How can I prevent flex distortion after breast augmentation?

What can cause flex distortion? Is it something the patient can prevent by proper care during healing or does it just spontaneously happen?

Doctor Answers 6

Animation deformity of breasts

It is fairly common to have some muscle motion of the breasts after sub-pectoral augmentation. This is usually not too noticeable if the muscle has not been over dissected. There are so many advantages of placing the implants under the muscle that I highly recommend it to my patients. Besides the risk of capsular contracture, subglandular implants will look rounder and have much more rippling. Seek a plastic surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery who specializes in cosmetic plastic surgery, as evidenced by membership in The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Ask to see many pre and post op photos and speak with previous patients. Don’t

Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 76 reviews

How can I prevent flex distortion after breast augmentation?

Animation deformity after breast augmentation occurs when the implant is placed underneath the muscle.  If this becomes very bothersome to a patient, the option is to remove the implants and place them over the muscle.  This is a decision that you would make in conjunction with your plastic surgeon.  I would recommend that you see your original surgeon or choose a board certified plastic surgeon who is also a member of the American Society For Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

James C. Grotting, MD, FACS
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Flexion distortion with implants

Flexion distortion can happen when the implants are placed under the muscle. It is dificult to predict who  might get it.  The only way to avoid it is to have the implants over the muscle.

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

How can I prevent flex distortion after breast augmentation?

There is nothing you can do. That problem is due to the relative positioning of the implant vs the muscle and is dependent on the surgeon as well as your anatomy. Of course going over the muscle with the implants will prevent the problem.

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Preventing Flex Distortion After Breast Augmentation

Flex distortion, active displacement or animation deformity are terms people use to describe the motion and shape change seen when the pectoralis (chest) muscle contracts and compresses and/or moves a breast implant that has been placed in the subpectoral (submuscular) position.
There are many advantages to the subpectoral placement of breast implants, which is why so many individuals and their surgeons choose this over subglandular (prepectoral) positioning. (Please see my blogs on this topic or my Real Self responses about pre- vs. sub-pectoral breast augmentation).

The occurrence of flex distortion with subpectoral implants is variable depending upon:
the size and shape of the implant;
the shape and size of the particular individuals muscle;
the anatomic relationship of the muscle to the nipple, breast, and breast crease;
the width of the breast bone (sternum);
the shape of the rib cage.

Among the techniques surgeons have developed to prevent flex distortion is the release of the pectoralis muscle in a way that does not compromise function, but reduces the occurrence or amount of implant compression or motion with muscle contraction. This draping of the muscle and breast to harmonize with the implant is an important technical element in breast augmentation.

It is important to choose a surgeon with experience in these techniques and to ask specifically about how your particular anatomy, lifestyle and implant choices might influence the likelihood or degree of flex distortion.

Paul C. Zwiebel, MD
Denver Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Animation Deformity

Good question, it usually happens in people who work out a ton, there is no good way to prevent or treat it without removing the implant or putting it on top of the muscle!

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.