Do Breast Implants Disrupt Breast Feeding?

Mother breast feeding her baby girlOur patients frequently ask about breast feeding and breast augmentation.  Can the surgery disrupt the ability to breast feed?  Is it safe for my child?

In many cases, breast feeding is not disrupted by the presence of a breast implant. However, in some patients, often when an incision near the nipple was utilized, the patient’s ability to breast-feed does get disrupted.

How to minimize this risk

Utilizing a surgical incision that avoids manipulation of the nipple can decrease the risk of disrupted breast feeding.  Therefore, if this is a concern, you may want to investigate incision techniques such as the following:

  • Inframmary fold incision
  • Transaxillary incision
  • Transumbilical breast augmentation

Although breast feeding is not necessarily compromised by sub-glandular (above the muscle) breast implant placement, some surgeons maintain that sub-muscular placement reduces the risk as well.

Is it safe for the newborn?
If you’re especially concerned about infant safety, you may want to reference a study published in the June 1998 issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.  The study found no measurable risks to the infant, and found that women with silicone breast implants, and women without them, show comparable levels of silicone (silicon) in their breast milk.  It is not known what effect could occur if a small trace of silicone were to pass through to the infant.

Ask Your Surgeon
Feel free to speak with Dr. Dreyfuss, or your OB/GYN if you still have questions and concerns about this topic.  Whether you plan to become pregnant or not, it is best to understand all of the possible breast augmentation risks before proceeding with surgery.