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Can you breastfeed after breast augmentation?


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by Dr. Steven Wallach

More than 300,000 women choose to get breast augmentation each year in the United States alone. It is the best option for a suitable candidate and most women only regret that they did not opt for it earlier. A majority of augmentation patients are young women who have not started a family yet and one of the main concerns for those who chose breast implants for their augmentation is whether they will be able to breastfeed after their procedure.

When you undergo breast augmentation, there are several incision options available to you; the incision can be made into the breast crease, belly button, armpit and on the areola. Most augmentation surgeons choose the breast crease or areolar incision since these are proven to be the best approaches to the breast pocket leading to optimal results. None of the incision choices are wrong but some of them offer better control to the surgeon and they can offer their patients better results using them.

What can hinder your breastfeeding ability?

When you consider breastfeeding in general, there are reasons why some women are not able to feed their babies. There are varied reasons for not being able to breastfeed and the exact cause of concern can only be identified when you attempt to feed your baby. Termed as ‘low milk supply’, it can be caused due to several reasons including the following:

  • Contractual scar formation
  • Hypothyroidism
  • PCOS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
  • Not enough glandular tissue in the breasts
  • Having undergone radiation in the breasts in the past

The good news is that there is only a small percentage of new mothers who suffer from low milk supply due to the above reasons. Certain kinds of medicines can also lead to low milk supply and in some rare cases, the baby might be facing a functional or metabolic concern that does not allow them to breastfeed.

Does breastfeeding get affected by the periareolar incision?

Even though this incision is made near the nipple and areola complex, it does not necessarily increase the risk of breastfeeding issues or lead to lack of nipple sensation. This is due to the fact that the ducts and nerves in the breasts reach it from below, just like the roots of a tree. An experienced surgeon can thus stay on the periphery of the critical structures and avoid disturbing this complex structure which lies immediately under the nipples.However, it is impossible for a surgeon to ascertain this structure deep within the breast with the naked eye.

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