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Can Silicone Implants Hamper Breastfeeding?

Silicone implants in breast enhancement surgery have been around since 1992 (but they were first introduced in 1962)  for breast augmentation revision and breast reconstruction. In 2006, it was later approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in breast reconstruction for women of all ages and breast enhancement surgeries for women who are 22 years old and above. (The FDA believes that breast development in women is completed around this age.)

Every so often, silicone implants are the top choice for women who want a more natural look and feel.

Silicone Implants Have No Harmful Effect to Breastfeeding

One of the most common concerns of women who are looking into having silicone implants is whether or not the implant will hamper their future plans of breastfeeding. Generally, majority of women who become pregnant and breastfeed at a later time after having silicone implants do not have any problems breastfeeding at all.

In fact, a review of scientific reports and related studies on the effects of silicone implants to pregnancy and breastfeeding have been done by the Institute of Medicine. Here’s an excerpt from the report:

A major concern about implants has been the possible adverse effects of silicone on breast-fed infants. It is important to note that much higher levels of silicon—from which silicone is derived—have been found in cows’ milk and commercially available infant formula than are found in the breast milk of women with implants. In fact, there is no evidence of elevated silicone levels in breast milk or any other substance that would be harmful to infants, nor are there any differences in silicone levels in the milk and blood of nursing mothers with implants and those without them.

Although some mothers with implants may find it difficult to produce an adequate milk supply, the committee urges that all mothers try breast-feeding, because it is beneficial to babies and is not harmful to mothers.

As to the question on whether or not the silicone content in the implants can affect the developing fetus:

Concerns have been raised about the possible harmful effects of silicone crossing the placenta to the developing fetus. The committee found no evidence of increased levels of disease or birth defects in children born to women with implants.

Surgical Incisions Matter

Generally, incisions in breast augmentation surgery include the inframammary incision (in the fold underneath the breast), transaxillary (in the armpit), and periareolar (around the areola or that tiny darkened area around the nipple).

If you have plans of getting pregnant and breastfeeding after breast augmentation, the inframammary and transaxillary incisions are recommended. Since the periareolar incision increases the risk of damaging the milk ducts and the surrounding nerves, it may be best to avoid this type of incision if you’re thinking of breastfeeding after your breast enhancement surgery.

Now that you’ve already learned that silicone implants are safe,  get in touch with us today by calling 702.732.9600 or by filling out this contact form to schedule an appointment with Dr. Herte.  We look forward to helping you look and feel better about yourself!