Breast Implants and Breast-feeding

Silicone and Saline

There are two main types of implants — saline and silicone gel. Neither interfere with breast-feeding, but many women have had concerns about passing silicone gel into breast milk if their implants were to rupture. These fears have been allayed by science.

In the early 1990s, there were reports of silicone gel leaking from implants into the body, and some women claimed that their autoimmune and connective tissue disorders were related to their implants. As a result, silicone implants were removed from the market in 1992.

At the same time, fear arose that breast-feeding with silicone implants could endanger the infant. Studies have since shown that silicone molecules are too large to pass into the milk ducts and breast gland tissue. In addition, the FDA conducted numerous studies which served to exonerate silicone gel implants as a cause of disease. As a result, they returned to market in 2006.

That said, there are no guarantees that you will be able to breast-feed, regardless of whether you undergo breast augmentation. Women who have never had any kind of breast surgery may experience difficulty breast-feeding.


If you do opt to have breast surgery, incision and implant placement may make a difference in terms of your ability to breast-feed. For example, in rare cases a periareolar incision (around the edge of the nipple) may interrupt or disturb the milk ducts. Placing implants below the pectoral (chest) muscle is least likely to disturb the milk ducts.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breast-feeding for the first 6 months of your infant's life, and continued breastfeeding for at least their first year.

Talk to Your Plastic Surgeon

Discuss your plans to breast-feed with your board-certified plastic surgeon. Your surgeon will be able to work with you to achieve the best possible aesthetic results without compromising your plans to breast-feed. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breast-feeding for the first six months of your infant's life, and continued breast-feeding for at least their first year.

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    Ronald H. Schuster, MD

    10807 Falls Road, #100
    Baltimore, MD 21093
    (800) 572-1096
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    Joshua A. Greenwald, MD, FACS

    Greenwald Plastic Surgery
    166 5th Ave
    Second Floor
    New York City, NY 10010
    (914) 421-0113
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    Arnold S. Breitbart, MD

    Arnold S. Breitbart, MD
    700 Park Avenue
    New York, NY 10021
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