Male chest-contouring surgery

Can a transgender man who has had breast-contouring surgery produce milk?

Some trans- and gender-fluid men have surgery to remove breast tissue and make their chest look more masculine (top surgery). There is no standard surgical technique, making it difficult to predict its effect on breastfeeding. 

A) Describing male-chest contouring surgery

Transgender and gender-fluid men may choose to have breast surgery to make their chest appear more masculine (top surgery). The surgery removes some or all of the milk tissue and accompanying ducts (Frederick 2017). Any remaining breast tissue will develop in response to pregnancy and produce milk. There is no standard surgical technique, making it difficult to predict its effect on breastfeeding.

If aggressive, the effect on milk production may be similar to the effect of breast reduction surgeryIn some male chest contouring, the nipple and areola are completely cut from the breast and relocated on a different part of the chest (Knox 2017). All the milk ducts are cut during this free nipple graft, making it unlikely the person would be able to provide any milk.

Other breastfeeding problems are also possible.  


Frederick MJ, Berhanu AE, Bartlett R. Chest Surgery in Female to Male Transgender Individuals. Ann Plast Surg. 2017 Mar;78(3):249-253
Knox ADC, Ho AL, Leung L, et al. A Review of 101 Consecutive Subcutaneous Mastectomies and Male Chest Contouring Using the Concentric Circular and Free Nipple Graft Techniques in Female-to-Male Transgender Patients. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2017 Jun;139(6):1260e-1272e