Blood Loss During Breast Reduction?

I gave birth 3 months ago and lost a lot of blood, I had to have a blood transfusion because I was anemic.

If I lost a lot of blood during childbirth will I lose a lot of blood during a breast reduction? Should I be worried about getting an elective surgery if I'm anemic?

Doctor Answers 12

Blood loss during breast reduction

3 months after childbirth may be too early to be undergoing a breast reduction since the breasts are still changing.

With modern tumescent anesthetic techniques, the blood loss during breast reduction can be minimized. When I was in residency, we routinely had patients autodonate blood. Now, it is unheard of in our practice because of the minimal blood loss when breast recution surgery is performed expediently by a skilled surgeon using tumescent or superwet anesthetic techniques.

All patients undergoing an elective procedure should optimize their medical health before having surgery.

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 177 reviews

Blood Loss with Breast Reduction?

Thank you for the question.

The blood loss associated with breast reduction surgery is not significant. More than likely, your plastic surgeon will be checking your hemoglobin/hematocrit prior to the procedure.

It will be in your best interest to proceed with breast reduction surgery when you have reached a long-term stable weight. Also you should wait at least 3 to 6 months after breast-feeding before undergoing the procedure.

Best wishes with the breast reduction procedure; it is one of the most patient pleasing operations we perform.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,486 reviews

Blood loss minimal with breast reduction

The amount of blood that most patients lose during breast reduction is negligible, especially when compared with blood loss that occurs during childbirth. However, there are a few things that you should consider before having surgery. Three months after having a child is too soon for breast reduction surgery. I prefer that my patients wait a minimum of six months after delivery prior to any elective body contouring surgery...and preferable closer to twelve months. Also, if you are anemic now, you should wait until your Iron stores are repleted prior to commencing with additional elective surgery.

Kevin Brenner, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Blood loss is minimal during breast reduction surgery


It performed properly, a minimal amount of blood should be lost during a breast reduction surgery. The surgery is usually performed with techniques that minimize the blood loss. An experienced board-certified plastic surgeon should have enough familiarity with the anatomy of the breast to minimize blood loss and prevent the need for blood transfusions.

Pat Pazmino, MD, FACS
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

Breast reduction and blood loss

First, if you recently had a pregnancy, then I would wait at least 6 months or until your breasts have settled down and your weight is stable to undergo a breast reduction. If you are severely anemic, then you should have a work-up and you may be at risk for healing problems. You should not lose a lot of blood form a breast reduction.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

There is minimal blood loss with breast reduction.


If you are really anemic (hemoglobin less than 11), take iron for two months before having any surgery.  But a breast reduction is nothing like childbirth.

When we do breast reductions in our office operating room in NYC, the typical blood loss is 4 ounces.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Excessive Blood loss is unusual during breast reduction surgery

Child birth is a very different situation than elective breast reduction. There are factors which might cause a woman to lose a lot of blood during delivery (problems with the placenta is one) that are never seen during breast surgery.

It is very unusual to lose a lot of blood during a breast reduction. That said, there are some other considerations. I would recommend waiting a while after your delivery to proceed with breast reduction. First, you obviously had a difficult delivery -- I would want you back to your normal good health before proceeding with an elective procedure.

Also, your breasts are still changing from the pregnancy. Even if you are not breast feeding it will take a while for your breasts to go back to a non-pregnant state. As a general rule it takes up to a year for everything to go back to a non pregnant state. Tell your plastic surgeon about your delivery problems, make sure you have clearance from your primary doctor before you go ahead and make sure that you give your body time to recover from the delivery.

Susan E. Downey, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Two issues here

First thing to do is see your internist or hematologist to ensure you don't have a clotting problem causing the excessive bleeding.

Secondly, if that is ok, the breast reduction should not result in a lot of bleeding. The issue for me is the status of your breasts. This close to birth, you may still have milk, and even if you don't the breast size and shape may still change a lot over the next few months, so I would consider waiting for the reduction, a few months.


Scott E. Kasden, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 101 reviews

Blood transfusin from breast reduction is rare

Blood transfusion for breast reduction surgery is very rare. The fact you may be anemic from blood loss during child birth makes it prudent you obtain a blood work up from your primary care physician. Discuss the results with him/her prior to having breast reduction surgery. You may just need an iron supplement to help with your anemia.

Breast reduction surgery is generally a straight forward procedure without significant blood loss. It is a very gratifying procedure for plastic surgeons as their patients experience a decrease in back, neck and shoulder pain within weeks of the surgery.

Good luck.

David A. Robinson, MD
Munster Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Do you have easy bruising or bleed spontaneously?

 If this was the only time you had a bleeding problem, you are probably fine.  A simple battery of blood tests of your clotting mechanism can also reassure you that breast reduction will be safe.  The surgery is mostly done with a cautery device so there is typically almost no bleeding.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 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.