Breast Implant Removal Complications

I was explanted 5 weeks ago. My crease line incisions along with some of my cleavage muscle tends to push in (cleavage line) and pull up (incision) distorting my breasts when flexed. My doctor told me to massage since I have lots of scar tissue with my incisions. He also said my muscles looked good. Is this something that will heal with time?

Doctor Answers 16

Breast distortion after implant removal

This sounds like some early scarring to me.  Your breast tissue and/or skin is adhering to the underlying muscle.  I think your doctor is giving you some good advice to massage.  Try massaging the area while your skin is soaped up the shower.  The scar tissue will soften over several months and your problem may resolve.  Stay is touch with your surgeon and if you still have distortion after 4 -5 months, you may need to have the scar released surgically. 


Lisa Lynn Sowder, M.D.

Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

Explantation requires a massive body image readjustment

The appearance of your breasts, after explantation depends on many factors, including the volume of the implants, the time they were present, the plane in which they resided, the thickness of your overlying breast tissue are just a few to mention. In choosing explantation, you must have considered the options carefully. Please continue to work with your PS and be patient. The results can take up to a year to realize. I typically recommend both massage to assist in scar remodeling as well as compression bras, to facilitate skin shrinkage. Good luck.

Lavinia K. Chong, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

Breast implant removal: Distortion of skin with movement of muscle

Breasts often don't look pretty when implants are removed.  You know this can be an issue. What you are describing is when the muscle adheres to the skin.  Your surgery is still new (I know a few weeks seems like an older surgery to you, but in healing terms, it is isn't.)  I think your doctor's advice to massage is a great one.

There is no way to heal without scar forming between your skin and muscle.  Usually this does so in a nice way.  If it doesn't, it may cause distortion. When the scar is new and tight, it can tether it and cause weird movements.  If the scar stretches, then the tether won't pull on it as much anymore and it will improve. 

There is no guarantee it will, but time and massaging it will help.  Worst case scenario (sorry, but to be blunt): if it tethers and does not improve, you may be able to help it with surgery to release the scar.

SO, in summary: Give it time and massage.  Reevaluate at 6 months.  If still bad, a surgery may be able to help release it.

Lauren Greenberg, MD
Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Massage can help improve the shape and appearance of scars

Quite often, post operative swelling and "sticky" tissues can create temporary distortion of shape and contour. Massage is a very effective way to "break up" sticky tissue also called adhesions. Massage can also improve the thickness and retraction caused by scarring. As always, you should consult your surgeon before beginning any post operative treatments.

Dev Wali, MD
Claremont Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Complications After Breast Implant Removal

After removing breast implants, it is possible to get an adherence of scar that causes creases, indentations or motion of the skin, scar or breast with muscle contraction.
Massage can be very beneficial in preventing or releasing contraction, trapping or fixation by a scar. Massage can affect the architecture of the scar and prevent or reduce scar adherence/adhesion.
If the adhesion persists, a surgical scar release can be performed: this is typically a minor out-patient (exam room) procedure with local anesthetic.

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Changes over 6 months of healing

At 5 weeks things will continue to change.  Depending on how much scar was present during surgery, and how much was removed, there may be a lot of changes that occur over 6 months.

Muscle distortion

In order to avoid deformities like this, it is important to remove the entire capsule as well as repair the chest wall muscle that may have been divided either during the implant placement or the explantation.  Total capsule removal will also help to avoid complications such as infection, fluid collection, and problems with cancer detection according to the plastic surgery peer reviewed literature.

Susan Kolb, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Breast Implant Removal

Thank you for the question.

It sounds like you're experiencing some early scar tissue adherence issues. I agree with the recommendations at your surgeon has provided. Hopefully with ongoing time  and scar maturation these issues will improve.

Best wishes.

Breast distortion with muscle contraction

I would continue the exercise and massage as instructed, In most instances, I have seen this distortion resolve with time and scar matureation.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Breast Implant Removal Complications

Thank you for submitting your question. You seem to be experiencing early scar adherence. Follow the  recommendations at your surgeon has provided. Hopefully with massage and time this will improve.  Discuss your concerns and continue follow up with your surgeon. best wishes.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.