The effects of breast reduction on successful breastfeeding: a systematic review

J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2010 Oct;63(10):1688-93. doi: 10.1016/j.bjps.2009.07.027. Epub 2009 Aug 18.


Background: There is not yet a consensus in defining the ability to breastfeed up to the recommended duration of 6 months after reduction mammaplasty. We reviewed the literature to study the possibility for successful and exclusive breastfeeding for this duration.

Method: A systematic review of literature was performed using the Ovid Medline Database and the PubMed database to retrieve all published original articles that studied the effects of reduction mammaplasty on breastfeeding from 1950 to December 2008.

Results: There appears to be no difference in breastfeeding capacity after reduction mammaplasty compared to women of the North American general population during the first month postpartum. Difficulties related to breastfeeding appear to be mostly explained by psychosocial issues related to advice and coaching received by healthcare workers during breastfeeding as well as other patient personal considerations.

Conclusion: Women who have children after having had breast reduction surgery should be encouraged to breast feed. Consensus on the defining successful breastfeeding is required and we suggest using the definition of six months of exclusive breastfeeding as recommended by the WHO.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Breast Feeding* / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Mammaplasty* / psychology
  • Time Factors