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San Antonio Breast Augmentation Surgeon Discusses Breastfeeding After Implants

Dr. Matt Bindewald Answers Common Plastic Surgery Question

· Breast Augmentation

If you've had or you're thinking of having breast augmentation surgery in San Antonio, you may want to know if you will be able to breastfeed in the future. Here's the good news. Even after breast augmentation, it's likely that you'll still be able to breastfeed your baby.Whether you can breastfeed after breast augmentation depends largely on your original surgery. If the surgery was performed in a way that preserves the breast glands and milk ducts, then you should be able to breastfeed after waiting for a little while.

What Are Breast Glands and Milk Ducts, and Why Are They So Important?

Milk ducts, or lactiferous ducts, take the milk to the skin's surface from the individual lobules of the breast. They do this by forming a branch-like network within the breast that comes together at the nipple. Normally, the milk ducts are blocked by a keratin plug so that bacteria can't enter the breast. But when you become pregnant, hormonal changes tell the breast glands and milk ducts to start making milk.

The breast glands and milk ducts are necessary for producing milk and carrying it through the breast. If they were cut during surgery, you may have to deal with reduced milk production. If the surgery has damaged your breast glands, they can still regrow as long as the milk ducts and nerves near the nipple are mostly undamaged. This process is called recanalization. Nerves fix themselves via reinnervation, and you can determine the extent of nerve damage around your nipple based on the amount of sensation you feel. The more you feel, the more likely you are to be able to breastfeed.

"Will Implants Affect My Ability to Breastfeed?" asks Kim, a San Antonio, TX breast augmentation patient

Whether your implants will affect your ability to breastfeed depends largely on two factors, where the initial incision was made and where the implants were inserted. If your incision was made near the nipples, there's a good chance that some of your milk ducts were cut or damaged, which could make breastfeeding more difficult. However, if your surgeon made the incision close to your armpits or under your breast, this possibility decreases.

If your implants were placed above your chest muscle or just beneath your breast's glandular tissue, then it's possible that you may have problems producing milk. But if they're behind the chest wall, this is less likely. The underlying reason for your implants can also affect your ability to breastfeed. If you got your implants because your breasts are tubular, significantly small or underdeveloped, you might not have the amount of glandular tissue you need to produce milk.

"How Long Should I Wait to Get Pregnant After Breast Augmentation Surgery?", asks Sarah from Dallas, TX

There's no way to know if you'll have problems breastfeeding until you try nursing. It may also be easier to breastfeed with each successive baby, since each pregnancy and period of lactation promotes further glandular development. You probably won't have problems breastfeeding as long as you had an adequate amount of glandular tissue beforehand.

Read more articles from San Antonio breast augmentation surgeon Dr. Matt Bindewald here:

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