One of the first questions many women have about breast implants is whether they will be able to breastfeed in the future. The good news is that breastfeeding following a breast augmentation is very much possible. Women who want to breastfeed in the future can talk to Dr. Patterson about this concern, which allows him to create a surgical plan that will give a woman the very best chances of breastfeeding in the future.
The Incision Type
The incision type can have a significant impact on a woman’s ability to breastfeed in the future. Dr. Patterson strongly favors the inframammary incision for the majority of breast augmentation surgeries that he performs today. This type of incision is the best way to avoid muscle hardening, nerve damage, and significant scarring. The inframammary incision is particularly well suited for women who want to breastfeed because it doesn’t disturb the glandular tissues or nerves, which means it has a minimal impact on milk production in the future.
The Placement of the Implants
Implant placement is another important factor in a woman’s ability to breastfeed in the future. Subglandular placement (above the chest muscles but behind the breast tissue) can cause a higher risk of breast tissue infection (known as mastitis) in both breastfeeding women and women who aren’t breastfeeding. Implants that are placed above the chest muscles are also more likely to shift, making breastfeeding more challenging. Dr. Patterson prefers to use a submuscular placement in which the implants are securely held within a pocket of muscle. This placement allows for stable implants, a lower chance of infection, and easier breastfeeding.
Prior Breast Health
Women who have been able to breastfeed previously should have no problem with breastfeeding after they have a breast augmentation. Women who have never breastfed a baby should have the ability to breastfeed after an augmentation unless they are part of the very small percentage of women who aren’t able to produce milk naturally or who have a nipple structure that makes breastfeeding difficult. If a woman has good breast health overall, she can generally breastfeed with great success after an augmentation.
Will Breastfeeding Change the Appearance of Breast Implants?
The body changes during pregnancy, and changes may also occur during nursing. Some women may have a major increase in breast volume while breastfeeding. It is also possible that the skin may start to sag or the breasts may become asymmetrical. All of these things can change the appearance of the breasts, including the implants. It is usually recommended that women wait until they are finished childbearing and breastfeeding to have breast augmentation surgery. However, any undesired changes can be addressed in a future breast revision surgery if necessary.
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