Motherhood brings a plethora of new experiences into a woman’s life. Breastfeeding may be one of the very first. There isn’t much that can be done to completely prepare a new mother for the nuances of breastfeeding, including the way that this choice may alter the shape and size of her breasts. Is this a consideration that a woman should make as she decides to breastfeed? Certainly not. The very personal decision revolves solely around ability and desire. If the breasts deflate and drop significantly after breastfeeding, breast lift surgery can restore height and volume.
As we mentioned, breastfeeding is a decision based on ability and desire. If you are considering breast lift surgery and think you may have more children in the future, ability to breastfeed is probably a question on your mind. Many of our patients ask if a breast lift or breast augmentation might keep them from nursing future children. Here’s what we want you to know.
Most women can breastfeed after undergoing breast lift surgery.
The broad answer regarding nursing after a breast lift is “yes.” But there’s more.
How a Breast Lift is Performed
A breast lift is not the same as breast augmentation in any way other than the general surgical area. A breast lift is performed to improve the height of the breast tissue on the chest wall. By lifting breast tissue into a tighter hammock of superficial tissue, the breast lift may also restore natural projection and fullness to the breasts. To achieve this, it is necessary to make a different pattern of incisions than would be used for breast augmentation. More incisions, including around the nipple, means a few details that you need to know.
Breast lift surgery may affect future breastfeeding in two unique ways:
- Nipple Sensation
Like breast augmentation, a breast lift will alter the nipple. Incisions in this delicate area are likely to temporarily degrade the sensations in nerve endings. This is important to breastfeeding because the suckling sensation on the nipple during nursing is what prompts a neurohormonal reflex in the milk glands, facilitating milk production. Nipple sensation may not fully return for up to five years after a breast lift. Depending on the amount of sensation a woman has, her milk production may be somewhat diminished.
- Milk Duct Disruption
Skilled plastic surgeons make every attempt to conduct breast lift surgery without severing milk ducts. However, there is no way to guarantee that every milk duct will remain fully intact throughout this procedure. Disruption to the milk ducts could also decrease the amount of milk an infant receives during nursing.
There is immense value in breast lift surgery and also details that a woman may wish to carefully consider. For more information on this procedure, contact our Columbus or Philadelphia office.