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Breast Feeding with Breast Implants - Possible? What Are the Risks?

After years of trying, my husband and I just found out that we are about to have our first child.  I am ecstatic, but I am very worried that the breast augmentation I had about 7 years ago will interfere with my ability to breast feed.  And even if I can breast feed my baby, would I be putting him or her at risk by doing so?  Can anyone shed some light on this subject?  I would really appreciate it.

Doctor Answers (19)

Breast implants and breast feeding [With Video]

+3

On average, there's roughly a 90% chance that you will be able to breastfeed after having breast implants, on the assumption that you were able to breastfeed before the surgery. Normally the breast implant is inserted under the muscle (occasionally it is placed above the muscle as well) but doing so should not effect the direct relationship between the breast glands/ducts and the nipple.

Kennewick Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Most Patients Are Still Able To Breast Feed After Augmentation

+3

Your question is a common one and a big concern for clients interested in breast augmentation who also plan on having children. Although a very small subset of patients have difficulty breastfeeding following this procedure, most do not.

To lower the risks of interfering with breastfeeding, the general recommendation is to avoid the periareolar incision (because of the risk for interfering with nipple sensation) and to place the implant under the muscle.

And to make you feel better, breast implants should pose no risk to your breastfeeding infant.

Web reference: http://www.beautybybuford.com/services/breast/augmentation-denver-colorado/

Denver Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Breast feeding after breast augmentation

+2

Congratulations on the upcoming baby! It's normal to be anxious about the breast augmentation in this regard but rest assured that it has been studied repeatedly without having found any negative association. Regardless of the technique of placement (inframammary -fold, transaxillary - armpit, or periareolar - nipple) the tissues that are operated on have nothing to do with the ducts where the milk travels through and your breast tissue is still there. This does NOT mean that you ARE going to be able to breast feed. It simply means that if you were programmed to be able to breast feed, studies have shown that breast implants do not change your capacity to do so.

Congratulations again on your baby,

DoctorMeade

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Breast is still the best

+2

Congratulations on your pregnancy! There are so many documented advantages to breastfeeding your child (for both mom and baby) that I always suggest women try it.

Most women with implants are able to breastfeed because the implants cause very minimal disruption of the breast gland itself. Even if the implants are sitting submammary, the dissection usually doesn't disconnect the gland from the nipple.

You can expect the usual amount of breast expansion/engorgement with breastfeeding and the usual amount of breast deflation and droop that most women experience after finishing breastfeeding. This means you may need a revision surgery in the future in the same way that many women request augmentation or mastopexy after pregnancy.

There are no documented risks to babies - a study was even completed on women with silicone implants and there was no evidence of increased silicone in the breast milk.

Breastfeeding is difficult for many women - even those who have never had surgery on their breasts. Stick with it and get some support - try contacting your local La Leche League or attending breastfeeding classes or support groups. Breastfeeding is well worth it.

Ontario Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Breast Augmentation and Breast Feeding

+1
Our current state of knowledge is that Silicone Implants are Safe for Breast Feeding
The incision site, specifically the periareolar incision may cause blocked milk ducts and decrease your ability to breast feed though in my experience most will still be able. Remember not all women can breast feed successfully. Fat transfer for breast augmentation has not been around long enough for scientific studies so the answer is not in yet. It is a safe procedure but in my experience you are only talking about half a cup size per procedure.
Silicone implants are also safe and have the advantage of being predictable and allowing you the size you want. It should not interfere with breast feeding. Silicone Implants Are SafeDespite three decades of safety testing and monitoring of silicone breast implants, there is still a public perception that silicone breast implants are more toxic or dangerous than saline implants. The truth is that there has no known toxicity from silicone gel breast implants. In fact, silicone is one of the most common materials used in medical devices and implants. There is no known toxicity from silicone gel breast implants. It has been studied by the FDA for more than three decades to establish its safety. Silicone is the most common material used in medical devices/implants. Examples include shunts that go from the brain to the abdomen (for hydrocephalus) which are left in for a lifetime, artificial finger joints, syringes, IVs, catheters (including ones that go next to the heart), surrounding pacemakers, and even oral anti-gas tablets.
The one possible exception may by the PIP implant made in France (generally not available in the USA). Most of the concerns about the PIP implant were about the use of non-medical silicone and manufacturing problems, and do not relate to implants used in the United States by board-certified plastic surgeons. This is not to say that breast implants, like any implant, can have problems; they may have to be removed and are not meant to last a life time. Common reasons for replacement include: capsular contracture, rupture, infection, change in breast size, and pain—but not for toxicity.
To answer the perceived toxicity of Silicone by the general public—this is quite a different matter.
Breast implants have been around since the 1960s. About 15 years ago Connie Chung ran an exposé, Face to Face with Connie Chung, claiming silicone implants were responsible for different health problems. This led to lawsuits, a huge windfall for lawyers, and the subsequent ban on silicone implants for first-time breast augmentation patients went into effect. They were always available for breast reconstruction (e.g. after mastectomy) and replacement of existing silicone breasts. Also, please note that saline implants are still covered by a silicone envelope.
Soon after, a ban on silicone implant use became worldwide. This lasted for years until more than 100 clinical studies showed that breast implants aren’t related to cancer, lupus, scleroderma, other connective tissue diseases, or the host of other problems they were accused of causing.
June 1999, The Institute of Medicine released a 400-page report prepared by an independent committee of 13 scientists. They concluded that although silicone breast implants may be responsible for localized problems such as hardening or scarring of breast tissue, implants do not cause any major diseases such as depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, etc.
The Institute of Medicine is part of the National Academy of Sciences, the nation’s most prestigious scientific organization.
Eventually, a federal judge dismissed/rejected the lawsuits, declaring them junk science and ended for the most part the barrage of lawsuits. This led to the present reintroduction of silicone implants years ago and their approval by the FDA. Interestingly enough, most of the rest of the world reintroduced them many years prior to the United States

Web reference: http://drnichter.com/silicone-implants-toxic/

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Breastfeeding with breast implants

+1

It is safe to breast feed after breast augmentation.  Some women are unable to breastfeed for a variety of different reasons, but this is typically not related to history of breast augmentation. 

Web reference: http://www.dassmd.com/breast-augmentation/index.html

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Breast Feeding with Breast Implants

+1

Congratulations on your pregnancy!

Generally breast implants do not negatively affect a woman's ability to breast feed. This is due to the fact that the implant does not disrupt the glands and ducts necessary to breast feed, especially when implants are placed in the sub-pectoral region (under the muscle).

Denver Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Breast feeding after breast implants or breast augmentation

+1

Breast feeding can be affected by the presence of breast implants but not usually.  A breast augmentation does not typically disturb the breast gland nor the ducts and therefore is unlikely to affect breast feeding.  It is probably less likely to affect breast feeding if the implants are placed from an incision in the arm pit or under the breasts and more likely if it is through the nipple.  Studies has shown that even silicone breast implants are safe for breast feeding children as enough silicone does not enter the blood stream or milk to cause any problems.   

Spokane Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Breast Feeding with Breast Implants

+1

Women undergoing breast augmentation have a very small risk of having difficulty breast feeding after having breast implants placed under the muscle. But not all women can breast feed. 

When you consider the population as a whole, not all women can breast feed even if they have not had breast augmentation surgery.

When studies were performed on the effect of breast augmentation on breast feeding, over 90% of patients who breast fed their first child were able to breast feed their second child after breast implant surgery. 

However, if you have never had children and have undergone breast augmentation, you may or may not be able to breast feed. This is not necessarily due to having the breast implants. It maybe that you maybe part of the population that are not able to breast feed regardless of the fact that you have breast implants.

If you are able to breast feed after breast augmentation surgery, you should strongly consider doing so as there are many benefits to your child and the implants do not pose any risk to you or your child. 

Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Breast Augmentation and Breast Feeding

+1

Congratulations on your pregnancy!
The ABILITY to breast feed, all other factors being equal, MAY be hampered with Breast Augmentation depending on the number of breast ducts and glandular units interrupted by the operation. This does NOT mean that a Breast Augmentation automatically would prevent you from being able to breast feed - just that it may not happen or not be as efficient.

If you are able to breast feed, you will NOT hurt your baby by doing so. Multiple studies failed to demonstrate any adverse effects of breast feeding by women who had breast augmentation.

Dr. P. Aldea

Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 52 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.

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