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Breastfeeding Capability After Benign Breast Surgery
Shannon M. Malloy, BS, Catherine T. McNamara, BS, Laura C. Nuzzi, BA, Joseph M. Firriolo, MD, Brian I. Labow, MD.
Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA.

PURPOSE: Many breast surgeons are fearful of operating on young women due to the potential impact on future lactation ability. Despite these concerns, there is extremely sparse data regarding the effect of benign breast surgery on breastfeeding capability. This study aims to elucidate the impact of benign breast surgery on breastfeeding and lactation performance.
METHODS: Eligible mothers between the ages of 18 and 45 years and between 6 months and 5 years postpartum were recruited to capture their breastfeeding experiences and prior breast surgery history. All data were self-reported.
RESULTS: A total of 85 participants were included in analyses, with a mean age of 33.6 years. Fifteen mothers were previously diagnosed with a breast condition, most commonly breast cysts (6), fibroadenoma (3), and macromastia (2). Sixteen mothers underwent breast surgery: augmentation (5), reduction mammaplasty (4), and biopsy (4). More than 80% of mothers successfully breastfed or fed breast milk from the bottle, regardless of history of breast surgery (p = 0.578). Most mothers with and without previous breast surgical history reported moderate to extreme difficulty while breastfeeding (40% v. 60%, respectively, p = 0.338). Breastfeeding satisfaction did not differ significantly by breast surgery status (p = 0.999).
CONCLUSION: This study is among the first to suggest that breast surgery does not significantly impact breastfeeding ability. Although more data are necessary to generalize results, our findings suggest that benign breast surgery is safe in young women and should not preclude otherwise healthy young women from enjoying the benefits of breast surgery for fear of impairing future lactation.


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