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Does the breast augmentation procedure interfere with breastfeeding?
Limited scientific research has been conducted on the potential impact of breast implants on breastfeeding. However, based on the current research, as well as the fact that many women with breast implants have successfully breastfed, there is no evidence that breast augmentation necessarily will affect the ability to nurse. Breast augmentation surgery may be performed with different surgical approaches to the breast and different incisions. If the approach used is via the armpit (the axillary approach) or the crease under the breast (the infra-mammary fold approach), the likelihood of alteration to the milk ducts is extraordinarily low.
As you are considering having breast augmentation and choosing a plastic surgeon, you should feel comfortable asking your plastic surgeon this and any other questions you may have about the surgery, and also discussing your goals and expectations. One of the most important parts of your consultation is the discussion that you and your plastic surgeon will have about the risks associated with breast augmentation. You should be sure that you fully understand all of the risks as well as the benefits of the surgery.
It is important to understand that during breast augmentation whether under the breast gland, Sub-glandular, or beneath the chest muscle, sub-muscular, the breast gland itself should not be touched when a traditional inframammary crease incision in the breast fold is used.
breast augmentation should not interfere with your ability to breast-feed. The one possibility that could interfere with breast-feeding would be when breast implants are placed through the areola, the trans-areola are approach. During this procedure Dr. Scholl's and breast glandular tissue can be interrupted and could theoretically result in difficulty breast-feeding.
If however your breast implants are placed through an incision in the fold beneath your breast implants themselves should not interfere with breast-feeding.
Some women, who never had breast surgery, are naturally unable to breastfeed, and some variations of breast augmentation may make it more likely that you are unable to breastfeed, but most women with breast augmentations are able to successfully breastfeed. Breast implants pose no medical risk to your baby.
I would suggest you find a plastic surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and ideally a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) that you trust and are comfortable with. You should discuss your concerns with that surgeon in person.
Robert Singer, MD FACS
La Jolla, California
Augmentation can interfere with breast feeding if the approach around the nipple is used as some ducts invariably will be transected. Other approaches do not impact the anatomy in any way, Regardless, some women, with or without implants cannot breast feed due to inherent issues. Avoid the nipple approach and your chances for breast feeding should not be impacted by the implant.