Breast Implants Before And After Surgery: Here’s What You Should Know

March 27, 2024

Breast Implants Before And After Pregnancy

Pregnancy can change your breasts.  Changes in size, shape and position do occur.  Breast augmentation is one way to address these changes.  We get lots of questions about breast implants before and after pregnancy, and due to their sheer number, we thought it would be helpful to review everything in more detail.  Please understand this is for educational purposes only, and does not represent medical advice. Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Will Pregnancy Change Your Breasts?
  • Breast Augmentation Before Pregnancy
  • Breast Lift Surgery After Pregnancy
  • What’s The Best Time To Get Breast Augmentation Surgery
  • What Risks Are Associated With Breast Implants?

Many women get breast implants before they have children. Breast implants shouldn’t impact the chances of a successful pregnancy or nursing. However, if you are already pregnant or currently trying to conceive, you may want to wait before having the implants put in.

Will Pregnancy Change Your Breasts?

While everyone is different, most women experience a change in breast size and shape with pregnancy.  Due to the hormones of pregnancy, breast tissue (both fibrous and fatty) expands.  During this time, the breasts engorge, stretch and then shrink with breast feeding and the disappearance of progesterone.  The areolas stretch, become darker and more prominent.  

These changes can be both temporary but more often are permanent.  Some women paradoxically gain volume after pregnancy.  

Due to all the changes listed above, we typically recommend delaying breast augmentation until after pregnancy for those who are actively planning a family.  The added volume of an implant can add additional stress and stretch to the tissues, further damaging the breast.

Make sure to discuss your intentions and concerns with your plastic surgeon to devise a plan tailored to your specific needs and goals. Together, you can determine the most suitable course of action to take.

So, if you’re planning to have another child soon or plan on nursing, you may want to wait until you get all of that finished. If you don’t, the probability of revision surgery increases. You always want to weigh out all your options before undergoing breast augmentation surgery. You and your plastic surgeon will have the opportunity to go through all your plastic surgery options, as well as other options if needed.

Breast Augmentation Before Pregnancy

We get a lot of questions from women that want to conceive in the future, they often ask whether breastfeeding will affect their ability to nurse. Every woman is different, and some women can breastfeed following breast augmentation and others cannot. If you hope to breastfeed and nurse in the future, just make sure you take the time to discuss your options with your board-certified plastic surgeon.

Some incisions during breast augmentation surgery may involve cutting into the glandular tissue of your breasts. Doing so doesn’t necessarily stop you from breastfeeding, but do understand that this can make it more difficult or even predispose you to mastitis. Your surgeon may recommend a different incision, a different type of implant, or other modifications in these scenarios.  Dr. Gear prefers an inframammary or fold incision as it does the least amount of damage, has the lowest capsular contracture rates, and does not alter sensation or the ability to breast feed like a areolar or nipple incision.  

Another common question we get is can silicone leak into breast milk?  Currently, there’s no research or studies to confirm that. However, due to the unknown, some women feel better choosing a saline breast implant versus a silicone breast implant. Nothing wrong with that, as long as you’re weighing out all your options.  That’s a choice you will have to make.

Here’s what the CDC says about it, we just don’t have any recent clinical reports of silicone implants causing problems for babies.

Considering it all, there’s no one-fits-all choice here. Even so, you have a lot of options to go through. Sit down and make sure you have a discussion with your plastic surgeon, you’ll have the opportunity to go through all your options.

Breast Lift Surgery After Pregnancy

Once pregnancy and nursing are over, some women find they need a breast lift to restore their pre-pregnancy figures. In other cases, some may choose to change their breast implant size. These are both very common scenarios as breasts can change a lot during pregnancy, weight loss, and nursing.

When you’re experiencing breasts changes after pregnancy, some of you may have seen your breasts get bigger, while some may have smaller breasts. Breast revision surgery is a common solution for women who already have implants following pregnancy.

Breast lift surgery is a popular plastic surgery procedure that’s often included in mommy makeovers, in addition to a tummy tuck and liposuction. If you’re not familiar with the mommy makeover, it’s a custom built package of cosmetic procedures a woman may choose after pregnancy to get back a to a pre-pregnancy figure.

In case you are unfamiliar with the term, a “mommy makeover” it is a custom-designed package combination of cosmetic procedures women can use to recover their pre-pregnancy figure. There’s a wide range of different plastic surgery procedures that could be included in a mommy makeover, such as breast lift, tummy tuck, liposuction and fat grafting of the breasts and buttocks aka BBL.

What’s The Best Time To Get Breast Augmentation?

Once again, every scenario is going to differ. With that in mind, what’s the best time to get breast augmentation surgery?

If you anticipate getting pregnant within the next few years without a precise timeline, you might consider scheduling a breast augmentation now, acknowledging the potential changes in your breasts. Your decision should hinge on your current satisfaction and whether larger breasts would positively impact your quality of life. It’s crucial to communicate your intentions with your doctor, particularly if breastfeeding is a future consideration. Opting for surgery that preserves the areola and glandular tissue and minimizes potential interference with nursing capabilities down the road is optimal.

If you’re actively trying to have a baby right now, the choice to get an augmentation now or wait is still your decision. You must keep in mind that you may need to cancel or reschedule your operation depending on how soon you get pregnant. Depending on your budget, goals, and risk tolerance, it may make sense to wait until afterward for your augmentation.

If you already have implants, most women can still breastfeed, and the implants shouldn’t affect any other aspect of pregnancy or childbirth. The biggest challenge most women will face is the fact that the size and shape of their breasts will change. It does happen. Keep in mind though, many things can change womens’ breasts size, such as weight gain, weight loss, menopause, and stress.

What Risks Are Associated With Breast Implants?

Breast implants are safe implants have been used for decades. They are the most extensively studied medical devices in existence.  Still, things can happen and just like with any surgery, there’s always risks. Those risks include:

  • Need for corrections or breast implant removal if your preferences change, or weight gain or pregnancy changes your breasts size.
  • Changes in nipple.
  • Scar tissue may form around the implant (capsular contracture).
  • Breast discomfort and pain
  • Implants deflation

Your doctor can discuss these and other possible risks with you during your consultation.

Next Steps: Schedule a Consultation

Your first step in planning your breast augmentation is to schedule a consultation. During this consultation, you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions or address concerns you may have about implants, whether you plan to have children or not, or any other factors that should be considered.

The team here at Providence Plastic Surgery & Skin Center is here to help you make these decisions and explore all the different options you have.

Get started today, schedule your consultation here. If you’re not ready to schedule your consult but have a question to ask, reach out to our team here.