Breast augmentation remains the most requested cosmetic surgery procedure in the UK; as well as older women who may have seen changes to their breasts over time or as the result of pregnancy or weight fluctuations, this op is very popular with younger women who may have always been dissatisfied with their breast size and shape.
Often though, this younger demographic has not yet started or completed their family and a common concern at my Warwickshire breast augmentation clinic is whether they will be able to breastfeed after breast augmentation surgery.
However, a study published in December’s issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery found that a high percentage of women who have undergone breast implant surgery can still breastfeed afterwards.
As Dr Sandra Filiciani, lead author of the study and chief of the Department of Plastic Surgery at a leading hospital in Argentina, explains: “We compared the habit of breastfeeding in 100 women with and 100 women without breast implants. Our research discovered that after one month, 93% of the women with a breast implant can successfully breastfeed their babies.”
Factors that could affect your ability to breastfeed
The choice of incision and implant placement are often thought to be factors in the patient’s future ability to breastfeed. Placing the implant under the muscle and the periareolar incision are considered by some to increase the risk of interfering with the milk ducts but,
interestingly, the Argentinian study found little differences between the different incisions employed, whether submammary or periareolar.
There are some changes that can take place that can make breastfeeding more difficult, such as increased nipple sensitivity, increased engorgement or a decrease in milk production that might mean you require additional supplementation. However, with the correct help and support most women can breastfeed successfully after breast implant surgery.
It is important to take into account that not all women can breastfeed whether they undergo breast implant surgery or not. Another factor that might have a more significant impact on your decision-making process is the changes that can occur to your breasts during pregnancy and you may wish to delay surgery until after you’ve completed your family.
During your breast augmentation consultation, we will discuss all possible risks or complications and I can provide you with the information you need to make the decision to proceed at this point or to wait until later.