with an anaesthetist.

He/she will assess your reasons for wanting this surgery against a set of criteria. He/she will use their professional experience to determine whether you are suitable or not for surgery.

Your surgeon will take a full medical history. If you have any underlying or current medical problems then mention these. If you have any allergies or are on medication then also mention these.

It is important that you are completely honest with your surgeon. You may feel that mentioning about a particular condition or that you have had surgery before might rule you out for surgery. This is not necessarily the case. Your surgeon will be concerned with your health and that the surgery is right for you. If you are refused surgery then there will usually be a very good reason for this.

Your surgeon will advise you about what medications you can or cannot take. If you are taking aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications then you will have to stop taking these. This also applies to over the counter medicines. For example, if you are taking a nutritional medicine such as Vitamin E, ginseng or garlic then stop taking these. They can slow down the healing process. Your surgeon will advise you as to when you can start taking them again.

Your surgeon will also discuss the costs of the surgery with you. This will be a fixed quote and it should be made clear what this covers. The price will include the surgeon’s fees, the anaesthetist’s fees and the cost of clinic/hospital care.

Your surgeon will ask to take a series of ‘before’ and ‘after’ photographs. These are designed to record the outcome of the surgery. He/she will be looking to show these to other patients but will ask your permission first. If you are not happy about him/her showing these to other patients then say so.

You will be given consent forms to sign. These are ‘informed consent’ forms: by that we mean you fully understand what the surgery is, the risks and the outcome.

It is a good idea to see your GP and mention that you are going ahead with breast reduction surgery. This could be useful if you experience any problems after surgery and require medical help.

If you are applying to the NHS for help then he/she will be involved anyway as GP’s have to refer you to a surgeon. If you are ‘going private’ then still inform him of your decision to have surgery. This also keeps him up to date with your medical history.

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