Will I be able to breast-feed after breast surgery?

Very commonly when we see patients in the office in consultation for aesthetic breast surgery, one ofthe issues that comes up is the ability to breast-feed. I commonly tell patients that an average of 70 of American women can breast-feed. No every lady is able to breast-feed. In women who have breast augmentation, I commonly place the implants underneath the muscle from an inframammary approach, so there is very little surgical dissection through the breast tissue, glands or ducts. In my experience, approximately 60 -70 of those individuals are able to breast-feed after breast augmentation, no significant difference from the average American woman.

When patients come in for evaluation of a breast reduction because of excessively large breasts, there are essentially two types of surgery that are performed. One is what is called a pedicle technique, where the nipple areolar complex remains attached to the breast tissue and everything is moved up and tightened together. In those individuals, again, there is a 60 – 70 chance they could breast-feed after surgery if they wish. For ladies who have excessive macromastia or very, very large breasts, occasionally a nipple graft will be performed. In this procedure the nipple areolar complex is removed, a breast reduction is performed and the nipple areolar complex is placed back onto the reduced breast as a skin graft. Those individuals would not be able to breast-feed. At the time of the consultation for aesthetic breast surgery or breast reduction surgery, measurements are taken and we will have a specific discussion about the possible role of breast-feeding in the future.

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