Can I Breast Feed After Breast Augmentation?
For women who are getting a breast augmentation and want children down the road, the ability to breastfeed is often a concern. Board-certified San Antonio plastic surgeon Elizabeth Harris, MD sheds professional light on this issue for us below. Thanks, Dr. Harris!
Women who undergo breast augmentation often share a common concern about breastfeeding: they fear that they will not be able to breastfeed future children due to scarring and other complications resulting from surgery on their breasts. There is some justification for this fear, but there is no reason to assume that breast augmentation rules out future breastfeeding.
THE GOOD NEWS
The truth is that many women manage to breastfeed their children after breast augmentation without a great deal of trouble. This is especially true of women whose cosmetic surgeon uses one of two approaches to breast surgery. Axillary incisions and crease incisions underneath the breast cause few, if any, complications with regard to breastfeeding.
Axillary incisions are popular for several reasons. These incisions are made through the armpit. Due to their location in the armpit, they do create noticeable scar tissue but the patient’s breasts retain their whole appearance and do not lose any function in the area of breastfeeding.
Inframammary incisions are made under the fold or crease of the breast. They can be noticeable, depending on the resulting contour and shape of the breast. However, they also have very little impact on a woman’s ability to breastfeed.
There are certain approaches to breast augmentation, however, that do create complications for women hoping to be able to breastfeed children in the future. For example, the periareolar incision is very popular because it uses the border of the nipple to disguise the incision. One key result of this approach, though, is damage to the tissue that is most critical to breastfeeding. The breast becomes engorged with milk as expected, but the exits are obstructed. This can be a painful experience for mothers.
Women who wish to have and breastfeed children in the future shouldn’t feel like they have to choose between breast augmentation and breastfeeding. The important thing is to educate yourself about the possible approaches and the likely results of those methods with a board-certified surgeon who can best guide you. It is possible to have the best of both worlds!”
–Dr. Elizabeth Harris, MD, San Antonio, Texas, USA