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Can I Breastfeed After A Breast Reduction?

breast feeding and breast reduction surgery

Research shows that 96 per cent of women attempt to breastfeed, but for a myriad of reasons not all are able to. This applies whether you have or have not had breast surgery in the past. When women who have had a breast reduction surgery are compared to a group of women of similar weight who haven’t had a breast reduction, their breastfeeding rates are about the same. Published studies have compared of breast feeding success rates after breast reduction found very similar success rates (71% for superior pedicle, 77% for inferior pedicle, 63% horizontal bipedicle procedures).

It is important to remember that breast reduction surgery involves the areola nipple complex being moved to a new position, which can result in disruption of the nerve supply to the nipple and areola. It can also disrupt the milk glands and milk ducts. Research shows that when the surgeon preserves as much of the tissue around the areola as possible, a woman’s chances of breastfeeding later is increased. Dr Sharp carefully priorities the preservation of milk ducts, nerves and breast tissue wherever possible, however it is not possible to guarantee that it will be possible to breastfeed after breast reduction surgery.



can breastfeed

breast lift and reduction surgeon recommendation Brisbane and Ipswich

As a female-led clinic with the personal perspective as a mother of four, we understand the significance of the option to breastfeed for women and their families.

However, it’s important to note that nerves can regrow, albeit slowly – and glandular tissue can develop during pregnancy. In most cases, we find this occurs and patients are able to breastfeed successfully.

If you are having a breast reduction and plan on breastfeeding in the future, you should discuss this with your surgeon.

[Left: breast reduction before and 3 months after surgery with Dr Sharp].

Misconceptions about breast reduction surgery

A common misconception about breast reduction surgery is the removal of the nipple. However, in the technique Dr Sharp employs, there is no such removal. Instead, he carefully dissects and repositions the areola, maintaining the integrity of the nerves and milk ducts, and relocate it to its new position on the chest wall. Anecdotally, some of our patients who have undergone breast reductions between pregnancies have reported an improved ability to breastfeed their subsequent children, contrasting with their pre-surgery experiences due to the excessive size of their breasts.

However, it’s important to acknowledge that results can vary. Similar to women who haven’t undergone breast surgery, some may face challenges in breastfeeding, while others might need the support of a lactation consultant for early feeding issues.

Should I wait until I have finished having children to have a breast reduction?

Like all surgery, it is important to weigh up the pros and cons before embarking upon breast reduction surgery.

If you still intend to have children, you may find that further pregnancies or breastfeeding after breast reduction surgery can impact your results, causing skin stretching or enlargement of breasts.

Conversely, you may find the the posture and pain relief provided by a breast reduction in the time between having the surgery and having further pregnancy/s outweighs the chance of your results or breast-feeding being impacted.

In general, if you plan to have children in the next year or two, we recommend waiting.

However, if starting a family is a few years away, undergoing a breast reduction or lift now could allow you to enjoy the benefits sooner. Dr Sharp will discuss these with you during your preoperative consideration process.

Costs of breast reduction surgery

At your preoperative consultation we will provide a comprehsive quote based on your item number eligibility, rebates, private health coverage and chosen hospital. The cost of surgery involves a surgeon’s fee, surgeon’s assistant, hospital, anaesthetist, postoperative garment/s and postoperative care. For details about the total out-of-pocket expenses and what’s included, please contact our patient support team on 3202 4744.

More information regarding breast reduction

To receive a digital information pack regarding breast reduction surgery, please submit an enquiry via our live chat – on our form here. 

For general information about breast feeding after breast surgery we recommend resources listed here. 


The above information is general in nature and does not constitute medical advice. All surgery carries benefits and risks, and we recommend visiting the specific page related to the procedure you are interested in to learn more.