I've had saline breast implants for 10 years (under the muscle and through the nipple). I am having difficulty nursing my daughter. With the help of medication to increase milk production I make roughly half of her intake. If I remove my implants after I am through nursing, will I have more success nursing my next child? Or is all the damage already done? I know nerve damage and damage to milk ducts is key, but can the fullness from the implant also inhibit milk production?
Easier Breast Feeding After Implant Removal?
Doctor Answers (12)
Implant Removal Does Not Increase milk production
Easier Breast Feeding after Breast Implant Removal?
Unfortunately, removal of your breast implants will not necessarily improve your ability to breast-feed. In other words, the breast implants may be a “nonfactor” in your ability to breast-feed; on the other hand, any “damage” to lactiferous ducts has already occurred ( and will not be reversed with breast implant removal).
Breast feeding difficulty after Breast Implants
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.
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Implants and breast feeding
Just because implants may be removed will not have any effect on your milk production now or in the future.
Effect of breast implant removal (explantation) on nursing
In my opinion, implant removal will not have an effect either way (better or worse) on your ability to nurse your next child.
Could depend on the size of you breast implant.
Interference with lactation is one of the known risks of performing any type of breast surgery. However, there is a distinct subset of women who are unable to breast feed regardless of their breast surgical history. Some women just do not make a decent amount of breast milk. It is possible (hypothetically) that if a woman with a very small amount of breast tissue is augmented with an excessively large breast implant size, the implant itself could be compressing the milk ducts in which case removing the implant could relieve the pressure. This is indeed a rare situation.
Implant volume does not effect milk production
Breast feeding does not work for every woman. Although studies show that a significant portion of woman with breast implants have difficulty breast feeding, a big reason why that is so, is that they had small breast tissue to start with. There is no evidence that removing the implants will increase milk production!
Removal of breast implants will not affect breast-feeding
It is possible to breast feed after having received a breast augmentation. Your success in breast-feeding will depend on the technique that was used initially to place the implants and the amount of disruption in the breast tissue itself. The breast implants have thinned out the overlying breast tissue and skin over time. Whether you leave the implants in place or remove them will not alter your ability to breast-feed at this time.
Additional damage could be incurred from further surgery which may make things worse in trying to breast feed. I would wait until you are finished breast feeding to have additional surgery if preservation of breast feign is a priority.
Breast feeding after Breast Implants
Breast feeding after implants is dependent on the hormonal sensitivity of the breasts and the status of the ducts. Predicting whether or not lactation will improve after breast implant removal is purely conjecture and cannot be predicted.
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.