Reducing the size of breasts requires removing tissue from under the skin, which is achieved through a mastectomy for larger breasted individuals. For individuals with less tissue in their breast, it is possible to opt for a less invasive surgery.
Regardless of the procedure chosen, due to the extent of tissue removal, the milk ducts are not functional after surgery.
How Much Is Removed in the Mastectomy?
The milk duct is not a single tube between the inside of the nipple and the part that produces milk; instead the milk duct has a tree like structure that branches across the breast. Even though the main goal of the procedure isn’t eliminating the duct itself, after the procedure the original pathways are generally not intact.
For smaller breasts, the surgeon may perform a periareolar surgery (keyhole) with the goal of reducing scarring on the chest. Incisions are made around the areola so that the surgeon can access the tissue under the skin for removal.
Although it seems like a less invasive procedure it can sometimes require more time to complete because your surgeon is doing the same type of surgery with a much smaller incision but it’s still assumed that the milk ducts won’t function after the procedure.
Nipple Grafting Disconnects the Areola from the Tissue
Nipple grafting repositions the areola for a more natural appearance, as the placement may be askew after the tissue removal. Grafting involves the surgical removal of the nipple and replacement in an optimal position.
This procedure essentially detaches the areola from whatever remaining milk duct tissue remains, where the duct will stay dormant, much like the milk ducts in men’s chests.
In addition to the mastectomy, male chest reconstruction may be elected to achieve what’s perceived as a more masculine torso. This procedure is not elected exclusively by candidates of female to male reassignment surgery, as some men experience gynecomastia, also known as female breast growth.
Can Milk Ducts Produce Milk After the Hormone Treatment?
The situation may arise that the candidate begins hormone treatment before surgery.
It takes more than the necessary tissue to make breast milk, and once the candidate begins the prescribed testosterone, the body no longer has the hormones to produce milk.
Unless the candidate has an androgen insensitivity, the prescription will take effect on the body, producing hormonal and physical changes in appearance and behavior.