Will Pregnacy but Not Breastfeeding Ruin my Breast Reduction Surgery?


Doctor Answers 31

Pregnancy after Breast Reduction

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Unfortunately the answer to your question is that it depends. Just like some women develop stretch marks on their belly and some do not, the changes that occur due to pregnancy affect all women differently.  Your breasts will enlarge with pregnancy and remain enlarged in the postpartum period just as if you did not have a reduction. The fact that you do not breast feed will not necessarily prevent you from developing changes in your breasts after your reduction.  I have often heard the comment, "my breast grew back again after my reduction". When you undergo a reduction, the breast tissue and fat is gone forever. However, the remaining breast tissue and fat cells can become enlarged due to weight gain and pregnancy.  It is also very possible that your breast return to the same size, shape, and tone depending on your age.

 If you already had a breast reduction, I would not recommend avoiding the beautiful experience of having a child simply because you are afraid your breasts will change. If you are planning on having a reduction and plan on having a child soon, I would recommend waiting until after the birth and after your weight has stabilized. Of course, it is important to see a qualified, experienced Plastic Surgeon to discuss your individual case. 

Breast Reduction and Pregnancy

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It is impossible to predict how the hormone changes of pregnancy (even without breast feeding) will affect your breasts.

You will experience some degree of increase in breast size during pregnancy.  It is not possible to predict what your post-pregnancy volume will be, or what degree of sagging you may experience.

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Will breast reduction shape and size change after pregnancy

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Is this this your first pregnancy? Do you plan on multiple pregnancies?

It really depends on several factors:

  1. How much breast tissue you currently have?
  2. The technique of breast reduction (free nipple graft)
  3. The size your breasts become during pregnancy?
  4. Your skin elasticity?
  5. The integrity of your breast cutaneous ligaments (Cooper's ligaments)?

Your final breast shape will be influenced by these factors as well as your genetic tendencies.

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

Pregnancy and Breast Feeding after Breast Reduction

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Both Breast Feeding and Pregnancy will affect the size and shape of your breasts. The degree of which it will change however is highly variable.

Breast Reduction and Pregnancy?

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Thank you for the question.

There is no accurate way of predicting exactly how the breasts will change after pregnancy and there is not much that can be done to avoid these changes ( if they are going to occur).  Maintaining a stable weight  (under the guidance of your OB/GYN) will be helpful in minimizing breast changes that occur secondary to significant weight fluctuations.

Some typical changes seen  after pregnancy include a decrease in size, “sagging" and/or the development of some asymmetry.  On the other hand, some women  experience very little change even after several pregnancies.

I would suggest you enjoy the pregnancy (as much as possible)  and the infant: it is safe to expect some changes in size and/or position of the breasts ( that may or may not benefit from revisionary surgery in the future).

Best wishes.

Effect of pregnancy on breast reduction

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There is no one answer for everyone. Some patients undergo significant enlargement of the breasts during pregnancy and others have smaller size changes. This is dependent upon weight gain, hormonal effects and the laxity of your skin. If you are unhappy about the size or shape of the breasts after giving birth, I'd advise waiting until your childbearing is complete and then considering a revisional surgery which can be performed via the same incisions.

Breast Reduction Results

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Pregnancy will unlikely "ruin" your results, but you are likely to experience changes in breast size and contour following pregnancy.  These changes vary with patient age, weight change, and skin quality, among others.  Gynecologists recommend about a one pound per week weight gain with pregnancy (in mothers of ideal weight).  The greatest degree of change is often observed with the most dramatic weight gain.  Thus, it is wise to maintain weight within normal parameters during pregnancy. 

Jason Hess, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon

Breast only go one way - Down!

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From the day that you develop your breasts to the day of your demise, breasts will move in one direction and that is down. Certain things that you do can slow the process, such as wearing a bra, healthy living and minimizing large weight gains and losses.

The things that make the process happen faster include pregnancy, breast feeding, large weight gains or losses, going braless, smoking and jogging or exercising without good support.

With regard to getting pregnant without breast feeding sagging can occur, but would likely not be as bad as if you breast fed.

Robert M. Freund, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Breast surgery results after pregnancy

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I would not say "ruin" results. It is normal to experience appearance changes from pregnancy and weight fluctuation. Typically the breasts get larger throughout your pregnancy, then size decreases after you return to your normal weight. The breasts can subsequently become more saggy after a pregnancy and sometimes the amount of breast tissue gets smaller after a pregnancy, even if you don't  breast feed. Whether or not an individual has had a surgical procedure on their breasts does not change or affect the normai physiologic changes on the breast. The overall effect may or may not affect the appearance enough to desire another surgical procedure. It depends on many variable individual characteristics. Oftentimes, surgical results hold up just fine.

Effects of pregnancy and breastfeeding on breast reduction

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There are major hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy and that impact the shape and size of your breasts. This is the predominant factor in any effect on the results of your breast reduction. Breastfeeding may prolong the amount of time your breast tissue is exposed to certain hormones, but the direct effect on the appearance of the breasts is unpredictable.

Olivia Hutchinson, MD
New York 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.