Breast Surgery While Pregnant: Is It Safe?

The hormonal changes accompanying a pregnancy will affect your breasts in different ways. Since they’re temporary, it is not recommended that you get cosmetic breast surgery while pregnant. However, there are other reasons why getting cosmetic breast surgery is unsafe and inadvisable while you’re still pregnant and even for some time after that.

As you approach childbirth, the shape and size of your breasts will continue to change. Many wonder if these changes are permanent or temporary. Additionally, you may want to know how long you should wait for your breasts to take their prepregnancy size and shape. That way, you’d be better able to decide whether or not you even need plastic surgery.

Can You Get Breast Surgery While Pregnant?

Cosmetic breast surgery is an elective surgery and it is not advised that you get one while you’re pregnant. That’s because it’s not safe for the mother or the foetus. Here are a few reasons why you should not get breast surgery while pregnant:

It Can Strain the Body 

Surgery can be mentally and physically draining. Breast augmentation, breast reduction or breast lift are all invasive surgeries that require incisions, anaesthesia and more than a few hours in the operation theatre. After the surgery, the recovery isn’t that easy either.

You will have to take time off for 1-2 weeks and will need help in your day-to-day life for some time. The surgery itself can put a lot of strain on the body of a healthy individual. However, if you’re pregnant, you’ll feel this strain even more. And it can affect how you heal and recover after the surgery. You may end up with serious post-op complications.

Your Breasts Are Constantly Changing 

Throughout the first, second, and third trimesters, your breasts are changing. They become heavier and change shape as a result of hormonal changes. The mammary glands located in the breasts produce milk to prepare for the arrival of the baby. You’ll experience significant changes in your breast as you near childbirth.

That is why doctors almost always recommend waiting for a breast augmentation, reduction or lift until the completion of your family plans. Each pregnancy can affect your breasts permanently.

Keep in mind that women experience these changes even if they already had an implant before they got pregnant. Although the pregnancy will not affect the implant, the structure of the breast will change regardless. That’s another reason why you should not get breast surgery while pregnant.

Your Weight Will Change

According to the US National Library of Medicine, women gain around 12 to 16 pounds of weight while they’re pregnant. This is more if there are twins. While a lot of the weight changes are because of the baby and the retention of fluid, it can also happen if you’re consuming foods that are calorie-rich.

And your breast size can increase as a result of weight gain. You might not be able to predict what your breasts will look like after you’ve lost all the “baby weight” following childbirth and breastfeeding. You need to be close to your ideal weight before you undergo breast surgery. And since maintaining a stable weight might not be possible, you should not get breast surgery while pregnant.

General Anaesthesia Can Be Dangerous For The Foetus 

The drugs used in anaesthesia can easily cross the placental barrier and affect the developing baby. It carries the risk of premature birth and abortion. Additionally, it can affect the brain development of a child and can cause growth retardation.

Some of the drugs used in general anaesthesia may also be teratogenic. Teratogen is a chemical agent that can cause abnormalities in the development of the foetus and even increase the risk of miscarriage. That’s why no experienced doctor would recommend breast surgery while pregnant.

This is especially so because cosmetic surgery is elective. It’s not life-threatening, so it can be delayed without any harm to your health. Even when a woman has to undergo a non-elective surgery that’s medically necessary, doctors usually recommend waiting till the second trimester.

You Will Have Medicines In Your System

After breast surgery, patients are given medications for pain, infection (antibiotics), and swelling. These are prescribed for the management of temporary post-op side effects. Not all drugs can be safely taken during pregnancy. Additionally, they could pass through the breast milk and affect the baby even after birth.

That’s also why you should not get breast surgery while pregnant. If you recently had breast surgery and are planning to get pregnant, you should inform your doctor about the medicines that you took and ask whether or not they’re safe.

If they aren’t, you should ask how long they will stay in your system so that you can ensure a safe pregnancy. Your doctor may recommend waiting for at least a year after getting cosmetic breast surgery before you try to get pregnant. That’s because breast surgery can take 1 year to heal completely.

How Soon After Pregnancy Can You Get Breast Surgery?

If you’re planning to get breast augmentation, reduction or lift surgery, your doctor will recommend you to wait for 3-6 months after giving birth. And if you’ve been breastfeeding, they’d recommend you to wait till 3-6 months after you’ve stopped breastfeeding.

Getting cosmetic breast surgery immediately after giving birth is not a good idea because your body is still healing, and your breasts still haven’t settled into their final shape. Even if you already have breast implants and want to remove or change them, you need to wait for 3-6 months and, preferably, till after you’ve completed your family.

What If I Get Pregnant Right After Breast Augmentation Surgery?

If you’ve had a surprise pregnancy soon after getting breast augmentation surgery, you do not need to worry as it is safe. But it is important that you take good care of yourself and rest to allow your body to heal. Also, in this scenario, you should consult with your doctor to make sure that you and your baby are safe. It’s the same if you get a breast reduction or breast lift surgery.

Keep in mind that soon after cosmetic breast surgery, most of the healing will take place in the 4-6 weeks following it. Although your body will continue to heal for the rest of the year (swelling can take several months to go away), you should start to feel better, and the healing process will get easier.

Will Breast Implants Sag After Pregnancy?

The pregnancy will not affect the breast implant, but the anatomy and physiology of your breasts will change. The skin may stretch, become loose (ptosis) and appear deflated. This will affect the results of cosmetic breast surgery. In this case, you may decide to get the breast lift or augmentation again to change the appearance and size of your breasts.

Although the size of the breast matters here. Women with smaller breasts do not have a lot of breast tissue, so pregnancy will not affect their breasts significantly. You may lose the results of your augmentation, reduction or lift surgery and might end up needing a revision surgery even if you just had the cosmetic surgery.

Can You Breastfeed With Implants?

Many women who have implants wonder if they’d be able to breastfeed after giving birth. The implants are so placed (behind the breast tissue and/or pectoralis muscle) that they do not affect the mammary glands in the breast. So, your milk production should not be affected if you have implants.

Also, you may wonder if the silicone in implants will affect the composition of the milk that you produce. One study published in the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery journal showed that there was more silicone in the formula milk than in the milk of women who had silicone implants.

What If You Get Breast Surgery While Pregnant?

There are risks associated with cosmetic breast surgery if you are pregnant, so an experienced, trained doctor will not recommend or perform it. However, if you do end up getting implants, reduction or breast lift surgery, you should expect poor results. It can be hard to predict exactly what your breasts will look like, but the pregnancy will change your breasts.

Additionally, as mentioned above, it’s not a good idea to get breast surgery while pregnant because it’s not safe for the mother and the body. The medications and anaesthesia alone can pose a danger. If you want to get the surgery after being pregnant, you can consult a plastic surgeon while you’re still pregnant so you can plan things better. But you’re strongly advised against breast surgery while pregnant.

Concluding Remarks 

Cosmetic breast surgery can be taxing on the body. You’ll have to deal with temporary post-op side effects while having limited mobility for a few weeks. This can be especially difficult if you’re pregnant. Additionally, the risk that the surgery poses to the baby is a big reason why breast surgery while pregnant is not recommended. Being an elective procedure, your doctor will recommend you to wait for 3-6 months after birth or breastfeeding.

If you do not get breast surgery while pregnant but get pregnant soon after the surgery while you’re still recovering, you shouldn’t worry. But you should still get in touch with your doctor immediately. Here, keep in mind that the pregnancy will affect the final results of the procedure. It’s best if you have an in-depth consultation with a medical professional before you decide to get cosmetic breast surgery.

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