Plastic Surgery 101

How to fix breast implants when they move

Q. I've had breast implants for approximately 15 years. Recently I noticed that when I lay down my breasts go to the sides and it seems like there is something sticking out from the bottom of my breasts. Is this possible after so much time and is there something I can do about it?

A. The problem that you are having is not uncommon. Your implants have expanded and created a bigger pocket over the years with your normal movement. Because the pocket is enlarged your implants can move back-and-forth. Fortunately for you there is a surgical solution. And if you don't want mind how your breasts look in the buff, you can always wear a bra and control the situation without surgery.

To correct your problem, you would have to undergo surgery. The surgery requires general anesthesia to be able to relax your muscles and get complete exposure of the area. In addition, your implants would have to be replaced. The plastic surgeon would then have to remove a portion of the capsule that has formed around your implant to tighten the pocket. The capsule is then sutured together to make the closure strong.

Occasionally when you have a “bottoming out,’’ the surgeon might have to remove some skin in your natural fold to remove the excess skin that has developed. The same may be true for lateral bulging. More often, closure of the capsule will solve that problem. Your post-operative recovery from this procedure is longer than a routine breast augmentation, as you will need to wear a bra for approximately one month to support the tissue. You should have a full recovery after this procedure. Occasionally the tissues are weak, which would cause a recurring situation. One benefit of changing your implants is that the new gummy bear implants feel and look more natural, and many patients like them better.

Dr. Carlos Wolf is a partner in Miami Plastic Surgery and is board certified. Email your questions to him at: Cwolf@miamiplasticsurgery.com

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