Breast augmentation is one of the most popular plastic surgery procedures in the US every year. This procedure is often performed as part of a “mommy makeover” to restore volume to deflated breasts, but it is equally popular for young women who have never had children. For these women, a common concern is how breast implants might affect their ability to breast feed in the future.
Most patients are very happy to hear that breast augmentation can be performed using techniques that do not have any impact on breast feeding. The primary factor that might affect breast feeding is incision placement. This is something that we always discuss during your consultation and we will take into account your breast-feeding goals when planning your surgery.
In general, procedures that don’t include an incision around the areola, close to where the milk glands are located, are better for breastfeeding outcomes. Implants can be placed through an incision in the breast fold or the armpit, which does not disrupt the breast tissue.
The implants themselves can be placed in one of three locations: under the chest muscle, under the muscle fascia (connective tissue), or above the muscle and fascia. The ideal location for the implant depends on the patient’s anatomy and their aesthetic goals. All three locations are safe and typically have no impact on the ability to breastfeed.
Multiple studies and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have ruled breast implants safe for use in people who breastfeed. This includes silicone implants, which many are understandably concerned about the leeching out of silicone or other synthetic compounds into the breastmilk over time. There is no evidence to suggest that silicone makes its way into breastmilk, meaning it’s safe to breastfeed as normal if you have breast implants.
This is not to say, however, that breast augmentation is a completely risk-free procedure. As any plastic surgeon will tell you, there are risks associated with every surgical procedure. These include general risks such as bleeding and infection, as well as procedure-specific risks like an unfavorable aesthetic result that will require additional surgery, changes (usually temporary) in breast and nipple sensation, pain and other symptoms caused by capsular contracture, and breast implant rupture. The good news though, is that the incidence of these complications is very low.
Even in cases where such complications do occur, we’re capable of handling them by performing a secondary procedure to not only obtain the aesthetic result you want, but also ensure your safety in the long run.
The best place to learn about the ins and outs of breast augmentation is in our office. We are happy to sit down one-on-one with you and answer all your questions about the procedure and its potential after-effects. To schedule a consultation with myself or Dr. MacLennan, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at (802) 231-4284 or contact us online today. By listening to your concerns and vision for your body contour, we’ll create a safe surgical plan that’s right for your lifestyle now and for the years to come.