Can breast surgery affect breastfeeding?
There are a large number of woman who is currently undergoing various breast procedures to achieve a sensuous body appearance. But they fear about undergoing pregnancy and the question they are left behind is-
Can a woman breastfeed after undergoing breast surgery?
The answer is YES it is possible to breastfeeding even after undergoing any breast procedures and that may affect a mother’s capacity to produce a full milk supply. Therefore, the amount of milk production depends on various other factors like-
- Type of surgery involved.
- The presence of any scarring in the milk ducts.
- The amount of functional glandular tissue present in the breasts both before and after undergoing the procedure.
Factors that may affect breastfeeding:
However, the success of breastfeeding after undergoing a breast procedure depends on the acquiring correct information about positioning of the implants, type of surgery undergone and most importantly breastfeeding tactic. So lets now look into details about the factors that affect the breastfeeding in woman-
Location of the incision- The incisions are made to place the implant or eliminate the glandular breast tissues will determine the degree of damage caused to the milk glands, ducts, nerves or blood supply.
So if the incisions are made around the edge of the nipple and the areola then it may affect the nipple sensation. There are also chances that the nipple sensation is affected due to the damage caused to the underlying nerve that is responsible for the neurohormonal reflex that stimulates the release of breast milk.
The position of the implant- The implants are placed and the size of the implant may affect the pressure within the breast. The breast is basically composed of glandular (milk making) tissues above the layer of the muscle.
If the breast implant is placed between the glandular tissues and the muscle then the implant may exert an immense pressure on the milk ducts and the glands that may restrict the milk flow and reduce the production of milk.
On the other hand when the implant is placed under the muscle layer then the impact on milk production is comparatively less.
Presence of scar tissues- Scar tissues may cause firmness in the breast and also give rise to distortion and pain which can extend into milk ducts and also affect the supply of milk.
So if the milk flow cannot drain freely from the breast, women undergoing breast augmentation using implants may be prone to some issues.
Functional breast tissue- Cosmetic or reconstructive surgery is basically such a procedure that women undergo to enlarge their breasts. While doing this, the surgeons eliminate certain functional breast tissues.
Under such situations, the patients may face difficulties in breastfeeding. In fact, breast size is also not a factor that may affect the production of milk. Often, tubular shaped breasts, widely spaced breasts, underdeveloped breasts, asymmetrical breasts may also experience similar issues due to the lack of breast tissues that affect the milk production.
Sensitivity– After following a breast augmentation surgery via implants, the mothers may also find changes in the nipple sensation even to normal touch.
So that makes breastfeeding even more difficult because this loss of nipple sensation may be a result of neurohormonal reflex that is required for milk production.
Random milk production- Often a mother with breast implants may have milk production that is not related to It may be a result of galactorrhea or a galactocele (milk-filled cyst), but this is also not directly related to any breast procedures, rather it is a post-operative side effect which may also lead to the removal of the implants.
Now the question is can these circumstances be rectified? The answer is obvious and it is yes, and there is a potential for some of the glands and ducts to reconnect after the surgery.
However, some nerves may repair themselves over time and some of the glandular tissues may also develop itself under the influence of pregnancy and breastfeeding hormones. The areas of the breast that are functioning normally help in compensating for any damaged areas. In fact, damaged nerves may also repair themselves over a period of time and this is called reinnervation.