Breast augmentation consistently tops the list of the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures each year. In 2017, more than 300,000 breast augmentation procedures were performed in the United States. The reasons for choosing breast augmentation are varied and different for everyone. Some women are frustrated with their small or asymmetrical breasts, while others dislike the loss of volume or sagging tissue that comes after weight loss or pregnancy.
Although some ladies will turn to breast augmentation after their family is complete, the vast majority of patients have not yet had children. For this reason, the most common concern women have about breast augmentation is the impaired ability to breastfeed once they decide to have a baby.
Breast Augmentation and the Risk on Breastfeeding
There are several different incisions that can be used in breast augmentation, including periareolar (around the areola and nipple), inframammary (along the breast crease), and transaxillary (under the armpit). The periareolar is one of the most popular incisions and rarely affects a woman’s chance to breastfeed. The nerves and milk ducts that facilitate breastfeeding are located deep in the tissues directly under the nipple. An experienced cosmetic surgeon will have the skill to keep his or her incisions around the periphery of the areola, staying far away from the delicate structures located right below the nipple.
However, although very rare, any breast operation can inadvertently injure the milk ducts, impairing the ability to breastfeed. Unexpected capsular contracture, with uncontrolled scar tissue formation, can put a ‘kink’ in the breast ducts, blocking the milk before it reaches the nipple. A breast lift or breast reduction can also add a slight risk to the chance for breastfeeding, as a small amount of tissue must be removed to reshape the breast. Keep in mind the risks involved with periareolar breast augmentation are minimal and pose little threat to most women.
Issues That Can Affect Your Ability to Breastfeed
Not everyone will have the option to breastfeed their newborn as certain conditions can cause decreased milk flow. A sampling of these medical issues include:
- Insufficient glandular breast tissue
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)
- Capsular Contracture
- Previous breast radiation
- Certain medications
Unfortunately, in most cases, there is no true way to assess a woman’s ability to breastfeed until the first attempts are made to feed her baby. For this reason, anyone interested in breastfeeding should discuss all of the risk factors with their physician prior to becoming pregnant.
Learn More About Breast Augmentation and the Periareolar Incision
If you are thinking about breast augmentation, it is imperative that you choose your operating surgeon wisely. Only a board-certified plastic surgeon can ensure you of the safest procedure, creating your desired results with little to no chance for complications. Dr. Paul Vitenas brings more than 30 years of breast augmentation experience to each patient. Throughout his practice, Dr. Vitenas has performed thousands of procedures, giving him the experience and knowledge to effectively address every woman’s individual anatomy and safely tackle any potential complications. Look through Dr. Vitenas’ extensive library of before and after photographs to better understand his style and your potential results. When you are ready to schedule a free breast augmentation consultation, call Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery at 281.407.7428.