Is It Possible to Breastfeed After a Breast Reduction Surgery?

I am certain that I want to proceed with a breast reduction now. I'm 20 yrs old and I can't handle to pains that I currently have in my back and neck. I know I want to have children in the future and I was wondering if it is possible to breastfeed after a reduction.

Doctor Answers 8

Breast feeding after breast reduction surgery

It is impossible to predict whether or not a woman will be able to breast feed after a breast reduction. But even after a large breast reduction, there will still be breast tissue present that has the potential to produce milk. So if a woman was able to nurse before a breast reduction, then there is a very good chance she will be able to nurse after a breast reduction.

I suggest you meet with a board certified plastic surgeon to discuss your situation in more detail. I hope that helps and wish you all the best!

Fresno Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

Some women have successfully breast fed after a reduction

Nothing is predictable with breast feeding.  There are always moms who found out even though they didn't have any breast surgery they couldn't successfully breast feed their baby.  Some women's milk won't "let down" or they couldn't produce enough.

So with that lead up to my answer all I can say is that I have had many moms come back to tell me that they could easily breast feed long after having breast surgery, wether it was a reduction or an augmentation.

Technically your nipple after a reduction is still connected to your breast milk production glands.  If you think about how big that tissue has to be imagine how many women with very small breasts have breast fed their children for centuries.  It doesn't take much gland to do it.  So if after your surgery you are a b or c cup there isn't a technical reason why you might not be able to do this.

There is always the alternative.  Wait to have your reduction until after you have had all the babies you want!

Phillip C. Haeck, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Breastfeeding after Breast Reduction is highly variable

Hi there-

The truth is that regardless of your surgeon, their skill, experience, or the technique used, there is no way to know how a breast reduction will affect any individual's ability to breast feed. Some can, and some cannot, and some can, but still need to supplement with formula.

If this is very important to you, don't do it until your family is complete.

Armando Soto, MD, FACS
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

Breast reduction and breast feeding

It is difficult to predict  whether or not a patient can breast feed after a breast reduction, because in many instances patients did not breast feed before the breast reduction.  Large breasted patients may not be able to breast feed successfully while small breasted patients may be able to breast feed "5" kids at once so to speak.  In general the literature suggests that using an inferior pedicle reductin may provide the best chances to successfully feed.  I always inform patients that they have to assume that they wil have to supplement ( as many women do who have not had a breast reduction).  Good luck.

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

Many people can breast feed after breast reduction surgery.

There are no good studies to evaluate whether patients can breast feed after breast reduction surgery.  It is logical that if we do not remove all the ducts and glands that the patients breasts should be able to produce milk. The problem is that many women are not able to produce milk and effectively nurse their babies. I prefer to make the statement that we really do not have the answer to this question with hard science or data but that it is logical that if we preserve the glands and ducts that the patient will be able to nurse IF THEY COULD BEFORE!

Laurie A. Casas, MD, FACS
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Scarless breat reduction

this is using lipo suction only so there is no direct cutting into the breast tissue glands or ducts. over the years of doing this I have had many patients who were able to successfully breastfeed. that is certainly not a guarantee. also not everyone is the ideal candidate for this operation but it maybe worth exploring.

Sherwood Baxt, MD
Paramus Plastic Surgeon
3.8 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Breastfeeding after Breast Reduction

In most cases it is possible to breastfeed after breast reduction.  Check with your sugeon to see if he/she is planning to keep the nipples attached to the underlying breast gland, or if the nipples must be removed and replaced as a skin graft.  If the nipples do not need to be removed and skin gafted, most patients will still be able to breastfeed after the breast reduction.  Best wishes.

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Breast Feeding after Breast Reduction?

Congratulations on your decision to proceed with breast reduction surgery;  it is one of the most patient pleasing operations we perform.

Theoretically, any type of breast operation has a potential for decreasing the chances that a patient will be able to successfully breast-feed. The  more extensive the operation the greater the likelihood that milk ducts  will be involved in that the patient will not be able to breast-feed.
Unfortunately, it is hard to know what percentage of ladies are  not able to breast-feed after the breast surgery  because some patients are not able to breast-feed without having had any type of breast operation.

With breast reduction surgery specifically,  despite extensive surgery on the breast gland, most patients are able to breast-feed successfully after the procedure. This is because a significant amount of tissue is left behind in the form of a “pedicle”. This tissue will supply the nipple areola complexes with milk ducts ( unless a free nipple graft technique is necessary).

I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,487 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.