Every year, breast augmentation is one of the top two most popular plastic surgery procedures performed. This is understandable, since an attractive breast appearance is often considered to be a strong symbol of a woman’s femininity. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) has also indicated that the most popular age range to undergo breast augmentation is 20-39, which coincidentally aligns with your childbearing years. Therefore, our plastic surgeons are commonly asked whether it is best to postpone the procedure until after having children.
There is no definitive answer to this question. There are several factors that impact your optimal timing for breast augmentation, and you must make the right decision based on your unique situation. That being said, it’s important to understand the considerations involved in making this decision.
Will Pregnancy Impact My Breast Implants?
Pregnancy impacts your breasts in several ways. It is common to experience an increase in breast volume and fullness during pregnancy. Once the baby is born, hormone changes will impact the breasts again, as they prepare for lactation. All of these changes occur regardless of whether breast implants are present.
It’s common for women to find that the appearance of their breasts has changed after childbirth and breastfeeding are complete. The enlarged milk glands cause an expansion of breast tissue and stretching of the skin. Changes in breast volume during pregnancy and breastfeeding will often result in sagging, alterations in breast shape and lost breast volume once the process is complete. However, the extent of these changes is different for everyone.
In many instances, the presence of breast implants may limit the volume loss and changes in breast shape that you experience. This is due to the fact that the breast implant remains the same size even after breastfeeding is complete. However, it is still common to notice some changes in breast appearance as well as changes in the appearance of the skin even when breast implants are present.
If you are truly unhappy with your breast appearance after pregnancy and breastfeeding, you have a few options:
- Breast augmentation revision procedure to restore lost breast volume and address any changes you experienced to the size and shape of your breasts
- Breast lift to address sagging issues and restore a more youthful breast appearance
- Breast augmentation revision with a lift for more comprehensive results
Breastfeeding with Implants
A common concern many women have involves the ability to breastfeed after breast augmentation. Fortunately, most women are still able to successfully breastfeed with implants. Clinical studies have determined that there are no safety issues associated with breastfeeding with implants, regardless of whether you have saline or silicone breast implants.
However, it’s important to discuss future pregnancy plans with our plastic surgeons since it may impact the way your procedure is performed. If you plan on breastfeeding in the future, it’s better to use the inframammary incision location (under the breast crease) or transaxillary incision location (under the armpit). This will help you avoid any potential damage to nerves or milk ducts that may occur with the periareolar incision location (around the nipple).
While rare, another potential side effect that can occur with the periareolar incision is a loss of nipple sensation. If this occurs, you may experience the following challenges while breastfeeding:
- It may be more difficult to achieve a good latch from your infant
- The nerve signal to release the breast milk may be impacted
As a result, it’s best to avoid the periareolar incision if you plan on breastfeeding in the future. This will limit the likelihood of any complications to this process.
Our surgeons also recommend that you take a breastfeeding class and meet with a lactation consultant if you undergo breast augmentation before having children. This will ensure that you are placing your baby in the best possible position to achieve a good latch on the breast. If the baby doesn’t latch properly, it can reduce your milk supply. Working with a lactation consultant will help reduce the likelihood that you experience any problems breastfeeding with implants.
Other Factors to Consider
How close are you to having children? This should certainly be a consideration when deciding on the timing of your breast augmentation. If you are planning on starting a family in the next couple of years, it may be best to postpone your breast augmentation until after having children. This will help you avoid the need for a revision procedure shortly after your initial surgery.
However, if you’re not planning on having children anytime soon, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t move forward with your procedure now. Breast implants aren’t expected to last forever. While they generally last a long time (potentially 15 years or longer), you will most likely need a revision procedure at some point down the road. As a result, a desire to eventually have children sometime in the next 10-15 years shouldn’t make you hesitant to enjoy a beautiful new breast appearance right now.
Contact our Lexington Breast Surgeons
Please contact Plastic Surgeons of Lexington using the form on this page or call (859) 276-3883 today to schedule a breast augmentation consultation. We serve patients in Lexington and throughout the surrounding areas of Central and Eastern Kentucky.