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How Will Nipple Surgery During Breast Lift Affect Breast Feeding?

I have lost well over a hundred pounds. My breasts now feels like my grandmother's skin. They have lost most of their elasticity and are practically paper thin.

For a Breast lift procedure, in what circumstances is the nipple detached? Would the areola/nipple complex have to be removed for a Breast lift on someone with such major sagging? If so, what would be my chances of still being able to breast feed?

Doctor Answers (17)

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Nipple Sensation After Breast Lift


During a breast lift the nipple areolar complex is maintained on the breast tissue and the surrounding skin is elevated off of this tissue. The nipple tissue must stay on this tissue to give it blood supply. Because of this the nerves are not disrupted and the sensation should not be or only minimally be affected.

The nipple areolar complex should never be removed as a graft and replaced during a breast lift. This can occur during a breast reduction if the surgeon uses an inferior pedicle and a long distance is required to move the nipple. I use a superomedial pedicle for reductions which can be used for any size reduction.

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Fairfax Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Weight loss and breast lift sensation changes



  Usually the nipples do NOT need to be removed as free nipple grafts during a breast lift only.  There are exceptions to this of course.

  With the skin being so loose as you describe, then you will probably be a longer distance for the nipple to be moved upward.  The good part of loose tissue like this is that a good amount of tissue can stay attached to ensure the blood supply to the moved nipple complex.

  No promises can be given about breast feeding but as mentioned, if there is a lot of tissue remaining attached to the moved nipple complex, this also reflects the  ducts that stay attached to the moved nipple complexes.  The more that stay attached, the better the chances of the ducts working for breast feeding.  However, you will have to face the consideration that you will not be able to breast feed. 


Albany Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Breast-feeding after Breast Lifting?


Thank you for the question.


Generally, the nipple/areola are not “detached” when performing breast lifting surgery.

Yes there is a risk of  a  decreased ability to breast-feed  after breast lifting surgery. Exact percentages are hard to come by ( because some ladies are not able to breast-feed even without having undergone breast surgery)  but my estimation would be 5 percent  risk of a decreased or complete loss of  ability to breast-feed with this operation.

Patients must weigh this risk (along with many others)  against the benefits of the procedure when contemplating breast lifting surgery.

I hope this helps.

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San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 626 reviews

Inadequate breast feeding


now the nipples will still be attached to the rest of the breast tissue when doing breast reduction unless taken as a skin grafts which i dont think its you case

all patient have to know that milk production will be affected to certain degree because we in this procedure will remove some of the breast glandular tissue.

we can not tell you that breast feeding will disappear completely or it will stay the same 100 % .

Saudi Arabia Plastic Surgeon

Breast feeding usually possible after breast lift


Typically, an implant placed beneath the pectoral muscle would be required to restore volume in the breast you described. The breast tissue and nipple could then be lifted up and placed over the implant to restore the breast shape with the implant supplying the volume. Any excess skin would be excised or removed.

It's unlikely the nipple/areola complex would have to be totally detached; this is usually reserved for a few instances in breast reduction cases. As far as breast feeding goes, if you have been able to breastfeed in the past, it's likely you'll continue to be able to do so. Consult a board-certified plastic surgeon who can help you determine the best plan of action for your specific body type.

Huntsville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Breast lift will not affect breast feeding.



in a well done breast lift, the nipple is slid up but never detached. Breast feeding is not affected. Breast feeding is not even affected in a breast reduction.

Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Nipple surgery during Breast Lift and breast feeding


In most cases, in full breast lifting, the nipple/areolar complex is left attached to the pedicle flap. So there is a higher percentage of attaining normal sensation and breast feeding postoperatively. I have not heard of removing the nipple/areolar complex in only a breast lift, but in a long pedicled reduction/lift that is one of the surgical options. If this free nipple/areolar graft is done the possibilities of having decreased or absence of sensation and the in ability to breast feed exist. You need in to be guaranteed to be able to breast feed than the option of no surgery until after the pregnancy may be the best for you. Please be careful.I

Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Breast lift and potential for nursing.


This is difficult to say or predict. Even without surgery you may not be able to nurse. That having been said, even in severe case of breast ptosis (sag) the nipple and areola are not removed or detached despite the appearance of the scars.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Breast lifts rarely compromise breast feeding


A breast lift rarely compromises a womans ability to breast feed. The various incisions used for a breast lift do not involve cutting through the milk ducts. Therefore, a womens ability to breast feed should not be compromised.

A free nipple graft is not routinely performed when doing a breast lift. It is usually only performed for breast reduction surgery and only in a few instances. These include patients with a significant amount of breast sagging or for patients in which there is a concern the blood supply to the nipple/ areolr complex may have been compromised. In the event a womans nipple/ areolar complex would have to be removed and placed back on the breast as a graft, she would lose the ability to breast feed.

Munster Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Breast Feeding is almost always possible after a Breast Lift


Hi there-

In almost all cases and with most techniques, your chances of being able to successfully breast feed after a breast lift should be very high, although diminished milk production is possible.

Removal of your nipple (and thus an absolute inability to breast feed) would only be necessary if in addition to being droopy, your breasts were very large.

Only a well trained, board certified plastic surgeon could responsibly advise you on this issue after an appropriate physical exam.

Need help finding one you like and can trust? Read this:

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Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 82 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.

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