Waiting Time for Breast Augmentation After Breast Feeding

I stopped breastfeeding my daughter at 14 months of age and was wondering how long after cessation of breastfeeding can I get a breast augmentation (nipple incision). I was almost dried up when I stopped and just had literally 2 small drops leaking out a few days later. I am pretty sure that now, at 1 month after, that I am not producing milk but I know that breast milk is not sterile and I want to lower the risk of complications. What is the recommended wait time - it seems to vary a lot. Thx

Doctor Answers (22)

Breast Augmentation Should Wait At Least Three Months After Breast Feeding

+3

Considering going through the nipple approach for breast augmentation makes it really important that your milk is dry. This should be confirmed by a squeeze test in which no milk comes out even if the entire breast and the nipple is compressed. That is important because that is exactly what will happen to the breasts during surgery, the glands will become compressed and if any milk is present it will come out. This is less important with other incision locations where the nipple can be covered by an occlusive dressing during the procedure. This is usually 3 months for most women but may take 6 months or longer for others. Lessening the risk for contamination and infection takes precedence over any desire for more urgent breast augmentation surgery.


Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Breast Augmentation after Breast Feeding. When is it safe ?

+2

Hello and thank you for the question.

Regarding your inquiry, you are dealing with two issues that need to be addressed. The first is that your breast must reach a "steady state" following its involution that will occur with the cessation of breast feeding. This is important because you want your breast size to be stable before undergoing a breast augmentation in order to maximize the chance of best aesthetic results.  The amount of time will vary from woman to woman. In general and from our experience, this can take anywhere from 6 months to up to a year.

Second, you want to be assured that there is no residual lactation occurring in your breasts. This becomes relevant, and especially if you're planning on undergoing a peri-areolar breast augmentation, as active ducts may house bacteria, which could later contribute to an increased chance of developing a capsular contracture (hardening of the scar around your breast implant).

I suggest following up with a board certified plastic surgeon to discuss these issues in depth. There should be no "rush" to get the procedure done. Doing so may put you at unnecessary risk and you may end up unsatisfied with the result. 

Best of luck,

Glenn Vallecillos, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Glenn Vallecillos, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Wait 3 months after breastfeeding

+2
The important factors to know are that you are completely finished lactating, and that your breast size is no longer changing so you can pick the right size implant. Just as important is that you will have help during your recovery since you have a young child to take care of.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

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Breast feeding and augmentation

+2

Maniplulation of the breast at surgery can cause the breast to produce milk so you want the breast to be in a dormant state.  If you are using a nipple incision this is criitical becasue of the breast tissue that gets divided.  Three months is generally a safe time period to consider breast implants after nursing.

Best Wishes

Dr. Peterson

Marcus L. Peterson, MD
Saint George Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Wait time for breast augmentation after breast feeding

+2

Great question.  A few things to address here.  First, you want to consider a breast augmentation about 2-3 months or more after you've stopped breast feeding.  You want to wait until the breast has fully involuted.  The breasts do decrease in size after you stop breast feeding.  You don't want to proceed with a breast augmentation while this process is continuing.  Also, you may experience some sagging in addition to volume loss after pregnancy.  All these issues can be corrected with your cosmetic breast surgery.

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 123 reviews

Breast Augmentation Timing After Breast Feeding

+1
There is no hard and fast rule about how long you should wait after weaning your baby until you can have a breast augmentation. However, the changes in size that your breast will undergo need to be complete before you have surgery. This means waiting until your breast go back to their pre-pregnancy size (assuming you did not gain too much weight and are close to your pre-pregnancy weight as well). Your breasts may even get a little smaller than they were before you got pregnant. This process may take only a few weeks bit typically it is closer to 3 months.

Some physicians may talk about waiting until you can no longer express milk from your breasts but this may go on for years after a pregnancy and has no real bearing on a breast augmentation. Many women have slight nipple discharge on a regular basis both before and after pregnancy.

This video explains what happens to your breasts during and after pregnancy and really it is just a matter of waiting until your breasts are back to "normal"  as th video explains.

I hope the helps. 

Best regards

Brian Windle, MD
Kirkland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Nipple/Areola Incision Breast Augmentation after Breast Feeding

+1
In my practice I advise my patients to wait at least 6 months after breast feeding before a breast augmentation surgery, especially if they are considering the nipple/areola incision. This is typically an adequate amount of time to allow the breast tissue and glands to reach the final post partum size/state and allows us to provide more accurate advice regarding your augmentation.

Michael E. Ciaravino, MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Waiting Time for Breast Augmentation After Breast Feeding

+1
Thank you for the question.  I would suggest that you wait at least 3 to 6 months before undergoing elective breast surgery, after you have stopped breast-feeding. Best to have achieved a long-term stable weight also. Doing so will allow your breast to have reached a “steady state”;  this will allow you to communicate your goals precisely and will allow your plastic surgeon to plan/execute the breast operation as precisely as possible. Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 751 reviews

Breast Augmentation after breast feeding recommendation

+1
Breast Augmentation following breast feeding recommendation:
It is best to wait until your breasts have returned to normal after you have stopped breast feeding prior to undergoing a breast augmentation. I would wait a minimum of 6 months - a year even better

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Breast augmentation after nursing.

+1

It is reasonable to say 6 months after you are done breast feeding it is OK to have a breast augmentation.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.