Exclusive breastfeeding is highly recommended by the World Health Organization during the first 6 months of life. In parallel, breast augmentation with implants is one of the most performed operations in aesthetic surgery.
The goal of our study was therefore to analyze the potential impact of aesthetic breast implants on breastfeeding.
A retrospective study was carried out in 3 French university hospitals. The main inclusion criterion was adult women of childbearing age (18–50 years old) with bilateral breast hypoplasia. Some features of the surgery, such as the operative indication, the surgical approach, the implant position against the pectoral muscle, and implants features (material, volume, profile), were collected. We conducted a survey by phone about childbirth after the procedure. If the women had children after surgery, we asked them if they breastfed and the characteristics of breastfeeding.
In total, 1316 patients received breast implants in the 3 centers from January 2011 to October 2016 and met our inclusion criteria. We included 1073 patients; 998 women had breast implants with no pregnancy. Among the 75 patients (7%) who gave birth after the surgery, 51 wanted to breastfeed (68%). The patients with a retroglandular implant were significantly less able to breastfeed compared with the patients with retromuscular implants (P = 0.0005). No difference was found for age, the type of surgery, the surgical approach, and the shape or type of implant between the successful breastfeeding group and failed breastfeeding group.
A woman with aesthetic breast implants has a 75% chance of breastfeeding if desired, regardless of the type and the volume of the implant and the surgical approach. She has an 82% probability of breastfeeding with retromuscular implants and 17% with retroglandular implants.