To all the ladies who recently gave birth – congratulations!!
One of the more common questions that we receive is: “How long after pregnancy is it safe to have breast augmentation performed?” The answer is: It is safe to have a breast augmentation or a breast lift (with or without breast implants) procedure performed at least three months after you have stopped producing breast milk and are of stable breast size and shape.
Why Women Commonly Seek Breast Augmentation After Pregnancy
During pregnancy and while your breasts produce breast milk after pregnancy (whether you choose to breastfeed or not), your breasts enlarge as they fill with milk. This produces a beautiful, full look…a look which many mothers want to keep. However, the breasts generally deflate and sometimes sag after you stop producing breast milk. A breast augmentation after pregnancy and/or a breast lift restores a beautiful breast contour, giving you confidence in your body and therefore, daily life.
Why Do I Need To Wait?
There are many reasons to wait at least three months after you no longer produce breast milk to have a breast augmentation and/or a breast lift performed. The primary reasons are to decrease any chance of infection, decrease the risk of capsular contracture, and to ensure that your breasts are of stable size and shape prior to your procedure to ensure the best results.
Is It Safe To Have A Breast Augmentation And A Breast Lift At The Same Time?
The short answer is yes, it is safe to have both a breast augmentation and a breast lift (mastopexy) performed at the same time. However, when these two procedures are performed during the same operation, care must be taken to not place excess tension on the skin closure. This means that smaller breast implants need to be used when performing these procedures simultaneously. The recommended maximum size of breast implant will change with each patient, but it is generally advisable that patients have less than 500cc implants placed while having an augmentation and lift performed at the same time. Again, this depends on many patient factors, such as skin elasticity and amount of breast tissue that is present.
While you look through patient before and after pictures from various web pages, you may stumble across before and after breast augmentation with lift (mastopexy) pictures with much larger breast implants. Please keep in mind that some patients were able to safely have large implants placed at the same time as a breast lift, and many others were not. Many others experienced complications when trying to place large implants at the same time as a mastopexy. During a mastopexy (breast lift), excess skin is removed and the breast is reshaped to an aesthetically-pleasing appearance, and during a breast augmentation, breast implants are used to enhance this appearance. However, both of these operations place tension on the skin, and too much tension leads to poor scars, fat necrosis (underlying fatty tissue dies), and even possibly implant exposure/infection.
If you seek a breast lift (mastopexy) with a relatively large breast augmentation, the procedure can be separated into two separate procedures. Another option is to have breast implants placed during the breast lift, and upsize the implants at a later date (usually 6-12 months after the initial procedure).
There are many variables that go into creating beautiful results by combining a breast lift with breast augmentation. These are best further discussed during your cosmetic surgery consultation.
Will Breast Augmentation Affect My Ability to Breastfeed In The Future?
No, a breast augmentation should not affect your ability to breastfeed in the future. The types of incisions that we use and the manner which we perform the operation takes care to avoid the milk ducts. It is theoretically possible in literature, but we have not seen a decreased ability to breastfeed in our breast augmentation patients.
What Happens If I Become Pregnant Again?
If you become pregnant after breast augmentation and/or mastopexy (breast lift), the results of your surgery may change. This is because your breasts will fill with breast milk, and other changes will occur, which may change the overall size and shape of your breasts.
What Other Procedures Can Be PErformed During The Same Operation?
This is another common question that we receive as many new mothers would like to condense multiple procedures into a larger “mommy makeover” operation. By combining various procedures, there will be an overall cost savings, and less total downtime compared to having the procedures performed separately.
Many new mothers combine a breast augmentation and/or breast lift procedure with liposuction, labiaplasty, and especially abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). By combining these procedures, an incredibly dramatic difference is seen, all with only one operation.
For more information regarding combining procedures as a part of a larger mommy makeover operation, please contact our office and schedule your consultation.
Please contact us if you would like more information regarding breast augmentation and/or breast lift (mastopexy) after pregnancy!