Think You Can’t Breastfeed After Implants? Guess Again

Think You Can’t Breastfeed After Implants? Guess Again

There is a common misconception that women aren’t able to breastfeed after having breast augmentation surgery. However, this is not always the case. The ability to breastfeed after this type of procedure depends on many factors like the original state of the breasts prior to surgery and the techniques used during surgery. In most cases, women can still breastfeed after having breast augmentation surgery, but there are a few things to know.


Potential Problems of Breastfeeding After Breast Augmentation Surgery

Nipple sensitivity is one potential problem. After having your breasts enlarged, either with saline or silicone implants, you might find that your nipples are more or less sensitive than they use to be.

Exaggerated engorgement is another potential problem. After giving birth, you could experience breast engorgement, which means they are very tender and swollen. This often times results in chills, fever, and intense pain. This can obviously make you unfit to breastfeed during these complications.

The last and most common potential problem is the risk of decreased milk production. Although most mothers are still able to produce their own milk after having breast augmentation surgery, some experience a decrease in the amount that is produced. Thereby, you might not produce enough milk to adequately provide all of the nourishment your child requires naturally. You can speak with a lactation consultant and your pediatrician to discuss the best options for a feeding plan if this happens.

Is My Ability to Breastfeed Affected by the Type of Surgery?

The type of surgery can affect breastfeeding options. Generally, if your milk gland system is left intact, then your chances of breastfeeding increase. Generally, this means that your implant will be placed underneath the chest muscle and behind your milk glands. If you opt for incisions through your armpit or under the fold of your breast, you will most likely experience less difficulty in breastfeeding.

If you opt for incisions around the areolae, there is a higher risk of difficulty in breastfeeding, but this cannot be determined until after the surgery and the extent of the nerve damage is revealed. After all, nerves are what trigger the brain to release oxytocin and prolactin during breastfeeding, which are the two hormones responsible for milk production. If the nerves around the areolae are damaged or cut, you run a higher risk of having low milk production. However, this cannot be fully determined until you attempt to breastfeed.

Does silicone cause harm to the baby while breastfeeding?

Currently, there is no evidence that shows harmful side effects of silicone implants leaking into breast milk. After all, silicone is widely used in the environment, and it has even been used to help treat infants who are experiencing colic, or stomach gas. Saline-filled implants can be a better option if you want to avoid the chance or silicone ruptures.

Will the Shape or Size of My Breasts Affect Breastfeeding?

If you have insufficient glandular tissue, this can be a huge factor in milk production. It can cause a decrease in your overall milk production, meaning you might not produce enough to sustain your infant’s needs. If your breast augmentation surgery was due to having underdeveloped or hypoplastic breasts, you run the risk of producing less milk.

These types of breasts have a lack of normal fullness, seem swollen at the tip, and are very narrow. During pregnancy, these types of breasts grow very little if not at all, and they usually appear to be widely spaced before augmentation. If this is how you would have described your breasts prior to your surgery, then you have a higher risk of producing less milk. Your plastic surgeon can make sure you know what to expect during a consultation.

Schedule a Consultation

The most important step you can take in ensuring you can breastfeed successfully after your breast augmentation is speaking with your plastic surgeon about your options and hopes for nursing. To get started, contact our Allegany office by calling or filling out our online form.

Mini, Traditional or Extended: Which Tummy Tuck is Best for Me?

You may have heard of the tummy tuck procedure, but it might surprise you to hear that there are different types of tummy tucks. Each is suited to a different goal. Dr. Carpenter can give you the best idea of what procedure would be best for you and your goals. As you schedule your consultation, you should know about your options.

Mini Tummy Tuck

This tummy tuck is the least invasive and generally produces the least dramatic results. “Mini” tummy tuck usually involves a combination of liposuction of the upper and central abdomen and a conservative removal of loose skin in the lower abdomen. It can be a great option for patients who are looking for only a minor adjustment and a little skin removed from the area below the belly button. This technique does not include  tightening the abdominal muscles. Patients return to usual activities in a few days. If you’re looking for a subtle improvement and minimal downtime, a mini tummy tuck might be your best option.

Traditional Tummy Tuck

As the name implies, this is the most common type of tummy tuck and produces a great balance of results and downtime. This tummy tuck is most beneficial in postpartum women because surgical tightening of the abdominal muscles (which become stretched out by pregnancy) is performed. Usually all the excess skin and fatty tissue below the belly button is removed, and the upper abdominal skin is flattened and tightened. Stretch marks below the belly button are removed with the skin and fat. Return to driving and normal daily activities is usually two weeks, although it may 4-6 weeks to return to vigorous exercise or heavy lifting.

Extended Tummy Tuck

This technique addresses the abdomen and flanks, or “love handle” areas if the lower abdominal roll extends around almost to the back. This is most common in massive weight loss patients. A vertical incision may be used as well as an extended horizontal incision, resulting in a comprehensive surgical solution for excess skin and fat all around the lower body and flanks. As in traditional tummy tuck, the abdominal muscles are tightened as well.  An extended tummy tuck downtime is similar to traditional tummy tuck. It can produce dramatic results if you’re looking for a complete abdominal and flank rejuvenation.

Belt lipectomy

As the name implies, Belt Lipectomy is a 360 degree removal of excess fat and skin from the lower body, basically combining a lower body lift with the extended abdominoplasty.  This improves the contour of the buttock and lateral thighs (also called a lower body lift) and the  flanks and abdomen. Patients who have experienced massive weight loss are the most common candidates. Recovery time may be slightly longer than  abdominoplasty, but the results can be dramatic!

During your consultation, Dr. Carpenter can assess your body and recommend the best procedure for you and your intended goals. To schedule your consultation, contact our office in Cumberland or fill out our form online!

How Long Do Breast Implants Last?

Although breast implants do not actually perish, they’re not meant to last a lifetime. The typical silicone or saline implants can last for 10 years or more before a replacement is needed. But the majority are taken out earlier because of cosmetic or complication worries. So, if you’re wondering when you may require an implant replacement, continue reading to learn more the most common causes for removal.

Breast Augmentation


Some women may develop capsular contracture, or hardened scarring around the implants. In addition, this may result in tightness, tenderness, and hardening. While the development of scar tissue is a natural response to the implant, hardening of this scarring will need to be addressed with a revision breast augmentation to remove the scar tissue and place fresh implants.

Saline rupture

Saline implants essentially act as water balloons. When a tear or rupture occurs, the saline will leave the shell, resulting in an immediately noticeable deflation. This saline is completely safe to be absorbed by the body, so there is no immediate danger if you experience a rupture. However, you’ll want to address your deflated implant as soon as possible to restore the natural appearance of your breast. It is important to note that ruptures are very rare, but the risk of one happening increases the older your implants are.

Silicone rupture

While still rare, silicone implants can also rupture. Silicone gel is quite a bit thicker compared to saline. If a silicone implant ruptures, the gel will likely stay within the scar tissue formed around the implant. However, in some cases, the silicone can leak into the body and cause harm. Because a silicone implant keeps its shape during a rupture, it is known as a silent rupture. The use of silicone implants will require regular MRIs to ensure their structure and safety. Some choose to have their implants replaced after so many years to lower their risk of rupture once again.

While silicone ruptures can go undetected, if you have any of these symptoms, contact your plastic surgeon right away:

  • Decreased breast size
  • Hard knots
  • Uneven appearance of the breasts
  • Numbing
  • Burning
  • Changes in sensation


Rippling occurs when the implants begin to weaken, showing visible lines in the implant shell that can even be seen through the breast skin. This cosmetic complication can occur in saline implants. Although rippling is not dangerous, you will want to have a revision at some point to restore the appearance of your breasts.

Preparing for a Revision Augmentation

It is important to see a board certified plastic surgeon for your breast implant removal or replacement. It is best to go to your original plastic surgeon if possible.

Based on the concerns you are experiencing, your surgeon may recommend:

  • implant removal
  • removal and breast lift
  • removal of hardened scar tissue
  • implant replacement

In Summary

Implants are not ensured to endure a lifetime. A removal or replacement procedure may be necessary if you experience complications, or if you want to reduce your risk of complications. Whatever the reason, always make sure you are prepared for the possibility of a second procedure.

Determining Whether Eyelid Surgery Is Right For You

Blepharoplasty, commonly known as eyelid surgery, is a very popular plastic surgery procedure which is specifically designed to improve and enhance the cosmetic appearance of your eyelids. It also helps to repair any functional problems of the eyelids such as puffy eyes or eyelids that are obstructing your vision. Eyelid surgery not only improves the eyes but also adds a youthful, refreshed look to your overall face.

Why Choose Blepharoplasty?

Dr. Robert J. Carpenter of Allegany Plastic Surgery in Cumberland, MD advises his patients to choose eyelid surgery for various reasons. A common goal of all these patients is their desire for cosmetic improvement. People who generally feel that they look sleepy, angry, or tired because of hooded eyelids, drooping eyebrows, wrinkles around eyes, and frown lines are good candidates for blepharoplasty because these things may not be able to be corrected with non-surgical procedures.

Upper Vs. Lower Blepharoplasty

The position of the eyebrows is very important in the appearance of the upper eyelid. When you begin to age or lose weight, your eyebrow tends to fall and create visual weight on the upper face. As a result of this, excessive fat and skin falls onto the upper lid area and thus it gives a hooded or dark appearance.  With the lower eyelid, the most important consideration is a loss of fatty tissue or loss of muscle tone, causing wrinkling, dark circles, or bulging.

What Are My Options?

There are several types of cosmetic interventions that your surgeon can recommend to you. This will depend on the appearance of your eyelids and the types of results that you are hoping to achieve from plastic surgery. Some of these procedures include:

  • Structural fat grafting: the fat tissue of the thinning eyelid is enhanced, thus improving wrinkling and dark circles
  • Brow elevation: the falling eyebrow is lifted and repositioned
  • Excision of any extra drooping skin or excessive fat pads
  • Botox or other non-surgical skin or injectable treatments

The functional impairments associated with drooping eyelids are very common. They can cause visual field obstruction, in which the vision is impaired because of drooping upper eyelids. There is another condition associated with drooping lower eyelid known as ectropion. This condition causes irritation and dryness in the eye because of increased contact of the eye with the air. If you are experiencing any of the mentioned problems, you should opt for blepharoplasty as early as possible.

To discover your options for facial rejuvenation with Dr. Carpenter, contact Allegany Plastic Surgery to schedule a consultation. To do this call our office or fill out an online form. Be sure to check out our extensive gallery of before-and-after photos to see what Dr. Carpenter can do for you.

A Quick Guide to Rhinoplasty

Rhinoplasty: An Overview

Rhinoplasty is commonly known as nose reshaping surgery, or even a nose job. Despite its common reputation, the nose reshaping procedure has a need for excellent technical skills and surgical artistry to achieve both a balanced nasal functionality and appearance. This procedure changes the appearance and shape of the nose and also opens the airway, taking into account the relationship of the nose to the chin, eyes, upper lip, and overall facial balance. An experienced facial plastic surgeon can create a careful preoperative plan with the help of photographs, which are often morphed to see what results can be expected. Patients of Cumberland, Hagerstown, and Morgantown, MD can visit Allegany Plastic Surgery in Cumberland and consult with Dr. Robert Carpenter regarding their nose surgery.

Candidates for Rhinoplasty

Patients who are not satisfied with the appearance of their nose or have some functional breathing problems because of their nose should opt for rhinoplasty. A functional surgery may adjust the soft tissue, cartilages, and upper bones of the nose. Rhinoplasty can also cosmetically change all aspects of the nose, including the nostrils, nasal tip, nasal dorsum, nasal airway, and the junction of the nose and upper lip. Candidates for rhinoplasty should be in good health before they schedule their surgery. They should also be optimistic about the results and carry a positive outlook for postoperative recovery.

The Rhinoplasty Procedure

The surgery usually takes between 1 to 3 hours under anesthesia, depending on how extensive the procedure is and what techniques are used. Incisions can be made either inside the nostrils (closed technique) or across the columella (open technique). Each technique offers benefits, and Dr. Carpenter can choose the right one for you during your consultation. Additional steps can include adjusting the nostrils or area between the nose and mouth, as well as cartilage grafting to enhance the bridge of the nose.

Rhinoplasty Recovery

Immediately following surgery, the incisions will be closed and gauzed packing or a splint will be put in place around your nose to protect it. Dr. Carpenter will then give you a set of postoperative instructions which will help you during your healing process. Many patients are able to return to light work within two weeks of surgery, but strenuous activity should still be monitored until cleared by Dr. Carpenter. You will be able to see results immediately following the procedure, but the full results may take up to a year to fully settle in.

Rhinoplasty can be one of the best ways to reshape and balance the face with subtle adjustments. It’s important to seek out a skilled facial plastic surgeon with experience in producing excellent results from rhinoplasty patients. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Carpenter, contact Allegany Plastic Surgery by calling or filling out our online form.

Choices in Breast Augmentation

If you’ve decided to make the first steps towards your breast augmentation consultation, then you’re not alone. Breast augmentation is consistently the number one plastic surgery procedure from year to year, and many women recognize that this procedure can produce confidence-boosting results. At  your consultation, there are a few things you should be ready to discuss and consider with your plastic surgeon.

What Type of Implant Do I Want?

Despite the wide selection of implants that are now on the market, the choice generally remains pretty simple— implants are generally either saline-filled or silicone-filled. These each have different pros and cons, and other questions like your placement, size, or preferred profile might sway your decision one way or another. Your plastic surgeon can help you determine this, as well as what size will get you the best balance between projection and comfort. Other factors to consider can include the shape of the implant (round or pear-shaped) and surface of the implant (smooth or textured). If it seems overwhelming, your plastic surgeon can guide you to the right type if you have a strong sense of what you want your results to look and feel like.

Where Do I Want Them?

This might seem like a strange question but implants can be placed differently within the breast area for different results. Generally, the implants can be placed on top of the pectoral muscle (but within the pocket of breast tissue) or be placed underneath the pectoral muscle. Where the implant sits on the chest wall will affect the contour and shape of the breast, and your recovery. Your plastic surgeon will make a recommendation on placement based on your implant type and personal anatomy.

How Do I Want Them Placed?

The most common incision for silicone implants is the Inframmary incision (below the breast fold). Depending on your  wishes, anatomy, size of the implant and whether  you’re undergoing an additional procedure at the same time, other incisions may be used, such as periareolar, breast lift incisions and axillary (armpit) incisions.  Your plastic surgeon can take into account all these factors when making this decision.

It can seem overwhelming when trying to navigate the wealth of information available on breast augmentation, but the best person to speak to about your questions is your plastic surgeon who can guide your decision-making process. Your consultation can take some time as you discuss these options and what they mean, but these are important decisions. Contact Allegany Plastic Surgery to begin planning your breast augmentation with Dr. Carpenter, who is a board certified plastic surgeon with many years of experience performing breast augmentations.

Your Liposuction Options

Liposuction can be a great choice for slimming down and contouring your new body, but did you know you have options? Traditional liposuction is still one of the top plastic surgery procedures being performed, but liposuction techniques have come a long way, and you might find that laser alternatives better suit your goals and expectations. Here are some more options to consider while you plan your liposuction consultation.

Traditional Liposuction

Chances are, you know someone who has undergone liposuction— or you have at least heard about it before. Liposuction is still one of the most popular Cumberland plastic surgery procedures because it’s effective and well-tested within the plastic surgery community. Although non-invasive options for fat reduction are more available in the marketplace, the results of these procedures are still far inferior to liposuction. Liposuction is also a great option for removing fat for fat transfer, and is often combined with other procedures like tummy tuck. Liposuction can produce life-changing results.

SmartLipo Triplex

Laser enhanced liposuction (Smartlipo) offers several advantages over traditional liposuction. The laser technology can help melt the fatty tissue, so it’s more easily removed, which can result in less bruising and trauma to the surrounding tissues. This can also mean less pain as you heal and comes with the benefit of skin tightening due to the heat from the laser jumpstarting your body’s collagen production. This technique can be especially effective on areas with higher fat volume, like the stomach and lower body, or where the fat is fibrous, like “love handles’’ and gynecomastia tissue in males, and upper back and buttock fat in women.

Precision Tx

As the name implies, this precise laser liposuction method is effective on areas of small fat volume, like the chin, arms, thighs, knees, and ankles. Like SmartLipo, this technique includes skin tightening, but instead directly heats the bottom layers of the skin so that healing and tightening is faster and more effective. This can be especially effective for treating areas that are prone to sagging and loosening of the skin— like upper inner arms and inner thighs, and may help avoid an excisional  procedure.

The best way to determine the best liposuction procedure for you is through a consultation with your plastic surgeon. Contact Allegany Plastic Surgery to schedule an appointment with board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Carpenter, who can discuss your liposuction treatment options and create your unique treatment plan.

4 Reasons You May Benefit from a Breast Reduction

It’s likely that you know someone who has undergone a surgical breast reduction, because it is one of the most popular breast procedures. Here are some signs and symptoms that your body may be telling you that you are a candidate for breast reduction.

You Have Back or Neck Pain

This is one of the most common things that breast reduction patients talk about when consulting about their procedure. Overly-large breasts can be very heavy and put stress on important areas of the spine and torso muscles. Because the body needs to correct its posture and compensate for the weight of the breasts, the spine and neck can become strained over the course of a lifetime. Although this can have many different causes, don’t rule out that it may be your large breasts causing you pain.

You Experience Rashes or Excessive Sweating

Large breasts can tend to extend far below the inframammary fold because of their size and weight, and this can cause many problems. The foremost one is that this constant skin-on-skin contact can cause sweat to build up, resulting in rash or irritation, especially when wearing certain types of bras. Bra straps can also be responsible for irritation or chafing at the shoulders, where much of the support falls.

You Struggle to Find Fitting Clothes

One easy indicator is that most clothing sizes don’t accommodate overly-large breasts, and you may struggle to find enough room for your bust when looking at shirts or dresses. Bra sizes may also be too small, leading you to look for specialty brands or stores. Unfortunately, this can become costly compared to more mainstream sizes.

You’re Physically Limited

Many women with overly-large breasts find at some point that they are unable to play certain sports or perform certain workouts because even a sports bra doesn’t prevent discomfort or pain from excessive movement. Even mundane activities can cause this, like going up the stairs or lifting. This can obviously have a negative impact on your long-term health and shouldn’t be discounted!

If you feel that you’re experiencing one or more of these factors, you should speak with a board certified plastic surgeon about how you can improve your quality of life with a breast reduction. Contact Allegany Plastic Surgery to meet with Dr. Carpenter who can discuss your options and create your unique treatment plan.

Which Is Best for Your Skin: AHAs or BHAs?

When purchasing skin care products, you may notice that some of them contain AHAs or BHAs. What exactly are these ingredients and what can they do for your skin? Well, AHA stands for alpha hydroxy acids, while BHA stands for beta hydroxy acids. Both of these acids are effective exfoliants to help get rid of dead and dull skin cells. However, certain skin types may be able to benefit from different acids. Read on to learn more about which one is right for you.

If You Have Dry Skin…

You can benefit from AHAs. Some common AHAs include glycolic, lactic, and mandelic acids. These acids are great for sun-damaged and dry skin because they help to exfoliate and moisturize. AHAs may cause sensitivity to the sun for some people, so it is recommended you use them at night and wear SPF during the day.

If You have Acne-Prone Skin…

You can benefit from BHAs. These acids work deep within your pores to help release the dirt and bacteria trapped inside. Those with oily and acne-prone skin can particularly benefit from this. The most common BHA used today is salicylic acid.

Both AHAs and BHAs offer many benefits for your skin. Choosing the right products for you will help to ensure maximum effectiveness of these acids. At our office, we offer ZO skin care products that contain AHAs and BHAs. We recommend the Glycogent™ Exfoliation Accelerator for dry skin, and the Offects® TE-Pads Acne Pore Treatment for acne-prone skin.

Contact Us

If you are interested in learning more about which products can best help your skin, contact our office today! We would be happy to help you find the right ZO product for you.

Is Your Smart Phone Ruining Your Skin?

Did you know that the average American spends nearly half of a day staring at a screen? The Nielsen Company audience report reveals that adults spend about 10 hours each day consuming media. And many of us use our phone to consume media, as it’s portable and always available.

There has been a lot of research done about the damaging effects of blue light, or high-energy visible (HEV) light that is emitted from our devices, and it can take a toll on our vision and sleep patterns. It may also lead to pigment changes and accelerate the development of wrinkles and lines.

Exposure to HEV light damages the skin by impairing the skin’s natural barrier function. It reaches into the deeper layers of the skin to affect our collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid stores. This light also targets pigmentation, which may lead to unwanted uneven pigmentation  or spots.

How to Protect Your Skin

Many skin care companies are now working to incorporate HEV blockers into their sunscreens so that they prevent both skin cancer and early signs of aging. ZO Skin Health is one of these companies, offering a complete line of both UV and HEV- blocking sunscreens. Some of our favorites include:

  • Oclipse-CTM Broad-Spectrum Sunscreen- This sunscreen has an SPF of 50, so you can be sure your skin is protected. It is great for sensitive skin, and protects skin from HEV, UV, and IR-A.
  • Oclipse Sun Spray- This sunscreen comes in spray form with an SPF 50. It protects the skin from HEV, UV, and IR-A and offers full coverage with an angles spray system.
  • Oclipse Sunscreen + Primer- This sunscreen protects and smoothes the skin minimizing the appearance of lines and wrinkles. It also offers a tint and provides a great base for makeup and an SPF of 30.

Contact Us

If you are worried about HEV light, be sure to wear HEV-blocking sunscreen every day! If you would like to learn more about ZO Skin health, contact our office today!

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