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Can You Breastfeed After Nipple Reduction Surgery?

May 23rd 2022

Nipple reductions are considered a cosmetic procedure to decrease the size and protrusion of your nipples. For women, this surgery has the risk of limiting their ability to breastfeed. In this blog, Kitto Plastic Surgery—a plastic surgeon that performs nipple reduction surgery in Richmond VA—discusses the risks and benefits of having this procedure.

Nipple Reduction Surgery

What happens during nipple reduction surgery?

A nipple reduction surgery is an in-office procedure that creates the appearance of smaller nipples. For some women, breastfeeding, pregnancy, and breast trauma can lead to enlarged nipples. This enlargement can lead to poor self-confidence. Women who experience self-esteem issues due to the appearance of their nipples may benefit from a nipple reduction. A nipple reduction can also be paired with an areola reduction surgery to create the appearance of smaller nipples and areolas. 

During the nipple reduction surgery, the surgeon will remove excess nipple tissue and bring together the remaining tissue. This can decrease the circumference of your nipple and areola. Similarly, if you are more concerned about the protrusion of your nipple, a surgeon can make an incision at the base of the nipple, remove excess tissue, and attach the remaining tissue to the base.

Nipple Reduction Surgery Cost

Another important consideration is the cost of a nipple reduction surgery. Because a nipple reduction is considered an aesthetic surgery, insurance companies will not pay. According to Cost Helper Health, women seeking out this procedure can expect to pay between $2000-$5000 out of pocket. The nipple reduction surgery cost can dissuade many women from seeking out the procedure, so it is essential you understand the cost prior to receiving it.

Nipple Reduction Surgery Cost

Can a nipple reduction affect breastfeeding ability?

If a woman can breastfeed after a nipple reduction widely depends on the reason/type of procedure they are having. For example, in many breast reduction surgeries, women also undergo a nipple reduction. With a breast reduction, there is more extensive damage to the breast tissue and milk ducts which can result in an inability to breastfeed. Similarly, women who have a nipple reduction due to breast cancer may not be able to breastfeed due to damage in the milk ducts from cancer. 

However, on the other side, after a simple nipple reduction, most women are still able to breastfeed their children. There are still risks associated with the amount of milk you produce, but those risks can be minimized if you take the proper precautions.

Breastfeeding After A Nipple Reduction

Just like you wouldn’t go run a mile after a knee replacement surgery, surgeons recommend women wait 3 years after their surgery to become pregnant. This waiting period allows any damaged breast tissue and milk ducts to recover and heal completely. That is why women who are pregnant or want to become pregnant in the near future, should wait to have a nipple reduction. 

If you become pregnant after a nipple reduction, it is essential that you inform your healthcare provider of your medical history. They can set you up with a lactation consultant that can help you should you have milk supply issues. Some women have trouble producing enough milk after a nipple reduction, but there are many supplemental nursing options that can help. In addition, latching, the position of the baby, improper techniques, and lack of support can also lead to breastfeeding issues. 

In order to produce the most milk you should:

  • Seek out as much skin-to-skin contact as possible
  • Nurse as soon as possible and frequently (every 2-3 hours)
  • Pump or manually express milk after feedings
  • Practice switch nursing (having the baby feed off of both breasts at every feeding)
  • Seek out a lactation consultant

Nipple Reduction Surgery in Richmond, VA

The best way to limit breastfeeding issues after a nipple reduction surgery is to seek out a board-certified surgeon to perform the procedure. If you live in the Richmond, VA area Dr. Kitto from Kitto Plastic Surgery is a board-certified surgeon with nipple reduction experience. Dr. Kitto understands the concerns and anxieties you may have about a nipple reduction and she does her best to explain the risks and keep you at ease. Discover a more confident version of yourself. 

Call Kitto Plastic Surgery at 804-294-1777 or go online, to schedule a nipple reduction consultation today.

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