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Can I have a breast reduction if I have had triple bypass surgery?

Q:

I am 5'2", wear a 42 H bra and weigh approximately 185 pounds. I will be 52 years old in Dec., 2012. I had triple bypass surgery in Nov. of 2008.  I have a very small frame but I am over weight in my breasts and tummy.  My arms and legs are normal size. I really need to have a breast reduction. Is it safe after my bypass surgery?

A:

This question is best answered by your cardiologist. Consider a visit to him requesting pre operative cardiopulmonary clearance for a general anesthetic for your breast reduction. he may conduct some evaluations to determine if you are healthy enough to safely tolerate the surgery. Then, with this data in hand consider a consult to one of the many members of the ASAPS. Yes, we have done breast reduction on patients that have had cardiac by-passes after they have been cleared for surgery. You certainly seem to qualify for a breast reduction based upon your description but, remember to also check your insurance policy. Some insurance carriers do not cover breast reductions as a covered service and others have very strict criteria to be included for coverage. Your H.R. staff may be able to assist you in making this determination with a simple call.

Best,

Gary R Culbertson, MD, FACS

A:

Hello Tammy,

Any surgery carries a certain amount of risk. Your history of cardiac bypass will put you a a certain risk during a major surgery.

You need a complete cardiac workup by your cardiologist and complete clearance to proceed with the surgery. You may need an Echocardiogram and maybe a cardiac scan to evaluate the heart function. Once cleared you need to discuss the surgery and potential risks. Then you can decide if you want to proceed with the surgery.

S.F. Shureih, MD

A:

Your cardiologist will need to evaluate you and determine your risk for the breast reduction surgery. Once you have been cleared for the surgery a board certified plastic surgeon will be able to perform your surgery. Technical information about your bypass will be important to your plastic surgeon to safely design your procedure. I agree you are a candidate for reduction surgery but would also encourage you to lose weight. Not only would you achieve a better cosmetic result but the long term health implications are significant. I hope this was helpful.

R. W. Kessler, MD

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