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My Saline Breast Implants Are Lumpy and Shelflike. Need Advice.

Four weeks ago I had saline implants put in under the muscle with a breast lift. I've had a lot of swelling and bruising, and even pitting sternal edema and hardened tissue at the lower portions of each breast. Briefly it seemed to improve but then the bilateral swelling again worsened and new bruises appeared. Twice my doctor drained hematomas, and once tried to break up scar tissue-SO painful. Now the breasts are dropping and softening, but the lower halves look lumpy and awful, like shelves.

Doctor Answers (9)

My Saline Breast Implants Are Lumpy and Shelflike. Need Advice.

+1

4 weeks after surgery is early, and your breasts can still change immensely.  That being said, it sounds like you experienced capsular contracture after the hematoma's.  You should discuss your options with your surgeon about early treatment of the capsules, such as ultrasound treatments and possible Accolade- an asthma medication that works well on inflammation in breast capsules.  This may help alleviate a possible need for a future surgery.  You should also be realitic that you may need a secondary surgery for best results.


Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

Breast lift and implants

+1

I am sorry you are having so many problems.  You should give it more time to heal and follow carefully with your doctor so that you go on to heal successfully.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Final Results post breast surgery

+1

Based on the photo and information you provided, it is far too soon to see the final results of your breast surgery. I recommend consulting your board certified plastic surgeon to discuss any issues or concerns you may have for now. It may have been more beneficial for you to have had silicone gel implants which provides a more natural look and feel considering your body type. Massaging the breasts has many benefits to your results. It will help prevent encapsulation (scar tissue) from occuring, soften the breasts, and will allow the implants to settle into the pocket created for the implants.  The healing process takes time and things will round out eventually. Allow the incisions to heal and follow all post-op care instructions to prevent any complications.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 718 reviews

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4 weeks after surgery is very early to see final results

+1

4 weeks after any surgery is too early to see what the final results will look like.

your breasts will continue to change and settle down.  The shape and 'shelf' will change and become more normal.  The rippling seen unfortunately will not improve.  It is the result of you having very little fat thus there is very little padding to hide the implant irregularities.  Having silicone implants would potentially improve rippling, as saline implants are the worst when it comes to rippling.

Be patient and be sure to discuss your concerns with your surgeon.

Sincerely,

Martin Jugenburg, MD

Martin Jugenburg, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 140 reviews

A patient (waiting) patient

+1

It is not uncommon to have this appearance for the early post-operative period. It is quite likely that you will see significant improvement but it may take up to 6-9 months to allow for a stable appearance. Take a deep breath and maintain close follow up with your surgeon and follow their advice.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

3 Months For recovery

+1

With all you have been through, you have alot of recovery to go now.   If given the ok by your surgeon, I would massage the breasts and help everything to round out.  It will take at least three months for everything to settle in to position, so just be patient.  The firmness, etc. should work its way out after a few weeks/months. I hope this helps. 

Christopher V. Pelletiere, MD
Barrington Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Breast implant wrinkling can happen

+1

You are very thin and appear to have large implants in place (may just appear that way due to the angle of your photo, though).  You've been through a lot with these implants already in 4 short weeks, dealing with hematoma and capsular contracture (hardening of the scar tissue around the implant).  You have two real options right now:  1.  Remove the implants and let your breast tissue heal fully, then replace new implants a few months later (most women, understandably, don't like this option)  2.  Massage, massage, massage, and give these implants TIME (at least 6 months). They MAY soften further, but you are also very likely to develop capsular contracture due to the hematoma you had.  The "lumpy" lower pole appearance will also not improve over time, but will require additional coverage over the implant (could involve downsizing implants and rearranging breast tissue in the lower pole, if any exists, or could involve placement of an ADM product like Strattice or Surgimend.)

Keep close follow-up with your surgeon.

Carmen Kavali, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

?Scar Contracture around Breast Implants

+1

Regarding: "Four weeks ago I had saline implants put in under the muscle with a breast lift. I've had a lot of swelling and bruising, and even pitting sternal edema and hardened tissue at the lower portions of each breast. Briefly it seemed to improve but then the bilateral swelling again worsened and new bruises appeared. Twice my doctor drained hematomas, and once tried to break up scar tissue-SO painful. Now the breasts are dropping and softening, but the lower halves look lumpy and awful, like shelves."

Truly sorry to see and hear of your condition. The photograph was very telling. It APPEARS as if this was not your first breast implant operation. You appear to have significant scarring and indentations along the inferior half of the breast potentially related to a superficial implant and lack of coverage.

At this point there is not much to do except to allow the swelling and inflammation to subside. This may take a few months. The situation needs to be critically evaluated at 6 months after surgery. If you proceed to have bilateral scar contracture around the implants (due to the hematomas) you may require scar removal. At that operation the lower pole of the breast may be dealt with and softened with scar release as well as by placement of a Strattice ADM sheet to provide support for the implants, add more cover to it and lower the risks of recurrence of the contracture.

Hang in there!

Dr. Peter Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Implant outcome

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I'm sorry to hear about this outcome.  You are quite thin, and it appears that ripples in the implant are visible through the skin.  This is sometimes associated with a lack of breast tissue to cover the implant.  The submuscular placement minimizes, but does not alleviate this issue.  The only advice I can offer at this time is massage, massage, massage.  There is some evidence that this helps to minimize the incidence of capsular contracture.  It may also help your breast to better accommodate the implant.  The presence of a hematoma can increase the incidence of capsule formation, so it is crucial to stay on top of the massage, and keep close follow up with you physician.

Jason R. Hess, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

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.