One of the most common queries that women have about breast implants is whether they will face any problems breastfeeding after the surgery. Today breast implants are very safe and in majority of the cases they do not have a negative impact on breastfeeding. However, in some cases breast implants can hinder breastfeeding partially or completely.
Breast implants are put inside the breasts to make them appear fuller and larger. Breast implants consist of small silicone gel or saline water filled bags. Breast implant surgery is called breast augmentation. Today breast augmentation surgery has become number one cosmetic surgery in United States of America. Today implants are very safe; however, there are still issues about breast implants and breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding Problems- Depends on Incision
Whether breast implants can hinder breastfeeding or not largely depends on where the breast implants are placed and what type of incision was made during the breast augmentation surgery.
Types of Incisions
There are three types of incisions that can be made to place the breast implants. Inframammary incision involves making a small cut right under the breast and above the breast crease. In the transaxillary incision the cut is made within the patient’s armpit. Finally, in the periareolar incision a cut is made right around the areola.
Breast implants planted using inframammary and transaxillary incisions usually do not cause any problems with breastfeeding. It is the periareolar incision which usually causes the problem. When an incision is made around the areola, there is a high chance that milk ducts and nerves can get damaged. The nerves present around the areola are responsible for sending messages to the brain to release chemicals that start the milk production.
The milk ducts are responsible for bringing the milk to the nipple. If during the surgery milk ducts and nerves get damaged, then it will have a negative impact on milk production. In the periareolar incision there are very high chances that the nerves and milk ducts can get damaged.
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Loss of sensation in the nipples is another problem that can occur due to the periareolar incision and this can cause problems in breastfeeding. In some cases the nipple can become oversensitive due to the periareolar incision. If this happens, the woman will find it very hard to breastfeed even if enough milk is being produced.
How the Implants Are Implanted
Mammary glands need space to develop and proper blood circulation in order to function normally. Sometimes breast implants, depending how they were implanted, can put pressure on the mammary glands. This obviously will cause problems in lactation and breastfeeding.
The safest way to place the implants is to insert them under the chest wall’s muscle. In majority of the cases this does not cause any problems in breastfeeding.
Leakage and Breastfeeding Problem
Many women worry that if the breast implants leak it will lead to contamination of breast milk. There is nothing to worry on this front, because saline and silicone breast implants usually do not leak. Furthermore, if they do leak they will not contaminate the milk.
Today breast implants are considered very safe and in vast majority of the cases cause no problems. However, there is nothing hundred percent. If you absolutely want to breastfeed your child, you might want to wait and have the breast implants when your child has been weaned off.
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