Can I Still Breastfeed After Breast Reduction?

If you’re bothered by overly large breasts, you may be considering breast reduction surgery to reduce excess glandular tissue and give you greater comfort. One common factor that patients are often concerned about is whether they will be able to breastfeed after a breast reduction. It is possible to breastfeed after this procedure, assuming you had the ability to breastfeed to begin with, as long as certain techniques are used.

Dr. Neal Goldberg, our board-certified plastic surgeon, notes that breast reduction often can have more of an impact on the ability to nurse than breast augmentation, since incision placement may sever the milk ducts, depending on the approach used. Therefore, it is essential for you to let your plastic surgeon know during the initial consultation that you want to maintain the ability to breastfeed.

During breast reduction, the nipple may be moved higher or otherwise repositioned on the breast once excess tissue has been removed. If the milk ducts are severed—if the nipple is completely removed and reattached, called the “free nipple” technique—you are unlikely to be able to breastfeed again. Keeping the blood supply, nerves, and milk ducts intact should allow for successful nursing in the future.

If possible, we recommend you have your children and finish nursing prior to having breast reduction surgery, but we understand this is not an option for all women. Dr. Goldberg will discuss your needs and goals and work with you to find the best possible solution for you.