Breastfeeding After Breast Augmentation Surgery
For decades breast augmentation has been one of the most commonly performed plastic surgery procedures in America. In fact, breast augmentation has maintained the top spot among plastic surgeries for the past several years, with 299,715 performed in 2019. This number would likely be higher but for the fact that many women remain concerned about the potential impacts that surgery or the implants themselves may have on breastfeeding.
The surgeons at Naples Plastic Surgery in Southwest Florida know that such concerns are not completely unfounded. All surgeries entail at least some element of risk and there is the possibility that nerve and glandular tissues could be damaged due to complications during the procedure. However, research suggests that the percentage of women who experience lactation problems related to breast augmentation is relatively low.
Implant Placement May Play Role in Breastfeeding Complications
A recent study of 3,500 women who had undergone breast augmentation determined that most were able to breastfeed their babies without complications and at rates similar to breastfeeding women who had not had the surgery. These results were in line with a previous study out of Argentina that found that 93 percent of women who had undergone breast augmentation prior to childbirth were breastfeeding. This was five percentage points lower than the 99 percent who were breastfeeding absent prior to augmentation surgery.
Research suggests that implant placement may play a role in subsequent breastfeeding complications. Implants located beneath the chest muscles—“retromuscular”—are less likely to damage milk production-related nerves and glands than “retroglandular” implants placed between the chest muscles and breast tissue. While the previously mentioned study of 3,500 women found a slightly increased risk of insufficient milk production in women with retroglandular implants. Your surgeon will address the comparative benefits of implant placement options during your consultation and will help you come to the decision best suited to achieving your aesthetic goals.
Implants Themselves Not identified as Complicating Factor
Saline and silicone implants themselves, it should be noted, do not seem to have any impact on lactation. Perhaps more importantly, research has determined that there is no increase in silicone levels in the breastmilk from women with silicone implants. One study even found that there was more silicone in cow’s milk and commercial infant formulas than there was from breast milk from women with the implants.
While most women who undergo breast augmentation can successfully breastfeed their infants, there are some other factors to consider:
- If augmentation requires incisions across the nipples and/or areolas, nerves and milk ducts are much likely to be damaged and compromise milk production. That said, such procedures are usually avoided unless they represent the only augmentation alternative.
- Augmentation conducted to remediate undeveloped breast tissue may indicate underdevelopment of milk-producing glands, which could be the actual cause of insufficient milk production.
- The absence of sensation or limited feeling in the nipples following recent augmentation does not necessarily mean that your ability to produce milk is affected. If the lack of sensation persists for an extended time, consult with your cosmetic surgeon.
- Augmentation surgery conducted by a board-certified plastic surgeon represents the best means of ensuring that your subsequent ability to produce milk will not be compromised.
Consult with Naples Plastic Surgery to Learn More
Our plastic surgeons have extensive expertise and experience conducting trouble-free breast augmentation surgeries. If you would like to learn more about breast augmentation and your future ability to produce milk following the procedure, they would be happy to consult with you at their Naples office location. You can reach them by contacting Naples Plastic Surgery today at 239.566.2611.