Can Breast Tissue Grow Back After Breast Reduction?

Is it possible for breast tissue to grow back after a breast reduction? I had it done a couple of years ago and now my breasts look like they're the same size they were before the surgery. I haven't gained any weight or anything either. Is this common? Do I need a revision?

Doctor Answers 20

Breast tissue can grow back

Yes, breast tissue can grow back following breast reduction.  This happens more frequently when breast reductions are done on young ladies or teenagers with massive amounts of glandular tissue.  Although a large amount of glandular tissue may be removed with the initial breast reduction, there is typically still a sizable amount of glandular tissue left behind.  This tissue can still hypertrophy, or grow very large, just like it always could before the surgery.  And if you add things like pregnancy or hormones like certain birth control pills, then the effects can be stimulated even more.  I have done many a secondary breast reduction on young ladies who had a prior breast reduction, were happy with their size, and then grew large again.  The fact that your breasts grew without weight gain is very suggestive of large glandular growth with very little fat component to the breasts.

Increase in Breast Size Following Breast Reduction

Unfortunately on occasion, breasts will increase in size following a breast reduction.   Breasts are a biological entity and therefore do continue to change over time.   They will be affected by weight loss/gain, pregnancy, and menopause.  

In addition, there is a small subset of patients who continue to increase the remaining breast tissue following the initial reduction.   Although rare, in this instance, a second surgery may be required.

Carlin Vickery, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews


Breast reduction, or reduction mammaplasty patients are among the most satisfied of all plastic surgery patients. Large breasts (macromastia) can often decrease quality of life for a woman. With breast reduction, you can have smaller breasts that sit higher on your chest wall. You will also find relief in your neck and back with the decrease in weight and more ergonomic position of your breasts. Once the breast fat is taken out, it won't  grow back.
There are several different variations of breast reduction, differing by size, and amount of incisions; procedure; and the results. The different types of reduction techniques include: The wise pattern breast lift, the anchor shaped incision, and the donut mastopexy.
1. The wise pattern breast lift involves an anchor-shaped incision around the natural contour of the breast. To most patients surprise, this scar is mostly hidden under the inferior aspect of the breast. However, the scar around the nipple/areola is visible. Most patients heal this anchor type scar very well and are satisfied with smaller areola in exchange for the scars. This surgery is used when there is a lot of excess skin that needs to be removed in order to lift the breast and give it a more aesthetic shape.
2. Often times, the anchor shaped incision can me diminished to create a lollipop or J shaped incision. This results in some excess skin at the inferior aspect of the breast near the breast crease that will flatten out over a 6 month period. Some patients are willing to tolerate this excess skin for 6 months in exchange for a smaller scar. This is a personal decision that each patient can make.
3. The donut mastopexy involves creating an incision around the areola and removing a doughnut-shaped area of skin. This surgery can be used for patients that need a smaller amount of lifting. This surgery results in a scrunched-up look to the breast skin surrounding the areola for about 6 months before it flattens out. Patients need to be understanding and tolerant of this in exchange for an areola-only scar. These patients do run the risk of areola widening as well.
Insurance may cover some of these cases when back pain, shoulder bra-notching, and rashes under the breast are present. Insurances vary though and your doctor can submit a report and photos to see if your insurance approves your procedure.
The risks of the procedure include bleeding, infection, bruising, poor scarring, pain, swelling, and changes to nipple and areola sensation, and rarely, partial or total nipple loss. The recovery time is usually a couple weeks if all goes well. In general, however, breast reduction patients are some of the most satisfied and grateful plastic surgery patients. This is truly a life-changing procedure. In my area, the cost ranges from 6700-8500. Best of luck!

Sheila S. Nazarian, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Breasts growing again

It is possible for the breasts to regrow after a breast reduction, since your breasts continue to change throughout your life. You may need to have another surgery performed to reduce your size again.

Can Breast Tissue Grow Back After Breast Reduction?

Unfortunately, yes it can.  Sometimes when younger females have a reduction they will get an increased growth later in life.  Sometimes pregnancy or weight gain will cause an increase in size of the breasts even after reduction surgery.

Thomas Guillot, MD
Baton Rouge Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Re-Growth After Breast Reduction is Possible

Rarely patients who undergo breast reduction experience re-growth of breast tissue. In some cases, this may actually require a secondary breast reduction procedure. When this occurs, there are several potential causes. These include pregnancy, menopause, and weight gain.
Occasionally, patients with juvenile breast hypertrophy who have had early intervention may also experience re-growth of their breast tissue.
If any of these scenarios arise secondary, breast reduction is possible. Before proceeding, your surgeon should carefully review the previous operative report to minimize the potential for complications.

Can Breast Tissue Grow Back After Breast Reduction

If a patient is very young then the breasts will continue to grow and sometimes a revision is necessary.  There have been cases where breast tissue has continued to grow several times requiring multiple revisions in the same patient.

Paul Vitenas, Jr., MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Regrowth of Breast Tissue after Breast Reduction?

Thank you for the question.

Although not common, the recurrence of breast hypertrophy you have experienced does occur occasionally.  Repeat breast reduction surgery may be indicated. If so,  obtaining a copy of your previous operative report will be helpful.

Best wishes.

Need for repeat breast reduction does exist

Although it is indeed rare to return to the your pre-surgical volume following breast reduction, it does in fact happen. This can occur in patients who suffer from Juvenile Breast Hypertrophy. It can also occur in women who have breast reduction and then go on to become pregnant. The hormonal changes of pregnancy can incite a new growth phase for the breast tissue.

Kevin Brenner, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Breast growth after reduction surgery


It is possible although uncommon for your breasts to grow after reduction surgery. There are a few patients who have received a reduction surgery experienced such excessive growth of their breast a revision of the reduction surgery

Pat Pazmino, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.