Breastfeeding With Breast Implants: Can You Do It?
Type of Surgery
- Transaxillary —The incision is made under the arm.
- Inframammary —The incision is made within the breast fold.
- Periareolar —The incision is made around the nipple.
Type of Implant
- Silicone implants were thought to leak silicone gel into the body and into breast milk. They were removed from the market in 1992. However, after many studies by the United States Food and Drug Administration, it was determined that silicone gel implants were safe and they were reintroduced in 2006.
- A small study reported that some children breastfed by mothers with silicone breast implants had esophageal (throat) problems, but this association was not confirmed. Organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics do not feel that there is enough evidence against breastfeeding for women with silicone breast implants.
- Researchers are still not certain if silicone can leak into breast milk. But one study did show that women with silicone-filled implants did not have higher levels of silicon (a component of silicone) in their breast milk compared to those without implants.
Working With Your Doctor
American Society of Plastic Surgeons http://www.plasticsurgery.org/
Le Leche League International http://www.lalecheleague.org/
Canadian Breastfeeding Foundation http://www.canadianbreastfeedingfoundation.org/
The Canadian Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery http://www.csaps.ca/
American Academy of Pediatrics. Statement on transfer of drugs and other chemicals into human milk. Pediatrics . 2001 Sep;108(3):776.
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Breastfeeding fact sheet. WomensHealth.gov website. Available at: http://www.womenshealth.gov/faq/breastfeeding.cfm#f . Updated August 1, 2010. Accessed June 2, 2012.
Breast implants. United States Food and Drug Administration website. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/ImplantsandProsthetics/BreastImplants/default.htm. Updated March 9, 2012. Accessed June 2, 2012.
Levine JJ, Ilowite NT. Scleroderma-like esophageal disease in children breast-fed by mothers with silicone breast implants. JAMA . 1994 Jan 19;271(3):213-6.
Lieberman P. Breast surgery likely to cause breastfeeding problems. National Research Center for Women and Families website. Available at: http://www.center4research.org/2010/05/breast-surgery-likely-to-cause-breastfeeding-problems/ . Updated December 2010. Accessed June 2012.
Neifert M, DeMarzo S, Seacat J, et al. The influence of breast surgery, breast appearance, and pregnancy-induced breast changes on lactation sufficiency as measured by infant weight gain. Birth . 1990;17:31-38.
Silicon, silicone, and breast implants. Pediatrics . 2002 Nov 5; 110(5):1030.
Strom SS, Baldwin BJ, Sigurdson AJ, Schusterman MA. Cosmetic saline breast implants: a survey of satisfaction, breast-feeding experience, cancer screening, and health. Plast Reconstr Surg . 1997 Nov;100(6):1553-7.
Saline-filled breast implant surgery: making an informed decision. United States Food and Drug Administration website. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/ImplantsandProsthetics/BreastImplants/ucm064453.pdf. Accessed June 2, 2012.
WomensHeallth.gov, United States Department of Health and Human Services. Breastfeeding. WomensHeallth.gov website. Available at: http://www.womenshealth.gov/faq/breastfeeding.cfm#f . Updated August 1, 2010. Accessed June, 2012.
- Reviewer: Mervin Low, MD, PC
- Review Date: 06/2012