The breast-feeding practices of a series of postpartum women, who had undergone prior reduction mammaplasty by means of an inferior pedicle approach, are reported in this retrospective study. Also identified are the factors that influenced the decision to breast-feed postoperatively. From a patient pool of 544 individuals who elected to have reduction mammaplasty between 1984 and 1994 (age range, 15 to 35 years), 334 could be contacted and interviewed by means of telephone by using a standardized questionnaire. Successful breast-feeding was defined as the ability to feed for a duration equal to or greater than 2 weeks. Seventy-eight patients had children after their breast reduction surgery. Fifteen of the 78 patients (19.2 percent) breast-fed exclusively, 8 (10.3 percent) breast-fed with formula supplementation, 14 (17.9 percent) had an unsuccessful breast-feeding attempt, and 41 (52.6 percent) did not attempt breast-feeding. Of the 41 patients not attempting to breast-feed, 9 patients did so as a direct consequence of discouragement by a health care professional. Further reasons for feeding with supplementation, having an unsuccessful attempt, and not attempting to breast-feed are presented. Of the 78 women who had children postoperatively, a total of 27 were discouraged from breast-feeding by medical professionals with only 8 of the 27 (29.6 percent) subsequently attempting, despite this recommendation. In comparison, 26 patients were encouraged to breast-feed; nineteen (73.1 percent) of them did subsequently attempt breast-feeding. This rate is statistically significant by using a χ2 test with 1 df (p = 0.0016). Postpartum breast engorgement and lactation was experienced by 31 of the 41 patients not attempting to breast-feed. Of these 31 patients, 19 believed that they would have been able to breast-feed due to the extent of breast engorgement and lactation experienced. Given the use of an inferior flap mammaplasty technique and patient encouragement, the possibility for breast-feeding after reduction mammaplasty exists. This prevalence falls near the breast-feeding rate found in the population not having undergone breast surgery, according to an article in the Canadian Journal of Public Health. (Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 105: 530, 2000.)
London, Ontario, Canada
From the Division of Plastic Surgery at the London Health Sciences Center (University Campus) and the University of Western Ontario.
Received for publication February 19, 1999;
revised June 30, 1999.
H. Brian Evans, M.D., F.R.C.S.(C) London Health Sciences Center (University Campus) 339 Windermere Road London, Ontario N6A 5A5, Canada email@example.com
Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons, in Calgary, Alberta, May 21 through 24, 1997.