A woman considering breast augmentation is often very concerned about the impact that implants might have on breastfeeding. The conversation usually is, “Should I wait to have a breast augmentation until I’m finished with pregnancies?” For many, this is years away, years that the would-be patient may want to spend with a breast augmentation.
Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Stephan Finical explains a new study that bolsters the belief that breastfeeding is possible with implants.
Breastfeeding after Breast Augmentation
It’s the reality for many of the 300,000 women in the United States who have breast augmentation each year: wondering whether they will be able to breastfeed, if they decide to have children. “Many young ladies will ask, ‘Will I be able to breastfeed?’ and from anecdotal experience, I was able to answer: ‘Over the years, most of my patients have been able to breastfeed,'” shares Dr. Finical, a surgeon with Charlotte Plastic Surgery in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Finical says even though most of his patients have been able to nurse a child after breast implants, he didn’t have definitive results to offer patients on the subject – until now. “This is really important to us because there was never a study to tell us that ladies could breast feed after augmentation,” he details. “That’s why we’re excited because a study just came out that showed women were able to breastfeed after having a breast augmentation.”
It’s important for any woman considering breast implants to let her plastic surgeon know that she is thinking about breastfeeding in the future, if she isn’t already a mother. Finical says he often reassures his patients that neither size of the breast implant nor location of the incision has an impact on nursing. He indicates the results of a new study will go along way in making patients feel good about their decision to get implants.
Finical says the results are the most wide-sweeping he’s seen related to the topic of breast augmentation and breast feeding. He says the study followed almost 5,000 women with breast implants who gave birth to more than 5,000 babies, and then took a gauge of their success with breastfeeding. “More than 80 percent of women who had gel filled implants were able to breastfeed, and 76 percent of ladies who had saline filled implants were able to breastfeed. The nice thing for young ladies is they can go into a breast augmentation and not worry that they are doing something that could harm their child in the future,” says Finical.
What It Means for Patients
Finical says women often feel uneasy or apprehensive not having a solid answer about breastfeeding, but he says the new study offers more reassurance. “It is a question that I often get and I’ve never had a solid answer, but now I do. I feel a lot more comfortable with that kind of power and those kinds of numbers behind it. It’s good knowing that number from the study, that 80 percent were able to breastfeed afterward,” says Finical.
It’s also known that breast augmentation does not damage breast milk, according to Finical. He says women should feel comfortable knowing that breast augmentation doesn’t interfere with motherhood. “Almost 5,000 women were studied and 80 percent of those with gel implants were able to breast feed. Today almost 100 percent of what I’m doing is gel implants, because the newer gel implants are soft and they are durable. They have been studied and they are very safe,” explains Finical.
He says the information about breast implants, coupled with the new study on breastfeeding, should provide women with peace of mind when it comes to breast augmentation. “It gives me information that is solid, information that I can give to patients so they can feel more comfortable with their choices,” concludes Finical.