Is It Safe to Breastfeed if I Have Breast Implants?

I heard that sometimes the silicone leaks and if that were to ever happen would it get into my breast milk?

Doctor Answers (4)

VIDEO BELOW: Silicone can get into breast milk in women who have breast implants but it is far less than formula

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Yes it is true that Silicone can get into breast milk in women who have breast implants but it is far less than formula by well over a hundred fold!!!! I am attaching a VIDEO I have prepared discussing this. Furthermore, I wrote a rebuttal pulbished in JAMA to such an article claiming disease in children which was junk science.


Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Is it Safe to Breast Feed with Breast Implants in Place?

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This is an interesting question and one that more than a few woman have questioned or at least considered if they have breast implants and get pregnant or are considering nursing.

The last published study on this looked at breast milk in women who had implants in the 1990's and compared the level of silicone present to breast milk from nursing mothers who did not have implants.  The same study also looked at store bought cow's milk.

The answer was that there was no difference in silicone levels between a mothers’ milk with or without breast implants.  The cow's milk however had 10 times more silicone (still at a very low level however).

Today, implants are made even better than they were.  The new gummy bear or highly cohesive implants are very unlikely to spill or leak any silicone so your baby will in no way be compromised by breast implants.

I hope that helps.

Best regards.

Brian Windle, MD
Kirkland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Breast Implants and Breast Feeding

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First of all silicone and its derivatives are found in just about all areas of our lift from antacids to coatings on needles and IV's, shunts placed into babies brains for treatment of hydrocephalus and so on, so being detectable whether or not you had a breast implant is possible. The bottom line is that  Silicone Implants Are Safe. Despite 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.

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

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Breast implants and breast feeding

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I have never heard of the silicone getting into the breast milk, but if you have a ruptured implant, I would think that you would have this exchanged first.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 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.