Breastfeeding after breast implant surgery: is it dangerous?
Breast augmentation is the most popular cosmetic procedure in both Canada and the US, with 290,467 patients opting for the surgery in the US in 2016 (up 4% from 2015). Given how common a procedure it is, it’s not surprising that women who get implants want to know: can you breastfeed with breast implants? And, will it be safe for the baby?
When you get breast enlargement surgery, there are two types of implants to choose from: the far more common and modern cohesive gel implants aka “gummy bear implants,” and saline water implants. Based on your body type and other factors, Dr. Mulholland will recommend one type of implant over another for the best results. Breast implant surgery can provide a natural and attractive shape for women who have lost volume or experienced flattening due to weight loss, age, or breastfeeding. However, if you decide to have a child post breast enlargement surgery, it’s important to have the facts.
Breast implants and breastfeeding
Some women wonder if the chemicals in their implants will mix with their breast milk. Breastfeeding experts and caregivers generally agree it is safe, and maintain that these chemicals do not mix with breast milk. So, assuming you had no pre-existing condition that made breastfeeding difficult before implants, it is unlikely you’ll have any issues producing milk after surgery.
Although rare, breast enlargement surgery can damage milk-making tissue, milk ducts and nerves in the breast, causing breastfeeding complications. Breast implants can be placed over or underneath the breast muscle. Whenever possible, Dr. Mulholland will opt to place them underneath. Done this way, there is very little trauma to breast tissue, which means more healthy tissue available for milk production. If you are getting breast implants and know you’re likely to get pregnant and breastfeed, nipple incisions for your implants should be avoided, since the milk ducts that drain the different lobes or sections of the breast convene in the nipple area. The alternative is an incision in the fold under the breast. One last thing to consider is that with smaller-sized implants, your chances of being able to breastfeed your new baby are even greater.
Remember, some women will have trouble breastfeeding, whether they have implants or not, and there’s no reason to feel guilty about it either way. If you’re wondering what happens to your breast implants after breastfeeding, rest assured that breastfeeding won’t harm your implants either.
Dr. Mulholland has performed over 2000 cosmetic breast procedures successfully and is one of Canada’s most experienced cosmetic breast augmentation physicians. Contact SpaMedica today for a consultation or more information about what to expect from your breast augmentation surgery.