Breastfeeding After Surgery
In the past, getting breast surgery meant not being able to breastfeed again. Nowadays, new techniques and less invasive surgical approaches make it possible for more women to successfully breastfeed after breast surgery. Below is some key information directly from our VIDA surgeons for you to consider regarding a cosmetic breast procedure and breastfeeding.
Can you breastfeed with implants?
Breast augmentation surgery is the #1 most popular cosmetic procedure in the United States, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Over the years, millions of women have gotten breast implants and for a huge portion of them, breastfeeding after their breast augmentation was a huge concern.
First things first, breastfeeding with implants is definitely possible. However, this might not always be the case. There are several things that can impact your ability to breastfeed and certain variables you should consider when getting a breast augmentation surgery before you’re done having children.
Some of the most important questions to consider are:
What is my breast implant made of?
If you are wondering how safe it is to breastfeed with implants, you need to know that it is safe, and it might depend on the material of the implants you are getting. There are two main types of implants: those filled with saline water and those filled with silicone. One of the risks of breastfeeding with implants is the rare but real possibility that the material of your breast implants could leak and mix with your breast milk. Both types of implants have pros and cons, but when talking about breastfeeding safety, saline breast implants are the best choice. The body can safely absorb this fluid. You should also consider that silicone implants on their part are less prone to leaking and breaking.
Where is the incision going to be located?
iscuss with your doctor if you are planning to breastfeed after the surgery, so you can both decide the location of your incision. While some women decide on the incision pattern based on their desire to have the most ‘invisible’ scar possible, breast implants incisions can affect your ability to breastfeed later on.
There are three major incision pattern approaches your surgeon will discuss with you:
- a transaxillary approach
- an inframammary approach
- periareolar approach
- During the transaxillary approach, your surgeon makes a tiny incision under your armpit. With an inframammary approach, the surgeon makes a horizontal incision under the natural fold of the breast. Both of these approaches have the lowest risk of damaging major nerves and milk ducts around your nipple. On the other hand, when you opt for a periareolar incision pattern, your surgeon will make an incision around the circumference of your areola, closer to the nipple. This approach leaves the least visible scar but due to its proximity to your nipple and milk ducts, there is a higher possibility that you’ll see your ability to breastfeed affected.
Where is my breast implant going to be positioned?
You probably know that your breasts are composed of muscle and fat. Above that layer of muscle, there is glandular tissue, which is responsible for producing milk.
While the research is not conclusive, experts agree that when the breast implant is placed beneath the glandular tissue AND the muscle layer, the possibility of negatively affecting your milk production is decreased. On the contrary, if the implant is placed between the glandular tissue, above the muscle layer, the implant might put pressure on your milk ducts, making it more likely to interfere with your milk production.
Will my baby want to breastfeed if I get implants?
The fact is that you will most likely be able to breastfeed normally. After surgery, you should still talk to your doctor if you have breast implants and you feel your baby is not latching on. A lactation specialist might help your baby latch on correctly. If you are worried if breastfeeding will ruin your implants- don’t. Well-positioned breast implants won’t be ruined by breastfeeding. They are designed to look, feel and function close to natural.
Can you breastfeed after a breast lift or breast reduction surgery?
Most patients are happy to know that they have a very good chance of being able to breastfeed after a breast lift or a breast reduction. Different types of surgery will have a different effect on your milk production and ability to breastfeed. Just as with breast augmentation, there are different incision patterns for a breast lift. Any type of incision that goes through your areola is more likely to affect lactation, while an inframammary incision (underneath the breast fold) is less invasive on your milk ducts.
As for a breast reduction surgery, the chances of not being able to breastfeed are slightly higher. Due to its more invasive nature to your breast tissue, it is more likely that a breast reduction could affect your ability to breastfeed in the future. While surgeons will make every effort to preserve your glandular tissue and milk ducts, the loss of breast tissue can impact lactation.
The best option is to always remember that any breast surgery has the small potential of affecting your ability to breastfeed. If you are considering breast surgery and still plan on breastfeeding or having more kids afterward, talk to your VIDA surgeon. Your VIDA surgeon is the best person to help you understand the procedure, and how likely it is to affect breastfeeding for you. Your surgeon will go through the pros and cons of having a breast procedure now vs waiting until after childbearing and breastfeeding.
At VIDA Wellness and Beauty Center we strongly believe in giving complete information to our patients, so they are confident and satisfied with the procedures they get! If you have questions about breastfeeding after a breast surgery, call us now at (619)610-1667 so we can solve all of your questions.