Is it ok to have on implant slide towards my armpit while lying on my back?

I have had my implants for 8 yrs now and my right implant while lying on my back always has fell to the side. Lately though it seems to be getting worse and a little tender feeling which makes it hard to get comfortable to sleep. Would this be a difficult fix? Is it worth fixing?

Doctor Answers 7

Ok to have on implant slide towards my armpit while lying on my back?

I am sorry to hear about the problem you are experiencing after breast augmentation/lifting surgery. Although some “falling to these sides” of breast implants is quite normal when you lie down, if this occurs “excessively”, it may be a concern to patients.  This phenomenon is called lateral displacement of the breast implant;  it may be of concern from the visual and the discomfort standpoints.

Generally, the lateral breast implant displacement can be corrected using an internal suture technique, decreasing the size of the pockets and moving the implants toward the midline.    Doing so will prevent the breast implants from migrating to the sides when you lie down and will help centralize the position on the breast mounds. In my practice, this repair is done with a 2 layered permanent suture technique. The use of acellular dermal matrix is an option ( although not usually necessary)  especially if significant implant rippling/palpability is present.

 I hope this (and the attached link) helps.

Implant pocket revision

Thank you for your question.  If your implants are falling laterally towards the armpits, you may have an implant pocket revision where the pocket is tightened laterally, preventing the implants from falling to the side.  Be sure to consult with an experienced board certified plastic surgeon.  Good luck!

Zachary Farris, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Options to correct implant pocket issues

Some degree of lateral motion when lying down is normal, but if it is quite a bit different on one side then a revision could be needed. A lot depends on the individual situation, for example how thin the coverage over the implant is, and and whether it is under or over the muscle. Options include:

  • Capsulorrhaphy - internal sutures to close off the excess part of the pocket (scar capsule)
  • Internal bra - consider this when the tissue coverage is thin
  • Plane change from under to over the muscle - if the muscle action is causing the implant displacement.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 45 reviews

Lateral motion of implants

A small degree is normal, however if this bothers you, the pocket could be closed (tightened). 

I recommend an in-office examination as well as a detailed discussion with a surgeon who you are comfortable with and who is a Double-Board Certified Plastic Surgeon certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Best wishes!

Dr. Desai
Harvard Educated, Beverly Hills & Miami Beach Trained, Double-Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Falling to side

Your pocket around the implant could be tightened so that the implant does not move so much.  I would suggest meeting with a board certified plastic surgeon and discussing your options.

Connie Hiers, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Implant pocket

It is normal to have implants or breasts for that matter to slide a bit to the side of the chest.  How severe this is will determine if a revision of the pocket might be necessary.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Sub muscular implants can increase in lateral displacement as the years pass.

Are your implants in a sub muscular position? In my experience the pressure of the pectoralis muscle on the implant occurring on a daily basis can push the implants laterally and inferiorly over time. This can be corrected by moving the implants to a sub glandular position.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 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.