Do breast implants hinder future breastfeeding?

Occasionally a patient will tell me that she’s nervous about getting breast implants because she hasn’t yet had children, and is afraid that breast implants might keep her from breastfeeding in the future.

As a baseline, not every woman can breastfeed successfully regardless of whether she has breast implants or not.  In America, about 70% of women successfully breastfeed.  The same percentage has been found to be able to breastfeed after implants.  So, it is likely, but not guaranteed, that a woman can breastfeed if she has breast implants.

Now that being said, there is a serious reduction in the ability to breastfeed when a periareolar incision is used. A periareolar incision is one made around the areola instead of beneath the breast in the breast crease (called the inframammary crease). The ability to breastfeed is reduced by at least 30% with a periareolar incision because all of the ducts from the lower breast tissue are cut to create the breast implant pocket through this incision around the areola.  This is the reason that I recommend an inframammary crease incision in all patients considering future breastfeeding.

If you are considering breast enhancements of any kind-implants, breast lift or breast reduction, be sure to discuss the issues of future breastfeeding with your surgeon prior to your surgery. There are steps that can be taken to ensure that the ductal network isn’t interfered with.

To your health & beauty,

Dr. Kent Hasen

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