Why Does One of my Breast Implants Look Bigger?

First two weeks after surgery I felt the fuller breast heavier then the other. Can it be that my right one is dropping faster? I highly doubt one implant was filled with more saline than the other but I'm just worried. I told my doctor and he just said to massage the fuller one more. Then again, he's always M.I.A so I would like to hear opinions from other doctors. Please & Thank you! P.S Pre-op, I never had an asymmetrical problem. Also, I'm 5 weeks post-op.

Doctor Answers 17

Implant differences

Patients often do not notice their asymmetries befor surgery unless they are pointed out to them.  Your surgeon has all the info regarding your surgery and so he would be the best one to ask regarding volumes and original asymmetry.


New York Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

VIDEO: BREAST IMPLANT EXERCISES

Implants may tend to settle at different rates and the increase use of your right arm may promote a more rapid descent of this implant but it is still too early. We provide patients with breast implant exercises. You can perform these preferentially on the left breast in order to encourage this to drop.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 72 reviews

Do breasts look the same after dropping?

Two things happen and seem paradoxical. As as the swelling goes down there will be some shrinkage but at the same time as the muscle relaxes your breast projection grows. In general the breast shape and size proportionality improves..

Breast implants initially after surgery when placed in a submuscular position often give superior fullness that corrects itself with time, the "fluff and drop" phenomena. In reality the pectoralis major muscle takes a while to adjust its size to accommodate the implant as well as occasional muscle spasm which keeps the implant projection higher than its final resting shape. Additional variables include:laxity of skin, size difference during prior pregnancies, position of implant,size of muscle, and size of implant.
As the muscle relaxes the projection of the implant often increases and the breast shape improves. Massage and use of a superior placed elastic strap can often make this process go faster.

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 119 reviews

Too early to tell

You are only 5 weeks out from surgery and things are definitely not final yet.  Your left implant does look a bit higher on the chest wall than your right, but that sort of asymmetry is normal in the early stages after surgery.  Massage will help swelling and will help relax that chest muscle and may help that left implant settle more quickly.

IF your left implant doesn't drop to match the right one, then surgical revision would be needed. I would wait at least 6 months to make that assessment and decision.  Best wishes!

Carmen Kavali, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Why Does One of my Breast Implants Look Bigger?

Regarding: "Why Does One of my Breast Implants Look Bigger?
First two weeks after surgery I felt the fuller breast heavier then the other. Can it be that my right one is dropping faster? I highly doubt one implant was filled with more saline than the other but I'm just worried. I told my doctor and he just said to massage the fuller one more. Then again, he's always M.I.A so I would like to hear opinions from other doctors. Please & Thank you! P.S Pre-op, I never had an asymmetrical problem. Also, I'm 5 weeks post-op
."

It is rare to have a woman who does not have SOME Breast asymmetry. In the majority of cases, women do not recognize such asymmetry which can be very subtle and usually involves one or more of the following: breast volume, breast location, inframammary breast fold tightness and position, nipple and areola size and location, right VS left chest wall slope and symmetry and breast skin tightness.

This natural asymmetry is ALWAYS magnified by Breast Augmentation, especially with large implants, like the ones you have as well as by an asymmetric pocket dissection, which you MAY have had.

At this point, the implants are NOT where they are going to be and the left implant will come down some. It MAY come down sufficiently to narrow the asymmetry significantly. I would urge you NOT to consider an operation for at least 6 months and allow the healing and inflammation to be completed. A revision procedure should be done realizing that it may fail and result in other complications.

Dr. Peter Aldea

 

need to wait

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 97 reviews

The left implant may yet spontaneously descend but a surgical revision is likely to be needed to correct your problem.

Your photo does seem to show that the left implant is somewhat higher then the right. Assuming that your surgeon filled the implants equivalently the difference in positioning from right to left has likely resulted from a  difference in the size of the  internal pockets made to house your implants. Since you are 5 weeks out it is still slightly possible that the left implant will spontaneously descend into symmetry with the right. It might be encouraged to do so by wearing an elastic band across the top of your breasts with emphasis on the left breast. If after 3 months this problem fails to correct itself a second operation will be needed to redo the implant pockets.

David A. Ross, MD (retired)
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 89 reviews

One breast looks bigger five weeks post op.

Thank you for the photo. You are still very early in your post operative course. Breast implants tend to start dropping into place after 3 to 4 weeks. They usually will get to their final position in 6 to 12 months. One will usually drop faster than the other, and the shape may go through changes. Please follow your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon's post op instructions. For example; we like message, but some surgeons will have you wait, or do it in a specific manner. Please also let them know your thoughts and concerns.

Jeffrey J. Roth, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Breast and symmetric healing after augmentation

Thank you for your question and for sharing your photos. During the post-operative period the breast are swollen, and the breast implants appear in a much higher position. Over time they descend and fills out the lower half of the breast. In addition, it is not uncommon for one breast to be more swollen than the other and may even out with time (unless they were asymmetric in size to begin with). It may take several months for this to happen and can be encouraged with breast massage and compression. It may appear that the breast enlarges as the lower aspect of the breast fills out (at the expense of the upper portion of the breast).

Why Does One of my Breast Implants Look Bigger?

Thank you for your question. Your plastic surgeon will always be your best resource when it comes to an accurate assessment of your situation, advice, predictions, and/or meaningful reassurance.
Generally speaking, breast implants will "drop" into the pocket that was created during surgery and massaging the implants downward may assist in the dropping of the implants after surgery (for those patients who want to help with the settling of the implants). The rate of breast implant "settling" may depend on factors such as size of breast implant pocket dissected, tightness of the overlying skin/muscle layers, and size of breast implant utilized.

Normally, it takes about 3-6 months (for some patients longer) to see the final result. It is very common for one side to settle faster than the other.
Sometimes, one or both breasts implants do not settle as planned and revisionary breast surgery becomes necessary to improve the outcome. On other occasions, if the long-term breast asymmetry is mild ( understanding that absolute symmetry is very rarely achieved), patients will need to decide whether proceeding with revisionary breast surgery is worth the potential downsides associated with additional surgery.
Again, best to follow your plastic surgeon for more specifics. Best wishes for an outcome that you will be pleased with long-term.

Asymmetry Related to Swelling--Typically

Breast asymmetry in the immediate postoperative period is extremely common.This is usually related to soft tissue swelling and fluid collections around the implant.This can create enough distortion to make the breasts look uneven.
In an effort to minimize this type of problem, surgeons utilize postoperative compression.Usually, with time, swelling resolves and most patients are happy.In patients who start out with asymmetry, symmetry may not always be obtainable.This may be due to underlying chest wall deformities, asymmetry of the nipple areola, or unilateral breast sag.
In the majority of patients, as swelling disappears, asymmetry also disappears. In a small percentage of patients, malposition of the implants persists and secondary procedures may be necessary.Occasionally, the volume of the implant may require adjustment, as well.
When this situation arises, it’s important to have good communication with your plastic surgeon.Remember, it’s normal to have anxiety following surgery when things don’t seem to be going well.Your plastic surgeon has been there before and will get you through the experience.

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.