Breastfeeding after Breast Surgery

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We want you to get the most out of your consultation. If at all possible, it is best to make arrangements for small children to stay home rather than having them join us for your appointments.

As the school year gets into full swing, Mom’s are getting a few minutes reprieve to catch their breath after the busy summer of camps, travel and play dates.  Taking time for yourself is such an important part of being healthy / being your best and it leads to success in every other role you have.  If your plans for the upcoming year include a breast surgery, then you should read this.

For Mom’s that may have another child as well as for women who have not had children but desire to, breast surgery doesn’t mean that you can’t or shouldn’t breast feed.

Can you?

First, you should know that not all women can breast feed regardless of previous breast surgery.  In 2018, it was reported that 83% of North American women had the ability to breast feed.

Second, don’t listen.  Opinions don’t affect fact.  But facts should affect opinions.

Breast implants (augmentation) – In a 2018 study by Plastic Surgeons, Drs. Jewell and Edwards, published a landmark study in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal.  They looked at women with both saline and silicone implants who gave birth to at least one child after breast augmentation.  Of the 4,679 women with breast implants, 79.4% were able to breast feed and lactation complications were comparable to women without implants.

Breast mastopexy (lift) / reduction – Similarly, a study out of the Department of Plastic Surgery at McGill University published in the Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Aesthetic Surgery, demonstrated that there was no difference in breast-feeding capacity after breast reduction in the North American population.  Women who have children after having breast surgery should still be encourage to breast feed.

Should you?

Despite the overwhelming advantages of breast-feeding, there is a persistent rumor that maternal exposure to silicone (saline or silicone breast implants) may result in contamination of breast milk.  Dr. John Semple, published a research paper that showed that silicone levels were no different in breast milk or blood between women with and without implants.  More interesting, the silicone levels in store-bought cow’s milk was more than 10X higher than breast milk and infant formula had silicone levels more than 100X higher than breast milk of women with breast implants.

Drs. Mahabir and Gawley have a combined experience of almost 30 years.  While all evidence supports that breast-feeding is possible and safe after breast surgery, during your consultation, we will review how all this specifically applies to you as a unique individual.