Breast Implants and Pregnancy: 5 Things You Should Know
1. Implants do not interfere with pregnancy.
Most breast implants have a soft silicone shell filled with saline water. Many implanted medical devices are made from this same nonreactive material. Breast implants do not harm or pose a risk to normal pregnancy in any way.
2. Pregnancy does not interfere with the implants.
While pregnancy does not remove the possibility of rare events such as deflation or hardening, there are no unusual implant complications during pregnancy. While the breasts will usually increase in size during pregnancy (a process called engorgement), this does not involve or affect the implants themselves.
3. Most women can breast-feed following breast augmentation.
While some may supplement with formula, this is common in women without implants as well. None of the incisions commonly used prevent breast-feeding. Implant placement under the muscle allows for an extra layer of protection between the implants and the milk ducts, better mammograms, and a more natural look and feel.
4. Augmented breasts are more resistant to the loss of volume and shape that often accompanies pregnancy and breast-feeding.
In these cases, the skin can be stretched while the breast tissue volume is diminished. The result is sagging with loss of shape as well as volume. Because the augmented breasts maintain more of their volume (the implant volume does not decrease), women with implants are less likely to see such drastic changes.
5. You need a qualified plastic surgeon certified by the American board of Plastic Surgery, who has the knowledge, judgement, and experience necessary to obtain the best possible result for your individual body type and lifestyle.
While a standard augmentation may be all that is necessary, many women need adjustments in shape as well as size. Some even require lifting (mini, moderate, or full). Only a surgeon with training and experience in all aspects of surgery of the breast is qualified to assess and treat this need. Often, unqualified surgeons who are unaware or incapable of all options perform augmentation without a breast lift. For breasts women with sagging, poorly supported breasts, the breast augmentation procedure on its own is not enough. As a result, the breasts will have a heavy appearance and hang low. This unsatisfactory result leaves most women disappointed. Your plastic surgeon should listen to your concerns and develop an individualized plan to avoid such problems and increase the likelihood of an outstanding result.
These tips were provided by Dr. Scott Miller. Dr. Miller is an attending surgeon at Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, California. He is a Voluntary Clinic Instructor of Plastic Surgery at the University of California, San Diego and has authored numerous articles in Plastic and Reconstructive surgery. He is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Want More Information?