Mr Nigel Horlock

Consultant Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon

Should I wait until after I have had children before having a breast augmentation?

breast augmentation timingThere really isn’t a complete consensus amongst breast surgeons when it comes to answering this question on breast augmentation timing. The reality is that no two cases are the same and there are many variables to consider before making the decision to undergo a breast augmentation prior to completing your family.

Breast augmentation has little impact on pregnancy

The good news is that the procedure has little impact on a pregnancy. In a number of studies, including a ten-year one carried by the American FDA, the procedure has been proven to have no impact on fertility and in no way affects the gestation period (no threat of miscarriages) or cause birth defects.  There is evidence to suggest that in a few cases breast augmentation may cause difficulty in breastfeeding, but this is hard to prove definitively and it has been suggested that in these cases the reason is more likely to be psychological than physiological.

One of the first questions to ask yourself is how soon are you planning to get pregnant? If it’s in the next 12 months, then it might be better to hold off from the surgery. Whilst it’s not likely to have an effect on the pregnancy or the baby after childbirth the size and shape of the breast will change for the majority of women and this should be a consideration before embarking on a procedure that might need further work after having your family.

Whilst breastfeeding, the breasts will swell and when they reduce back to their pre-pregnancy size they often tend to sag and lose some of the perkiness. It’s quite possible that a woman who’s had a breast augmentation before giving birth will still be happy with the results later, but many women choose to return for a further operation. In these cases, larger implants may be fitted to fill out the stretched and saggy skin or a combination breast uplift and augmentation is performed.

There isn’t really any way of predicting how breasts will change after childbirth. Some surgeons recommend looking at the mother’s body shape as a guide, but this can be taken as no more than a loose indication. For some women the changes are minimal whilst for others, it can be dramatic and life-changing. The length of time spent feeding on the breast and the number of children can all have an effect too.  It’s different for every woman.

Discuss the pros and cons with the surgeon

The best way to make the decision is to discuss the situation in detail with the surgeon prior to committing. For some women, the risks of a second post-partum operation are far outweighed by the impact the procedure will have on their self-confidence and general happiness in the meantime. Mr Nigel Horlock will carefully weigh up the facts and offer you expert, unbiased advice tailored to your circumstances.


Mr Horlock's NHS practice is based in the regional plastics unit at Salisbury District Hospital. He covers Salisbury, Southampton and Dorchester. He sees patients in his private practice at Southampton, Salisbury, Dorchester.

CONTACT MR HORLOCK
Spire Southampton Hospital
Chalybeate Close,
Southampton,
Hampshire
S016 6UY
Sophie Freud - CLINIC APPOINTMENTS: 02380 914 504
Julie Martin: 02380 764 969
info@nigelhorlock.co.uk