Do I Have to Wait for my Milk Supply to Dry Up for Breast Reduction?

ive been waiting for my breast reduction and the time has come however i just stopped breast feeding 4 days ago and my surgery is in two days can i go ahead? i feel good to go ahead with it without telling my doc. ive waited too long to postpone another six months.are there any risks with this?

Doctor Answers 9

Do NOT have a Breast Reduction Surgery while still Lactating (Producing Breast Milk)

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Regarding; "...i just stopped breast feeding 4 days ago and my surgery is in two days can i go ahead? i feel good to go ahead with it without telling my doc. ive waited too long to postpone another six months.are there any risks with this?"

Two comments:
1. It is a really dumb idea to withhold information from your surgeon. Information which may seem meaningless to you could be crucial to your proper care. Not being aware of it your surgeon may take a decision which will needlessly hurt you.Your surgeon would realized what he stepped into the moment he incises across the ducts and I am sure he will not be too happy with this needless deception.

2. Case in point.
You should wait until you are no longer producing breast milk to have Breast Reduction surgery. While the breast is producing milk it is NOT the size it will be once the milk production has stopped. As a result, the surgeon will not be able to accurately judge how much breast tissue to take off and the result, at best, will be disappointing.  The milk ducts are not sterile, operating on a lactating breast is associated with a higher rate of complications. Complications that will be costly and may eventually require more treatments including surgery and produce a sub-optimal result.

For best results, you should wait 4-6 months after you stopped breast feeding for the breasts to assume their normal size.

The wait will be well worth it.

Dr. Aldea

Memphis Plastic Surgeon

Wait at least 6 months

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It is too early to get your surgery done. I generally advise patients wait for a least 6 months after they've stopped breastfeeding before pursuing breast surgery. Please let your surgeon know your situation.

Breast Reduction after Breast Feeding?

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Thank you for the question.

It would be in your best interests to wait at least 3 months after breast-feeding before proceeding with any type of breast surgery.

Best wishes.

Breast reduction and milk production

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Yes, you must wait until you stop breast feeding before undergoing a breast reduction.  You should wait at least 6 months or longer after you stop so that the breasts can revert to a less engorged and vascular state.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Lactation, nursing and breast reduction

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I would recommend that you wait at least 4 months subsequent to cessation of lactation prior to considering breast reduction.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 86 reviews

Breast Reduction 4 days after cessation of breast feeding

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Hi there-

Generally speaking, it is not in your best interests to withhold relevant information from any health care provider, as (and this is definitely true in this instance) it may lead to complications you could have avoided had you been forthcoming...

I would recommend you wait at least 3 months to allow your breasts to re-establish a healthy equilibrium after the glandular elements have receded. 

Proceeding before this has occurred risks ongoing deflation of the breasts in the postoperative period, with a less than favorable result that necessitates another surgical procedure.

Breast reduction during lactation is a bad idea

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During breast feeding, lactation, the breast is enlarged and engorged and this is a very poor time to attempt breast reduction surgery. The planning and size consideration is distorted by the enlarged breast. The surgery is likely to be complicated by milk collections called galactoceols which require longer use of drains. Not telling your surgeon prevents you from getting the best care and the best result, overall a very bad idea.

Best of luck,


Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Breast-feeding and reduction

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In my up-coming book on cosmetic surgery, one of the twelve rules is "no lying." You should ask your surgeon in person what you are asking anonymously. Only by being open with each other, can a favorable outcome be possible. Usually a surgeon will inquire about your breast-feeding because cutting into the breast tissue while still producing milk can produce a complication of galactocoele and non-healing. Usually you should wait a number of months after ceasing to breast-feed.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon

Breast Reduction While Breast Feeding

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Thanks for your question -

In our San Francisco area office we commonly perform breast reductions.  We always ask our patients to wait until they're done breast feeding.  There are several reasons for this -

  1. Breast milk can cause infections and wound healing problems.
  2. Your breasts are engorged (think bigger than normal) with breast milk and the actual size and shape of your breasts will change when you stop lactating.  It is important to perform the surgery when your breasts have reached a stable size without breast milk.
  3. Anesthesia and pain medications can get into the breast milk affecting your baby.
  4. After surgery you'll need some time to recover and typically breast feeding moms may have some trouble finding the time to devote to you.

Two days is likely not enough time to prevent issues from point #1 and point #2.  And you should see your surgeon as a partner in your safety and well being.  Not telling your doctor things is a recipe for disaster.  I hope this helps.  Finish breast feeding and then see a board certified plastic surgeon.

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.