Do breast implants have any impact on breastfeeding?

Do breast implants have any impact on breastfeeding?

19th Jun 2019

Do breast implants have any impact on breastfeeding?


A common concern for women wanting to get breast implants to enhance the appearance of their breasts is whether they would be able to breastfeed if a pregnancy will occur after getting breast implants. Before tapping into the topic of the impact of breast implants on breastfeeding, we should mention something that your plastic surgeon might have told you already if he is experienced and responsible: an ulterior pregnancy can affect negatively the results of breast implants. The general recommendation is to have the breast augmentation procedure performed after having children when you don’t have any plans to get pregnant again. This way we avoid one of the factors that can cause the unsightly appearance of the breasts, even after undergoing plastic surgery.

Moreover, your plastic surgeon should also tell you to avoid getting pregnant for at least a year after your breast augmentation procedure. Your breasts need time to heal after the trauma of surgery before getting pregnant and being subjected to the hormonal and weight changes in the body.

As you can see, pregnancy is often discouraged after undergoing breast implant surgery; however, this doesn’t mean that you can’t have the procedure even before having kids, as long as you are aware of the risks and potential consequences.

Now, let’s see if the breast implants have any impact on breastfeeding. When the implants are inserted, they are positioned in a pocket created either behind the mammary gland or the pectoral muscle. Breastfeeding is conditioned by the network of milk ducts that are present in the mammary gland and their connection to the nipple. On their own, the implants affect the breastfeeding process in no way whatsoever. There is no silicone that will get into the milk and get ingested by the newborn, and even if this would be the case, the silicone used for the implants is completely safe and is present in many other products we use every day.

However, there is another aspect of the issue that should be discussed, and this is related to the sensitivity of the nipple and breastfeeding. Successful breastfeeding entails a functional milk duct network and their connection to the nipple. If a periareolar incision was used when the breast augmentation was performed, there are increased chances for the connection between the nipple and the milk ducts to be affected, and this can result in difficulties in breastfeeding. This is the reason why I often advise patients of a young age who are not done having children to get the inframammary incision. The inframammary incision can also be useful if additional procedures are required to correct the sagginess of the breasts or to replace the implants.

In conclusion, having breast implants don’t have a direct impact on the breastfeeding process; however, breastfeeding can be difficult if the implants were inserted using an incision around the areola.


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