Nursing After a Breast Reduction: Is It Possible?

Breast reduction surgery has been shown to be a very effective procedure for the alleviation of symptoms due to enlarged breasts. These symptoms can include neck, back and shoulder pains; headaches, fatigue, irritation, labored breathing and rashes. I have witnessed time and time again over my 23 years in practice here, the highly beneficial effects that a reduction mammoplasty has had for my patients. These positive outcomes have also been confirmed by several well controlled medical studies.

One important concern that many of my patients have who are planning to have children in the future and who also are also considering breast reduction surgery is whether or not they will be able to nurse. Fortunately, there is a relatively definitive answer for this question and which is also good news. Medical studies investigating this issue have been performed and have revealed that the most common techniques employed for breast reduction do not preclude the ability to breast feed. That is, if you would have otherwise been able to breast feed independent of any considerations for surgery, you should still retain this ability after breast reduction surgery.

The one major technique where this is clearly impossible is with the free nipple graft (FNG) approach where the nipples are totally detached intra-operatively and then replaced in the proper position later during the surgery as skin grafts. By the nature of this procedure, the milk ducts are necessarily divided.

If you would like additional information on a breast reduction or on any other plastic surgery procedure that I perform or to schedule a complimentary consultation, please call my office at 480-451-3000.

Steven H. Turkeltaub, M.D. P.C.
Scottsdale and Phoenix, Arizona

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