Does Wearing Breast Implant Strap Affect Final Results?

Can the breast implant strap cause implants to be too low? Almost 3 month ago I got breast implants and I was given a strap to use so the implants would drop. I think I used the strap for too long and too low and cause my implant to be very low and lateral.

Doctor Answers 8

Each patient is unique-- discuss post-operative care with PS.

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We don’t routinely use a breast strap following breast augmentation surgery, except in special situations.When patients have superiorly malpositioned breast implants because of muscle spasm and swelling, we use bra straps to force the implant in a downward direction.This keeps the inferior breast pocket fully expanded and allows the implant to settle into proper position.
Each patient’s situation is unique and each patient responds to this device differently.For this reason, it’s important to closely monitor progress with this device.Although it’s unlikely, it might be possible to stretch and over-expand the inferior breast pocket.This could lead to the inferior lateral implant positioning that you describe.
Under these circumstances, it’s important to discuss your situation with your plastic surgeon.Your surgeon should be able to evaluate your breasts and formulate a treatment plan that addresses your problem.

Breast Bandeau- How long is too long?

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There are many factors that can cause implants to settle too low, become inferiorly displaced or bottom out.  The patients that are most at risk are ones that have very thin and loose breast tissue (usually after multiple pregnancies and breast feeding).  These patients don't have much intrinsic support to help hold the implants in place after surgery.  If they are involved in certain types of activities that stress the natural support of the breasts (such as a lot of running, jumping, ect.) and don't wear a good support bra regularly, their implants will tend to drop or bottom out more.  Also if they go with very large sized implants, that will require that the implant pocket be made larger and thus will usually obliterate their original inframammary fold and lose natural support of their breasts, causing more bottoming of the implants. Sometimes if the implant pocket is dissected too far inferiorly or laterally during the surgery, this will cause the implants to settle too low and/ or too lateral.  Wearing a breast bandeau for an extended period of time when it is not necessary could potentially apply too much downward force on the implants, causing them to drop too low.  How long you should wear the bandeau totally depends on your individual case and how you are healing.  Your PS typically follows you closely after your surgery to determine if you 1) need the bandeau at all or 2) if you do, how long do you wear it for.  I would recommend you follow up with your PS and let him/ her know of your concerns.  Best wishes.

You should discuss use of breast strap with surgeon

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Are you using the strap under the guidance of a physician or doing this on your own?

I typically monitor the use to the strap and use it only as long as the implants remain high or with the input of the patient.

Breast implant strap use depends on surgeon's technique

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Some surgeons have their patients use the strap and some don't. The benefit or need for a strap really depends on the surgeons technique and what was done during the surgery. So, if your surgeon thinks you need one, then its wise to use it.

Each case is different, so your surgeon would be the best one to tell you what happened in your case.

Sternal straps for Breast Implant positioning

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The natural history of breast implants is to settle down and out, just as you described: low and lateral. "Settling" can occur spontaneously, however some physicians will recommend the use of a "sternal strap" to be worn in the area above the breast implant bulge and below the collar bone. As a general rule, saline implants will tend to "drop" very quickly compared to the silicone gel implants.

While it is true that a sternal strap may accelerate the downward settling of implants, it isn't the only deciding factor. The intrinsic characteristics of your breast skin will either "carry" the implant or allow it to "bottom out". Any factor which contributes to the downward spiral is the size of the implant and the presence or absence of texturizing on the surface.

Lavinia K. Chong, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Bra strap after breast augmentation

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Thank you for your question. Your surgeon may be wanting to influence the decent of the implants within the breasts over the first six months after surgery as it usually takes several months for the breasts to settle out. If the strap is uncomfortable I would revisit with your surgeon to see if there are other options.  Otherwise, I would recommend following your surgeon's instructions and follow-up.

Breast Bandau strap

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Whether or not you have a breast strap after surgery will depend on your plastic surgeon. In my case I have my patients use them for 2 weeks to apply only gentle pressure and they should never be agreat discomfort to you. Your breasts will settle or drop with or without a strap but in the early healing period they are sometimes helpful. Discuss your concerns with your plastic surgeon at your next visit.

Dr Edwards

Wearing a breast implant strap after surgery

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Sometimes after a breast augmentation, your Plastic Surgeon may recommend you wear a strap, or "bandeau" across the top of your breasts.

There are other types of postoperative garments after breast implant surgery that are occasionally recommended to encourage a specific postoperative result.

Usually, the strap is recommended for a defined period of time.

At three months, healing is well along its process, and by a year, you will have your final postoperative results.

It may be that your implant position has changed from the initial surgery, or that the swelling has not gone down so that the appearance of your breasts have changed.

I would recommend seeing a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon in follow-up for their assessment of your results.

Karen M. Horton, MD
San Francisco 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.