Easier Breast Feeding After Implant Removal?

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?

Doctor Answers 12

Implant Removal Does Not Increase milk production

Removing implants, saline or silicone, should not have any effect on milk production during breast feeding. 

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 157 reviews

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).

Best wishes.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,498 reviews

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.

Ankit Desai, MD
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Implants and breast feeding

Just because implants may be removed will not have any effect on your milk production now or in the future.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

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.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 82 reviews

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.

Kevin Brenner, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

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!

Robert M. Freund, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

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.

Pat Pazmino, MD, FACS
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Probably not

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.

Best Regards.

John P. Di Saia, MD
Orange Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

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.

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 94 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.