Can a Fat Transfer to the breast be done while nursing/lactating?

I want to do a fat transfer to my breasts and a tummy tuck at the same time. I'm nursing my baby and want to do so for as long as I can. But I'm not sure if I'll be able to do the fat transfer in a few months because I'm normally very thin and losing fat quickly. Can I do the fat transfer while nursing (while my breasts are larger than normal from pregnancy/nursing)? Will the extra flow of blood to my breasts help the fat survive? Does the answer change if using BRAVA with the fat transfer?

Doctor Answers 10

Fat transfer, or any other elective operation on the breast for that matter, should not be done while lactating

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The short answer to your question for me is: absolutely not, I would never suggest fat transfer on the breast of a lactating or nursing woman.  Notwithstanding the issues with breastfeeding and potential risks to your child from unnecessary exposure to medications and other things involved with the procedure, there are a number of problems with this idea.  First, the breasts will most likely be changed significantly by breastfeeding, and it is almost impossible to predict in what way or how much.  This means that any grafting that is done while breastfeeding is like "shooting at a moving target" in that you are trying to obtain a lasting result by treating the breast before it has stabilized and reached some equilibrium after breastfeeding.  I would suggest a number of months after cessation of actual breastfeeding to allow this settling of the breasts to occur, maybe as much as 6 months or longer depending upon how quickly the breasts stabilize and how long you lactated.  Furthermore, the risk of injury to dilated milk ducts and functioning milk glands with subsequent cyst formation and draining sinuses with milk draining through the skin is very real, and a risk that I would not want to accept.  These kinds of things can turn into chronic problems or become secondarily infected resulting in significant scarring and deformity of the breasts.  The Brava does not change my recommendations here one bit.  I hope I have given you some cause for serious reconsideration of this idea, and I suggest you complete the task at hand, namely, care for your child, and then allow your breasts to normalize and make a rational plan to address the changes in your breasts that exist once that happens.

San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Can a Fat Transfer to the breast be done while nursing/lactating?

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  I think that the lactation process should be complete prior to breast surgery.

Kenneth Hughes, MD

Los Angeles, CA

Breast enlargement with fat or implant should not be done while you are nursing

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Thank you for your question.  You should not have surgery for breast enlargement whether with fat or an implant while your nursing.

Breast feeding and breast fat transfer surgery

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As we are now using pre and postoperative negative pressure to improve our fat transfer results, lactation with breast feeding is relatively contraindicated and I recommend postponing any plans for surgery until you have complete involution of active breast gland activity from nursing.  The extra blood flow is helpful for fat survival, but BRAVA or other negative pressure devices will not work properly if lactating, and may actually stimulate more production of milk, further delaying your augmentation procedure.


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Thank you for the question.

I would suggest for you to complete the breast feeding cycle in order to continue with the fat grafting plans.

Dr. Campos

Fat transfer to the breast while breast feeding?

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Thank you for your question.  In general, elective surgeries should not be performed when you are breast feeding.  There are several reasons for this, including the safety of your baby and to reduce complications in your breast. 

Can a Fat Transfer to the breast be done while nursing/lactating?

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Elective surgery should be avoided while you are breast feeding. Surgery to the breast should be avoided for another four months or so after your breast feeding has ended.

Fat Transfer to the breast be done while nursing/lactating?

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The simple answer is no it is not safe and no ethical plastic surgeon would perform that procedure while you are breast feeding.. The rate of potential complications would be excessive.

Find a plastic surgeon that you are comfortable with and one that you trust and listen to his or her advice. The surgeon should be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and ideally a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) that you can find using the Smart Beauty Guide. You should discuss your concerns with that surgeon in person.

Robert Singer, MD FACS

La Jolla, California

Recommendation against breast surgery if nursing

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I advise any nursing mother to stop nursing for at least 6 months before breast surgery. If you are still nursing, I would not perform any type of breast surgery or any elective surgery since you run the risk of having unwanted medication or drugs in your milk that could possibly be transmitted to your baby. This is the safest and healthiest decision for your child.

Fat grafting to the breast!

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No you should not do this while breast feeding!

Fat grafting is a valuable tool in breast surgery. This technique has gained more popularity over the past 7 years. There are many techniques used to harvest the fat, process the fat and then re-inject the fat. Conventional suction lipectomy is performed with a small diameter cannula, processed by separating the liquid and fibrous tissue from the fat, and then placed into syringes for re-injection or through a closed system.

Please find an experienced Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and member of the Aesthetic Society using the Smart Beauty Guide. These Plastic Surgeons can guide you on all aspects of facial surgery, breast augmentation and body procedures including tummy tucks or mommy makeovers!

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.