Breast augmentation has always been one of the more common plastic surgery procedures, but although it’s well-known, there’s still a lot of misinformation circulating. One particularly persistent myth is the idea that women are unable to breastfeed after having this surgery; in fact, most women find that their ability to breastfeed is not affected by augmentation surgery.
There is a small germ of truth in the myth, however: while most women can produce milk, some find that they produce smaller quantities of milk, and might have to supplement their baby’s diet with formula. If you’ve had breast augmentation surgery and are hoping to breastfeed, it can be useful to talk with a lactation consultant before the birth, for advice on improving milk flow. It’s a good idea to also talk with your baby’s pediatrician about the surgery you had. This way, the pediatrician will know to monitor your baby’s weight gain more closely as an extra precaution.
There’s no way to tell in advance exactly how a woman’s ability to produce milk might be affected by the surgery, but there are indications that certain incision types have more of an effect than others. When the surgical incision is made around the areola, it’s more likely that a woman’s milk will be affected than if the incision was made beneath the breast fold, or in the armpit. This is because nerves in the breasts signal the brain to produce a hormone that promotes lactation, and an areola incision is more likely to affect those nerves. Even so, the risk with an areola incision is still fairly small. Generally, if a woman has a good level of nipple sensation after her surgery, her ability to produce milk is unlikely to be affected.
Augmentation versus other Breast Surgery Procedures
While most women find that they can still breastfeed at least partially, if not fully, after an augmentation, some other types of breast alteration procedures are more likely to result in breastfeeding issues. Some women experience problems after a breast reduction or reconstruction procedure, for example. This is because reduction and reconstruction surgery are more likely to involve the actual removal of breast tissue, or the severing of nerves in the breasts, so these procedures are more likely to affect the function of milk-producing glands or the milk ducts.
If you still have any questions about breast feeding after breast augmentations please contact Dr. Chasby Sacks
at his Arizona cosmetic surgery center today.