If you were going to have a cosmetic procedure, what would it be?
According to The American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the most popular procedure for people to have in 2013 was a breast augmentation. Approximately 290,000 women had breast augmentations.. which is a staggering 69,000 higher than patients who had nose reshaping, the second most popular. This trend was also similar in the UK with cosmetic surgery provider MYA reporting that 2063 breast augmentations were carried out, again being the most popular procedure. As expected with such a highly sought after cosmetic surgery, there are many questions asked about breast enlargement, of which ‘can you still breast feed afterwards?’ is one of them.
One of the most common misconceptions about breast augmentation is that you won’t be able to breast feed once you’ve had the procedure, however, that simply isn’t the case. Although there are certain breast surgeries that can affect the natural delivery of milk (periareolar incisions aka around the nipple) and thus hinder breast feeding, there are others that are less likely to, for example axillery crease incisions (in the armpit) and inframammary crease (under your breasts).
The most common method, the inframammary crease, involves a small incision being made beneath the breast, in the mound that connects your breasts to your chest. This option gives surgeons the most direct route to placing the implants, however, while it is the most direct, it is only favoured if there is a lot of tissue to hide the incision scar once the surgery is complete.
Periareolar, while a common means of breast augmentation is also the most likely to cause breast feeding difficulties. More specifically, women who had breast surgery through an incision in the nipple area were five times more likely to have insufficient milk compared to women without breast surgery. This is because of where the incisions are made; a ‘smiley face’ cut is made around the skin of the areola to help reduce the visible marks of scarring, however, as the surgery is performed through the nipple, the chance of losing sensation and/or hindering breastfeeding is increased.
Each type of breast surgery is tailored to the individual’s needs and their bodies, and as such, the best option is selected between your surgeon and yourself. But as you can clearly see, breast augmentation doesn’t necessarily lead to breastfeeding issues and although understanding each method is important, it is also crucial for you to seek respected, experienced medical advice before undergoing any cosmetic surgery.