The percentage of women with breast implant surgery that achieved breastfeeding, either exclusively or mixed with artificial feeding, was exceedingly high, according to a study from Argentina in the December issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
“We compared the habit of breastfeeding in 100 women with and 100 women without breast implant,” lead author Sandra Filiciani, M.D., tells Cosmetic Surgery Times. “Our research discovered that after 1 month, 93% of the women with a breast implant can successfully breastfeed their babies.”
This compared to 99% of women without a breast implant who were breastfeeding.
The investigators also found no significant differences between a submammary or periareolar incision for a breast implant in any of the patient outcomes.
The prospective cohort study was conducted between April 2013 and July 2014 at Sanatorio de la Mujer and Centro Quirúrgico Rosario, in Rosario, Argentina. Of the 3,950 births that occurred during this period, 200 patients with similar anthropometric characteristics (maternal and newborn) were selected.
“Many women have asked if a breast implant can affect her ability to breastfeed their babies,” says Dr. Filiciani, chief of the Department of Plastic Surgery at Centro Quirúrgico Rosario. “Until now, we did not have the scientific answer.”
The study “…reinforces our opinion, based on the clinical evidence of our patients, that rarely is alteration needed in breastfeeding after breast implant surgery,” Dr. Filiciani says.
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The authors suspected, however, that a periareolar incision would have a greater negative influence on breastfeeding than a submammary incision, which turned out to be false.
“Women do not need to sacrifice breastfeeding their babies if they have or are thinking of breast augmentation,” Dr. Filiciani says. “These women can provide their children with the necessary nutritional, psychological, affective and immune support.”
Nonetheless, women should seek help from specialized nurses in childcare for advice, information and monitoring of the process and techniques of breastfeeding, according to Dr. Filiciani.
Plastic surgeons, on the other hand, “must perform correct evaluation and planning of the surgical technique for a breast implant, including incision type, placement site and implant volume,” Dr. Filiciani says.
“They should also advise and inform patients who are considering breast implant surgery about all the variables that can influence breastfeeding, so that the patient can make a decision based on scientific evidence.”