Friday, September 2, 2016

Healthy Habits: Breastfeeding and Breast Implants

I recently the opportunity to interview Dr. Max Lehfeldt about some common breastfeeding questions concerning implants. 

What are the most common myths when it comes to breastfeeding and breast implants?  Are there any “myths” that are true?

The most common "myth" when it comes to breastfeeding and breast implants is that breastfeeding is not possible with implants. Nothing could be further from the truth! The vast majority of women with implants are able to breast feed.  Having the implant placed below the muscle (deep under the breast tissue) through an incision below the breast (away from the nipple and milk ducts) can also improve a mom's ability to breast feed after implant surgery.  There certainly are a number of women who are unable to breastfeed -- both with and without implants. But implants and breastfeeding are possible and appropriate placement through incisions away from the nipple and deep to the chest muscle can further help prevent breastfeeding disruption.  Patients can visit for additional information regarding implant surgery.  


What are the most common concerns among moms with implants, or those interested in getting implants?

The most common concerns among moms with implants have to do with ability to breastfeed and how changes with pregnancy will impact the breast and implant appearance over time. As was mentioned previously, most patients with implants should be able to breastfeed. It is important to keep in mind, however, that pregnancy can have some dramatic effects on the breasts and body. The breast tissue becomes enlarged and the skin will expand. This occurs naturally even when implants are in place. Ultimately, the breast tissue will reduce in size and there will be some recoil of the skin. All during these processes the implants remain very "stable" and do not change.  hey provide the consistent volume and structure that the breast tissue and breast skin envelop.  After breast feeding, many moms with implants find their breasts return to a normal pre-baby shape and size. There are some moms, however, where the nipple may appear a bit low due to excess skin stretching and the breast tissue may be thinned out. This may lead to a more "hollow" upper portion of the breast.  Many moms find that having implants will reduce this "hollow" appearance. The major benefit of implants is that they can prevent and correct the natural upper breast "hollowing" that often occurs after breastfeeding.  Sometimes the low nipple position and excess loose skin will need to be corrected with a breast lift.  This involves reshaping the breast skin and breast tissue over the implant to achieve a more ideal breast size, shape, and appearance.  


Moms-to-be have many concerns about getting implants. They are concerned about the same things EVERY woman considering implants is concerned about: size, shape, implant type, implant life span, recovery, surgical risks, mammograms, PLUS the ability to breastfeed. It is important that ANY women considering implant surgery before or after children, consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss their options. Another great resource for breast and body surgery is I encourage women to educate themselves about the options available and is a great place to start!


For moms interested in implants, when is the best time for them to undergo this treatment?

Timing of implant surgery for moms, as with many things in life, is important. The best, most consistent and predictable results are achieved when the breasts have "stabilized" at least three months after breastfeeding. A mom does not want to undergo implant surgery while they are actively using their breasts for their baby's nutrition. The breasts are very dynamic during this time and size and shape will be changing during the process. It is best to wait at least three months for these changes to run their course before adding an implant into the mix. Surgery during active breast feeding would not be a good idea as some of the medications from surgery could be transferred via the milk to the nursing baby. I recommend that all my moms considering breast implant surgery wait at least three months from the last time they breast feed. We then have a better idea of what we are dealing with, the amount of excess skin, the amount of breast tissue volume loss, and the position of the nipple.  We then can simulate their potential results using the Vectra XT 3D simulation system along with the suite of Allergan Natrelle® Inspira implants. This gives moms a wonderful and accurate perspective on their options and choices. It also helps moms understand if they would benefit from a breast lift along with an implant.  


What questions should moms consider before undergoing breast augmentation?

Moms should consider, first and foremost, WHO should be doing their surgery. Only a board-certified plastic surgeon has the training and expertise to deliver the best balance of results and safety. Moms can find a local board certified plastic surgeon in their area by visiting Another great site to find qualified board certified plastic surgeons is the Amercian Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons Mom's considering breast augmentation should start their education at This is a very comprehensive site that Allergan has dedicated to moms and helping them restore their bodies and achieve their aesthetic goals. Allergan makes Natrelle Breast Implants that lead the market in quality, choice, technology, and safety. There are options out there and it is critical to do your homework and find the best fit for your body and aesthetic goal. Start with these resources and you can't go wrong.


Can you talk a little about the options women have when it comes to breast augmentation?

There are wonderful options and choices for women considering breast augmentation.  Implant technology continues to make headway, and the latest generation of Natrelle® Breast Implants exemplify the best there is to offer. Allergan has invested greatly in pushing the technology forward -- they have wonderful anatomically shaped implants -- 410s -- along with highly cohesive round silicone gel and saline implants.  With the Inspira line of implants, there are literally over a hundred different sizes and profiles to perfectly complement a woman's body and fulfill her goals. Never in the history of plastic surgery have we had so many great options to offer our patients. These implants can provide years and years of wonderful and safe results. It truly is an exciting time for women and their choices for breast augmentation. The key is for women to take that first key step  -- visit and get some great information. Then reach out to your local board certified plastic surgeon and start the conversation!
A few of Dr. Lehfeldt’s career highlights include being part of a team of specialists at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles that successfully separated conjoined twins after 25 hours of surgery! Dr. Lehfeldt has been named as one of Pasadena Magazine’s Top Doctors from 2008-2015 – eight years in a row! Dr. Lehfeldt has also been named “Best Cosmetic Surgeon” by Pasadena Weekly Magazine and their reader poll for their “Best of Pasadena” edition 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2015! 

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