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Galactorrhea

 

Galactorrhea after breast augmentation is a common condition, especially if the patient has just recently been breast feeding within a few months prior to the surgery.  Galactorrhea produces a white fluid and is a condition that occurs when a woman's breast makes milk even though she is not breast feeding a baby. The milk may come from one or both breasts. It may leak with no stimulation or it may leak only when the breasts are touched. 

There are many experts who believe that increased levels of "prolactin" (hormone responsible for the stimulation of milk production) is in your body.  Prolactin is mainly produced by the pituitary gland, in which is responsible for the secretion and regulation of several hormones of your body.

 

Galactorrhea has many causes:

  • Surgery of the Breast:  any surgical procedure involving breast tissue - augmentation, breast lift, reduction, biopsy, etc.

  • Tumors: (normally benign) - for example, tumors of the pituitary gland

  • Medication: opiates, hormones (birth-control or estrogen replacement therapy), anti-depressants, blood pressure medication, certain tranquilizers

  • Herbal supplements:  nettle, fennel, blessed thistle, anise, and fenugreek seed

  • Recreational Drugs: marijuana

  • Pregnancy:  when you are pregnant, the body has increased levels of prolactin

  • Clothing: fabric that might irritate the breast - especially if the woman is going braless

  • BSE - Breast Self Exams:  doing very frequent BSE on a daily basis

  • Stimulation:  especially during sexual activity

  • Hypothyroidism: (under-active thyroid) - thyroid gland is what produces hormones 

 

Galactorrhea after breast augmentation can be caused from post-operative fibrosis and or a blockage of the mammary ducts. It is considered a mild side effect of having breast implants and usually stops on its own. Some cases of galactorrhea may need to be treated with medication, and extreme cases - the removal of the implants.

 

                                           Image and cross section of a female breast showing milk ducts, nipple, areola, milk secreting glands, fat, and muscle

 

 

Galactorrhea Signs and Symptoms:
  • Discharge from the nipple that has no trace of blood - appears white, yellow or green in coloration

  • Discharge from the nipple that is spontaneous or manually expressed

  • Constant or sporadic nipple discharge

  • One or both breasts can be affected

  • Absent or irregular menstrual periods

  • Headaches or vision problems

 

 

 


 

    

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