Is It Safe to Have a Breast Augmentation with a Small Amount of Milk in Nipples?

I have had a few drips of milk in each breast for yrs. I am having a breast augmentation under the muscle in the crease. Is it safe? I am hearing yes and no...

Doctor Answers 9

Breast augmentation and milk production

I think that before you undergo a breast augmentation you should figure out why you are still lactating. If your work up is negative then it is probably OK to move forward.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Milk for Years and Breast Augmentation

   If you have had a little milk for years and your OB GYN has determined that to be normal for you, I do not think it would unreasonable to proceed with breast augmentation through the fold.  There is a medication that may help you dry up, but this is not without side effects as well.  All risks need to be balanced in all decisions with regard to any surgery.  Kenneth Hughes, MD Los Angeles, CA

Kenneth B. Hughes, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 492 reviews

Safe surgery with milk

It is not unusual for some women to have some milk coming out of the breasts for a long period of time. I agree that this milk is not sterile. I also believe that you can go forward with your breast augmentation with a low risk of complications if you desire.  I agree with the inframammary incision for somebody with some lactation. I believe that covering the nipple areola complex with a Tegaderm patch at the time of surgery isolates the nipple areola milk from the wound and allows for safe surgery. Some doctors go so far as to use Dermabond which is Super Glue on the nipple.  Since your milk has been coming for years, I don't think waiting makes any sense.

David Janssen, MD, FACS
Oshkosh Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Wait 6 months from your last breast feeding

At our office we recommend waiting 6 months from the time you stop breast feeding before doing breast implant surgery; note that at 6 months you may still have some "fluid" coming out but it is not milk anymore.  There are people who continue to produce some sort of "liquid" months after stopping breast feeding and there are also people who have never breast fed and yet have drainage.

Andre Aboolian, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Lactating and breast augmentation

Based on your question, I would assume that you recently stopped breast feeding.  In most women, the flow of milk has fully stopped by around three months after breast feeding.  As lactation stops, the size of the breast glands will become more congruent with the final form and consistency of breast tissue, making it a better time for deciding on what to do for the augmentation or lift procedure. An incision under the breast avoids the glands and would be a better approach for you.RB

Ramin Behmand, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Got Milk?

Hi Jen,

i agree with the other PS here. wait until your milk has completely dried up. The breasts are still a little swollen, more vascular and likely to bleed / bruise. Plus, there is a real risk of infection. 

There are medications you can take to stop the milk flow, but even with the meds, you need to wait a month after you've dried to allow for the engorgement and swelling to subside. 

Also, i would recommend an under incision vs. the nipple. 
Wish you the best. 


Bennett Yang, MD
Rockville Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

Breast augmentation while lactating

In my opinion, you should wait until you stop lactating.  Breast milk is not sterile and doing this surgery while you are lactating can increase your risk of infection.  In addition, your breasts are a bit larger than they will end up being after your milk production stops.  In that case, you may need a larger implant to achieve the result you want. 

Shim Ching, MD
Honolulu Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Breast Augmentation while Producing Milk?

Thank you for the question.

 I would suggest (with the goal of reducing complications)  that you wait until there is no further milk production at all before undergoing elective surgery.  Your OB/GYN may be helpful in prescribing medication to help stop milk production.

 Best wishes.

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

Augmentation while lactating?

The milk is not technically sterile as it passes though the milk ducts. There is chances of contaminating the implants. I do not recommend it. Besides, your breasts are likely to change size after you stop lactating. It may be harder to judge the correct size.

Neil T. Chen, MD
Albuquerque Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 74 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.