Can I Breastfeed After a Breast Augmentation?
One of the biggest concerns that most women have regarding breast augmentation surgery is how it may impact their ability to breastfeed their baby. Considering that more than 300,000 breast augmentation procedures are done every year, it is easy to see why this is a matter of concern for so many women. For those who may not be familiar with breast augmentation surgery, it is a surgical procedure that entails increasing or decreasing the size of a woman’s breast either for health or cosmetic reasons. In this article, we will focus specifically on breast enhancement and how it can impact a woman’s ability to breastfeed.
What are Breast Implants?
Breast enhancement surgery is done using one of two types of implants, silicone-filled or saline-filled. Both materials are encased in a silicone outer shell and have been approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for use in breast enhancement procedures. Breast enhancement surgery involves placing the silicone outer shell, which is filled with either silicone or saline, beneath the breast tissue or under the pectoral muscle to increase overall breast size. It is also important to note that implant size, thickness, and shape can all play a critical role when it comes to how a woman’s breast will look following surgery and her ability to breastfeed.
Breast Implants and Breastfeeding
According to todaysparent.com, most women will still be able to breastfeed their baby after undergoing breast enhancement surgery as the procedure doesn’t affect milk production. Also, it is rare for the silicone or saline solution inside of the silicone outer shell to leach into the mother’s milk since the implant is placed either under the pectoral muscle or away from the milk duct entirely. Of course, this is doesn’t mean that there are no risks. The incision size, thickness, and shape of the implant can all potentially interfere with breastfeeding. While incisions made along the inframammary fold may not cause breastfeeding problems, incisions made in the armpit or around the areola, the ring of pigmented skin surrounding the nipple, can. Furthermore, depending on the size and shape, the implant could possibly disrupt the tissue surrounding the mammary gland, which can block the flow of milk to the baby. In addition, the breast may swell and even become more sensitive.
Breast Enhancement and Surgery Complications
While breast enhancement surgeries have the highest satisfaction rate when compared to other cosmetic surgeries, there are some risks of complications including:
Nerve and milk duct damage
Although rare, the nerves and milk ducts, not to mention milk glands, can be damaged while undergoing breast enhancement surgery. If nerve damage occurs, there is a chance that you may experience a loss of sensation around the areola. Similarly, if the milk ducts are damaged during the surgery, you may not be able to produce as much milk. In either case, your ability to breastfeed your baby will be significantly compromised.
In some cases, the incision that is made to facilitate the breast implant can cause scarring inside the breast. It is important to note that this applies mainly to incisions made along the inframammary fold of the breast. Scar tissue can alter the shape of the breast and may also present some challenges when it comes to breastfeeding as well.
In summation, it is entirely possible to breastfeed your baby after undergoing breast enhancement surgery, however, you should do your due diligence in choosing the right cosmetic surgeon for your procedure. Our board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Coan can meet with you to discuss breastfeeding after your breast augmentation. Contact our office today to schedule your consultation.