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 23

Scar Issue

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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.  Massage the site and reevaluate at a later date.  Always stay in contact with your plastic surgeon to discuss further options.  Best of luck!

Muscle distortion

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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
4.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Massage can help improve the shape and appearance of scars

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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
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

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Breast Implant Removal

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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.

Explantation requires a massive body image readjustment

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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
4.8 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Muscle animation

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It sounds like you are describing muscle animation with flexion of your chest muscles.  This can be a relatively common "complication" of breast implant surgery.  A full in person exam would be necessary, but often times this can be improved by removing portions of the capsule and reattaching the chest muscles back down to the chest wall.  Good luck!

Breast Implant Removal Complications

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Your breasts will take on average 6 months to heal. Massage may help to soften up the scar tissue.

Crease and flexing problems after explant

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Sounds to me like your plastic surgeon didn't repair your pectoral muscle, which is lifted off the rib when submuscular implants are placed. Sadly, this is pretty much the norm, and many of explanted  submuscular patients end up with this problem. The inframammary crease, especially near the cleavage, is distorted; and the pec muscle causes the breast to move oddly. The solution is to fix the pectoral muscle, which is usually fairly straightforward. Best to have this done at the time of explant.

Lisa Cassileth, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Be patient

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This soon after surgery the only thing that is certain is that things will continue to change for about six months.  Be patient and see how you heal before starting to worry.

Shape distortion when flexing muscles after explant.

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I take it your implants were under the muscles.  The bottom edge of the pectorals muscle, which was over the implants, will often migrate upwards over time when the implants were in their pockets.  If that happened in your case and the muscle edges were not brought back down to the internal breast fold level, or couldn't be brought back down, then contracting these muscles could cause what you are seeing.  You might want to try aggressively stretching your pectoral muscles to see if this helps.  A simple technique is to stand in a doorway with your forearms against the door frame in the "touchdown" position....and lean forward into the doorway.  You should feel a pulling sensation in the front of your chest that goes up to you shoulders.  You can also try lying on a bench with a weight in each hand.  Don't do "butterflies" to strengthen but instead let your straight arms fall towards the floor.  Again, you should feel a stretch across your chest and front of your shoulders.

Myles Goldflies, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon

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.