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Breast Implants and Breastfeeding

There were 290,000 breast implant surgeries performed in the U.S. in 2016, making it the No. 1 cosmetic procedure in the country. While breast implants are popular, many women still have questions and concerns about silicone breast implants and their safety - mainly if they are safe for breastfeeding.

Is it possible to breastfeed with implants?

Depending on the size of the implants and where Dr. Alqulali places them, yes, it is possible to breastfeed with implants for most women. However, when implants are placed above the chest muscle, they could cause damage to the nerves, breast tissue, milk glands and milk ducts involved in breastfeeding, which could negatively affect the ability to breastfeed.

Another factor that may affect the ability to breastfeed with implants is the location of the incision. If the incision is around or across the areola, the nerves that impact nipple sensitivity and nursing are at risk for damage. Another common location for breast implant incisions is the armpit, but this site could damage milk glands and ducts. To avoid damage to the breast that would negatively impact nursing, incisions should be made underneath the breasts.

Breast lift surgeries that remove excess breast tissue and tighten skin can also impact the ability to breastfeed because they take out the glands needed to produce milk.

Can silicone breast implants leak into breast milk?

Whether silicone breast implants leak has been a concern for decades. The fear was so great that silicone breast implants were banned over potential connections to breast cancer and other health conditions in the U.S. by the Food and Drug Administration from 1992 to 2006. 

The current ruling by the FDA is that it is unknown if any amount of silicone can leak into breast milk. However, modern-day silicone breast implants are very safe and rarely leak. The silicone gel of today’s implants is also designed to stay intact should an implant develop a hole or tear.

Is breastfeeding with implants difficult?

Many women with breast implants breastfeed without issue. Some women do experience amplified milk production, which causes extreme engorgement of the breasts. If this occurs, watch for signs of mastitis, such as pain, fever and chills.

Some things to look out for during breastfeeding with implants include:

•    No breast milk development within five days of giving birth

•    Milk production is limited

•    Baby is having fewer than six wet diapers or three bowel movements per day

•    Baby appears dehydrated (dry skin, fatigue, rapid breathing and rapid heartbeat)

•    Pain while nursing

•    Hardening of the breast

 If you experience these symptoms while nursing with breast implants, you should call Dr. Alqulali for an appointment immediately.

If you're considering breast implant surgery, Dr. Alqulali recommends waiting until you are through with having children and breastfeeding, because the body goes through many changes during pregnancy. If you have questions about breast implants or breastfeeding, call Dr. Alqulali today at 888-716-0559.

 

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