Will I Be Able to Breastfeed After Breast Surgery?

When contemplating the possibility of undergoing cosmetic breast surgery, there are many factors that a woman must consider. There are obviously aesthetic factors depending on the type of breast surgery you undergo. For example, with breast augmentation patients, patients must choose between different types of implants and how much of an increase in breast volume will be needed to provide the results they desire. But there is more a patient must reflect on before choosing to undergo a breast procedure. One question I consistently receive from patients is how will surgery to the breasts affect my ability to breastfeed in the future?

Will I Be Able to Breastfeed After Breast Surgery

Let me begin by saying that for most patients who undergo cosmetic breast surgery, breastfeeding will still be possible. New mothers who have previously had a cosmetic breast procedure are encouraged to breastfeed if that is their preference. Every woman’s body is different. In some cases, a woman’s milk supply will not be affected at all. For other women, the amount of breast milk they are able to produce may be decreased after surgery.

It’s important to remember that breastfeeding is not an all or nothing proposition. While it’s possible that a breast surgery can affect the amount of milk that a woman’s breast is able to produce, that does not mean that she will not be able to breastfeed. There are things women can do to help increase their supply of breast milk. The first two weeks can be a crucial time for increasing breast milk production. The breasts will have more milk production if more milk is removed during those first few weeks. Additionally, using a hospital-grade breast pump can help stimulate the production of breast milk by completely emptying the breast.

I’ve heard from many breast augmentation patients who are concerned about the potential implant rupture and leak that can be harmful to a breastfeeding newborn. However, breastfeeding with implants proposes no known dangers to either the mother or baby that I am aware of. Implant ruptures are very uncommon, but even in the rare case that one does occur, it is extremely unlikely to cause any harm to the mother or baby in terms of toxicity. I highly recommend bringing up this concern with your board-certified plastic surgeon during the pre-surgery consultation phase so you can make an informed decision that you are comfortable with.

Although cosmetic breast surgery may not be a barrier to breastfeeding, I do typically recommend that my patients wait until they are finished having children before undergoing their procedure. Although every woman’s body may respond differently to pregnancy, the changes your breasts experience during pregnancy can affect the results of your procedure and may cause a need for additional procedures like a breast lift down the road. If you would like to discuss this in a more personal setting, please contact me, Dr. David Whiteman, at Southern Plastic Surgery today to schedule a plastic surgery consultation. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more tips, news, and updates.

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Ask Dr. Whiteman: Can Gynecomastia be Prevented or Treated?

Dealing with the challenges of gynecomastia, a common condition that causes enlarged breasts in men, can be very difficult for men of all ages. Although gynecomastia does not present any serious medical risk to those afflicted with it, the emotional and psychological burdens can be overwhelming. This is why I have noticed a large influx of men seeking relief from gynecomastia over the last decade. I receive a lot of questions from patients about what can be done to prevent and/or treat gynecomastia, so I have taken some time to answer a few of the more common questions to help provide some clarity:

preventing-gynecomastiaQuestion #1: Is there anything men can do to prevent gynecomastia before it occurs?
Every guy is different, but the cause for developing gynecomastia is typically not something that is within a patient’s control. For instance, the most common cause of enlarged breast growth in men is a natural hormone imbalance. Gynecomastia can also occur as a result of reactions to certain medical conditions like liver or kidney failure, tumors and hyperthyroidism, or side effects to medications or medical treatments including some blood pressure or heart disease medicines, as well as chemotherapy. However, I recommend that guys maintain a healthy, balanced diet and avoid recreational drug use as weight gain, malnutrition, and drug abuse can also sometimes lead to gynecomastia.

Question #2: How young is too young to undergo male breast reduction surgery?
While some degree of breast enlargement is normal for newborns and boys going through puberty, gynecomastia can persist even after puberty. According to data collected by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), between 50% and 60% of adolescent males in the US suffer from gynecomastia. In many cases the breasts will flatten out as you enter your 20’s, but this isn’t always the case, and sometimes male breast reduction surgery is required. I typically advise adolescent patients and their parents to wait until they have gone through puberty before deciding on surgery.

Question #3: Can gynecomastia be effectively treated with exercise or medication?
Unfortunately not. Gynecomastia is the result of excess glandular tissue in the male breast, not excess fat. Meaning exercise (including exercises specifically intended to tone the chest) will not be able to treat gynecomastia. Additionally, to my knowledge there are no known approved medicinal treatments for gynecomastia. No exercise or medication will be able reduce the amount of breast tissue. This means that male breast reduction surgery is the only way to truly reduce the effects of gynecomastia.

Nobody should have to go through life feeling embarrassed or unsatisfied with their body. If you have any questions about gynecomastia and male breast reduction, contact me, Dr. David Whiteman to set up a complimentary plastic surgery consultation today. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google+ for more cosmetic surgery tips, news, photos, and more.

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How Your Breasts May Change Through the Years

Just like with other areas of a woman’s body, there can be substantial changes to a woman’s breasts that occur as the years go by. As you age, the position and structure of your breasts may begin to change due to fluctuating hormone levels, pregnancy, weight gain, or simply gravity. As a result of these changes, your breasts can lose their firmness and fullness, while also starting to sag. These changes can affect all women, so it’s helpful to know what you can expect and what you can do to help restore a more youthful breast contour with cosmetic breast surgery. Read on for more information on what you can expect from your breasts over time.

How Your Breasts May Change Through the Years

Your Breasts in Your 20’s

For women in their 20’s, this decade is referred to by some as the “best breast years” since by now the breasts have commonly reached their peak size and firmness. However, there can still be some fluctuation in breast size over this decade. Weight changes that occur as your metabolism slows or you settle into your adult weight can increase or decrease your breast size. Additionally, this is the decade when many women become pregnant for the first time, which can lead to more potential breast enlargement and size fluctuation tied to breastfeeding.

Your Breasts in Your 30’s

Once you enter your 30s, this begins a new period for your breasts. You may begin to notice some stretching of the breast skin, especially after pregnancy. Along with this stretching, you may begin to notice the appearance of stretch marks on the breasts. While it’s true that stretch marks more commonly develop around the torso, breast growth during pregnancy or weight gain can contribute to stretch marks extending up towards the breast area. These changes are normal and nothing to be concerned about from a medical perspective, but they can still affect the look and feel of your breasts.

Your Breasts in Your 40’s & Beyond

As you reach your 40s, you may begin to notice the early signs of menopause. Your breasts may become a bit more soft and fatty, losing firmness along the way. As collagen production in the body starts to slow down, the breast skin will lose some of the elasticity that it used to have. Hanging or sagging breasts become far more common. Thankfully, breast lift surgery allows women to return their breasts to a more youthful, firmer state. 

Everyone’s body ages differently. There is no guarantee that your breasts will experience some of the more dramatic effects of aging. But for women who notice differences in how their breasts look and feel, it’s important to remember that these changes are normal and that they can be corrected with the help of a board-certified plastic surgeon if you wish. For more information or to schedule a plastic surgery consultation today, please contact me, Dr. David Whiteman, at Southern Plastic Surgery or follow me on social media for more helpful tips, news, and updates from the world of cosmetic surgery.

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