Information about breast feeding with breast implants from your Cincinnati plastic surgeons
Our Cincinnati plastic surgeons specialize in procedures like breast augmentation, breast lifts and other cosmetic surgery procedures. As a result, we get a lot of questions about breastfeeding. Young women seeking breast augmentation and mothers-to-be with breast implants frequently question the effects of the procedure on their ability to breastfeed. In addition, many question the effect of breastfeeding on the appearance of their breasts, which may influence their decision in timing their surgery. This blog will address how breast augmentation affects ability to breastfeed, safety of breastfeeding after implants, and the cosmetic effects of breastfeeding.
Breast augmentation usually does not take away your ability to breastfeed. As long as the milk ducts are not disconnected from the nipples by an incision, all of the essential hardware is intact. Even an incision under the nipple (periareaolar) for insertion of the implants can be performed with minimal risk of affecting breastfeeding ability. The more extensive incisions used in breast lifts would increase the risk a bit. In general, the less your breast tissue is disturbed, the less you risk affecting breast feeding. If you consider placing breast implants through an incision in the breast crease and placing the implants under the muscle, chances are excellent that you will maintain your ability to breastfeed.
Safety is an important concern when you consider what nutrition you will give your new baby. Countless studies demonstrate the health benefits of breastfeeding form mothers and babies. It seems intuitive that placing implants in your body might increase silicone levels in your breast milk, making breastfeeding somehow less safe. This does not seem to be true! A study published in the journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery examined silicone levels in breast milk of women with breast implants and women without breast implants. There was no statistical difference in the silicone levels of breast milk from women with or without breast implants. In fact, the same study looked at silicone levels in cow’s milk and infant formula. The levels of silicone in formula and cow’s milk were many times higher than breast milk. Does the level of silicone in milk matter? The honest answer is we do not know. Silicone is everywhere. It is an extremely common element, existing in nature. Silicone is actually needed by the body and considered an essential nutrient. The bottom line is that breastfeeding with breast implants does not appear to increase silicone levels in breast milk.
Countless women come to our practice for consultations lamenting how pregnancy and breastfeeding led to the downfall of their former perkiness. It is definitely true that pregnancy affects breast shape. The breasts enlarge, stretching skin. When your size returns to “normal,” you may find that you have less volume than before. You will almost certainly have less perkiness than before. There is some debate whether breastfeeding for any length of time results in any further deterioration of breast appearance than pregnancy alone. My feeling is that it probably does. However, if you want to get the benefits of breastfeeding and have great breasts, do not despair!
If you had breast implants in the past and have sagginess after kids, a breast lift or mastopexy will improve your shape. If you do not have implants and want to restore fullness, implants will do the trick. You may also need to consider a breast lift, in addition to breast augmentation, if your nipples are below your breast creases.
What about timing? If you are considering breast implants and want to have kids in the future, what do you do? If you want to have children in the next year or so, you may want to wait until after you are finished. There is no reason to delay augmentation if having babies is on your list years in the future.
We hope this information about breast augmentation was helpful. Our Cincinnati plastic surgeons are excited to help you with your plastic surgery procedures. Contact us to set up a consultation today.