Lawrence Tong, MD of the Yorkville Institute of Plastic Surgery responds to a trio of common questions regarding how pregnancy can affect a previous breast augmentation or tummy tuck.
Toronto, ON — For women who desire to start a family in the future, the decision to undergo certain cosmetic surgery procedures can be a bit more complex than for those who have already had children, states Dr. Lawrence Tong, a double board certified plastic surgeon in Toronto. These individuals have to consider the physical changes that typically accompany pregnancy and breastfeeding, he continues, as well as how the timing of surgery can impact the results of a treatment they may have previously received.
At his practice, Dr. Tong says two procedures that often raise questions regarding plastic surgery and pregnancy are breast augmentation and abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). Some of the most common inquiries he hears from prospective patients include:
- “Will pregnancy harm my breast implants?”
- “Can I still breast feed with breast implants?”
- “Is it okay to undergo tummy tuck surgery before having kids?”
According to the Toronto plastic surgeon: “Regardless of the specific changes that may occur during and after pregnancy, the form and integrity of breasts implants should not be compromised, no matter the type of implants that were placed.” That said, some woman may develop excess skin and/or breast drooping as a result of breast volume fluctuations, he explains. Should this be the case, the pre-pregnancy appearance of the breasts may not return, possibly leading to a need or desire for a breast lift and/or larger implants to regain a more youthful aesthetic.
In regard to breastfeeding with implants, Dr. Tong notes, “Women who are capable of producing a sufficient amount of breast milk prior to receiving breast implants should still be able to breast feed their children after breast augmentation, especially when specific techniques are utilized.” In addition, when the procedure is performed safely by a qualified plastic surgeon, he says the saline or silicone gel solution found inside implants should have no negative effect on milk production glands and/or surrounding breast tissues in the rare event of a leak or rupture.
In response to the last question, Dr. Tong explains that undergoing abdominoplasty prior to having children does not usually present any health or safety issues for the mother or fetus; however, he typically recommends women planning to have children in the near future wait to receive treatment until after they are done having kids. “When women who have previously undergone a tummy tuck become pregnant,” he states, “the skin and muscle tissues of their abdomen often restretch to accomodate the developing baby, frequently compromising the results of their former procedure.” When this occurs, a revisional procedure – such as another full tummy tuck or mini tummy tuck – is often needed to restore the results of the initial abdominoplasty.
Ultimately, Dr. Tong says these are simply three of many questions that should be asked by prospective cosmetic surgery patients who may desire to have children in the future. He encourages anyone in this position to consult with a board certified plastic surgeon to learn all they need to know to feel completely at ease and one hundred percent confident in their decision to receive aesthetic treatment prior to becoming pregnant.
About Lawrence Tong, MD, FACS, FRCSC
Dr. Tong earned his medical degree at the University of Toronto. Subsequently, he completed his Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery training at the University of Michigan Medical Center, which continually ranks as one of the top plastic surgery training programs in the U.S. In addition to being certified by both the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and the American Board of Plastic Surgery, he maintains active membership in some of the aesthetic industry’s most prestigious organizations, including the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. He also remains actively involved in plastic surgery research and education. Dr. Tong is available for interview upon request.
For more information, visit myplasticsurgerytoronto.com.
Yorkville Institute of Plastic Surgery
199 Avenue Road