Breast surgery: before or after having children?

What do plastic surgeons advise?


I am 24 years old and, for many years now, I have been thinking of getting a breast augmentation.

The only thing holding me back is that I haven’t got any children yet. Is it recommended that we wait until after we have children? Is there a case I won’t be able to breastfeed if I get breast implants?

Nodas Kapositas, MD
Greece Plastic Surgeon

I have performed this surgery on a number of single women worldwide. I personally believe that the decision is clearly up to you and no one can tell you what the right thing is for you. If you are about to get married, you can wait until you have children.
Please bear in mind that numerous women have given birth to children after a breast augmentation surgery and faced no problem whatsoever with breastfeeding. Your preoperative breast size is an important factor. If you are a C cup and you want a breast enlargement surgery, it would be better for you to wait, because the chances of your breast sagging are big. A lot of women with AA or B cup size enlarged their breast to C before pregnancy, without risking the result of the surgery, but maintained their body weight during pregnancy.
Skin elasticity is also something that should be seriously taken into account. If you do decide to have the surgery before children, you should avoid large implants.

Michael Law, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon

I personally perform breast implants on many women before they have children. Women can be very pleased with their breast after pregnancy and breastfeeding, and not feel the need to undergo a further surgery. It is totally safe to get breast implants before pregnancy as well as to breastfeed.
However, there is a chance breasts will lose some volume or even change shape to a certain degree after pregnancy. The decision is solely up to the woman. Usually, I encourage women who hope to become pregnant soon to wait until they have the breast augmentation surgery.

Jeremy Pyle, MD:
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon

That’s a very good and common question. A quick response would be that many women are subjected to a breast enlargement surgery, and later breastfeed their child with no problem at all. Every time breast tissue is distorted, there is the possibility that functional abilities will also be affected. To the best of my knowledge, there is no sufficient evidence that your ability to breastfeed will be affected by the implants.
The real question is whether you are truly ready to proceed with this surgery in confidence. Find a board certified plastic surgeon that you trust and discus with him. Together, you will find out if you are ready to undergo the surgery.


M.Scott Haydon, MD
Austin Plastic Surgeon

I agree with the previous responses. If you are thinking of having children soon, then it is best for you that you wait. You are young and so your breast will retain its good condition for the next 5-10 years to come. If you are thinking it ay take some years before you have children, then I believe you can have the surgery now. Implants should have an impact on your ability to breastfeed in the future, and you will be in a position to enjoy your new breast for the time being. In the long run, a lot of people like me believe that implants help in maintain breast shape and lead to less sagging over time.

William T. Stoeckel, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon

My advice is that if you are planning on having children over the next year, you should wait at least six months after stopping breastfeeding before you have a breast augmentation surgery. If you are thinking of having children in at least one year from now, then you should proceed with the surgery; it sounds reasonable and safe. Problems with breastfeeding are few when the patient opts for medium-sized implants. There is a risk of seeing a change in the shape or volume of the breast after pregnancy. Personally, I had patients who had children after their breast augmentation surgery and they faced no significant problems.

Wayne I. Yamahata, MD
Sacramento Plastic Surgeon

That is a very important and common question you’re asking. Studies have shown that most women can successfully breastfeed their children after a breast augmentation surgery. Regarding the timing of the surgery, my advice would be to delay it if you’re planning to have children in the immediate future. If you see yourself having children in many years from now, then it would be quite reasonable for you to have it now. For indecisive patients, this is a very personal matter. The choice depends on the extent they will benefit from breast implants, having in mind the vision of a future, corrective surgery.

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon

Breast augmentation should not affect breastfeeding. The implants used in breast augmentation surgery are placed under the mammary gland, independently of whether they were put under the chest, under the fascia of the pectoralis major muscle. The incisions performed around the nipple may destroy some ducts and may affect breastfeeding, but today, all evidence suggests that in general terms breast augmentation does not affect breastfeeding.

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon

Studies show that women can successfully breastfeed after a breast augmentation surgery. Yet, the breast can change due to multiple pregnancies. If you are planning on getting pregnant in the near future, you should wait until you are done with pregnancy and breastfeeding. The answer is always individualized and it’s worth talking to your doctor.

Grant Stevens, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon

Now, that’s a great question! If you are planning on having children in the year to come, you’d better wait. In not, have the surgery and enjoy the results until you are ready to become a mother. Breast implants should not refrain you from breastfeeding. I wish you the best!

Peter J. Capizzi, MD
Charlotte Plastic Surgeon

Having a breast augmentation surgery before having children is an absolutely right decision. However, if you are trying to become pregnant or if you are planning on breastfeeding in the year to come, it’s better that you wait. Usually, breast implants do not affect your ability to breastfeed.

Christopher J. Morea, MD
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon

Thank you for your question. It is very safe to proceed with a breast augmentation surgery before having children. And yes, you can breastfeed if you have implants. Breasts, however, are subjected to many changes after pregnancy and breastfeeding. In any case, you will always have the implant to helo you with any changes that may occur.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon

That is a common question, but when the time comes that you must decide. I personally think that if you are planning on having children in the next 1-3 years to come, it would be better if you waited. But if you do proceed with the breast surgery, I would recommend that you do not use the incision performed inside the breast skin, right under the lower half of the nipple area, as it may inhibit you from breastfeeding; other approaches do not have this result.



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