Can I breastfeed after a breast reduction?

Breast reduction or reduction mammoplasty is the surgical procedure that reduces the exaggerated dimensions of the breasts to better fit your height and weight. When it’s performed on young women, their main concern is whether they can still breastfeed after the surgery.

Breastfeeding after a breast reduction depends on both the operating technique used and the fact that one third of the women who do not undergo the intervention cannot breastfeed despite wanting to.

When the breast tissue just below the areola is preserved, the chances of breastfeeding are much higher. This aspect should be discussed before surgery, so that your doctor chooses the breast reduction surgical technique that’s most appropriate for you.

In the case of impressive breast size (macromastia) and a corresponding mammary ptosis, if the doctor is trying to create an aesthetically pleasant result, the breast reduction can be only done by removing the excess breast tissue along with harvesting of a graft comprising the areola and nipple area. In this case, the flow between the mammary gland and the nipple through the lactating ducts is cut off and breastfeeding is impossible.

Any intervention on the breasts can affect breastfeeding by:

  • The severing of nerves connecting the areola, whih affects the neurohormonal reflex of milk secretion;
  • The severing of milk ducts;
  • Transposing the areolo-nipple area through the grafting technique;
  • Any scarring of the breast tissue.