New York City plastic surgeon Dr. Joshua A. Greenwald sees many female patients who are seeking breast enhancement with saline or silicone implants but are concerned that undergoing breast augmentation surgery will make it impossible to breastfeed. Even though there is a slight possibility that having breast augmentation surgery will affect a woman’s ability to nurse, it is not a problem for most breast enhancement patients. Nonetheless, if you plan on breastfeeding after getting breast implants, here is some helpful information to keep in mind.
Dr. Greenwald offers three incision-pattern options for breast augmentation surgery. The first option, the transaxillary incision pattern, involves making the incision underneath the arm, in the armpit area. The second option, the inframammary incision pattern, involves positioning a horizontal incision beneath the breast’s natural crease. With the periareolar incision pattern, the third option, Dr. Greenwald creates an incision encircling the outer edge of the areola (the darker-pigmented skin around the nipple).
Although the periareolar incision option leaves the least visible scar because it is positioned within the more darkly colored areola skin, it also increases the risk of severing the nerves and milk ducts concentrated in that area. This could limit the amount of milk the mother is able to produce, thereby making breastfeeding difficult, if not impossible.
For women who plan to breastfeed after breast augmentation surgery, the periareolar incision approach might not be an appropriate option.
Saline or Silicone Implants
Another concern that some breast augmentation patients have is that the type of implants they choose will negatively affect their baby if the implant ruptures while they are still breastfeeding. However, this should not be a big concern. Saline solution (sterile saltwater) is safely absorbed by the body in case the implant ruptures, so it will not harm the baby. Also, studies have shown that it is highly improbable that the silicone molecules in silicone implants would be able to enter a woman’s milk ducts and get passed on to the infant.
Overall, undergoing breast augmentation surgery should have little to no impact on a woman’s ability to breastfeed. However, if you plan on breastfeeding after breast implant surgery, let Dr. Greenwald know, and he will suggest the most appropriate treatment options to help maintain your ability to nurse.
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Greenwald to discuss your breast augmentation options, please contact his practice by calling (914) 421-0113 of (212) 518-1642.