Is It Possible for the Pocket To Widen By Movement After Surgery?

I had a BA six weeks ago. I am nervous that my pocket could widen by movements I do after reading some horror stories on the web. I had 360/380 sub pectoral saline implants.

Doctor Answers 11

Pocket widening

I would not worry about the pocket widening at this point.  Your capsule is fairly well formed.  I  do find that implants tend to drift slightly laterally with time. ithink this is due to pectoralis compression. I am sure you will be fine.

Newark Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Breast Implants Pockets Widening?

 Thank you for the question.

I think that it is possible to “widen” breast implant pockets with overly strenuous exercise or lifting after surgery. I have seen lateral displacement of breast implants occur secondary to what I believe is over activity/lifting. I urge patients to keep their elbows by their sides for the 1st week after surgery and to avoid heavy lifting for at least 6 weeks. It is probably safest to avoid heavy pectoralis muscle activity for several months after surgery.

However,  surgeons'  best efforts and compliant patient activity after surgery lateral movement of the implants is not uncommon  especially with ongoing time and or life experiences such as pregnancy. Correction of the lateral implant malposition can be performed using internal sutures (capsulorraphy).

I hope this helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,488 reviews

Concerns about the implant pocket being affected by muscle activities

At 6 weeks, it is extremely unlikely that movements that you engage in will enlarge the pocket that the implant is in. Of course, the skin can stretch with muscle contraction (which is different than "widening"), much more so with saline than with silicone implants and greater with large saline implants (yours are not extremely large).

Steven Turkeltaub, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

The amount of change that can be made to a breast pocket by movement is minimal


The answer depends on each individual, but by-and-large the amount that a breast pocket can be changed by movement is minimal especially weeks after surgery.  If the pocket is over dissected and significant and consistent pressure is applied the pocket can be enlarged in the direction of the pressure, particularly on the side toward the arm pit.

All the best,

Dr Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 162 reviews

Breast Implants and Lateral Malposition

Breast implants can move with time.  There are few natural attachments out laterally to prevent lateral motion. Good support and minimizing activities which push the implants into undesired positions can help. Lateral migration is more likely with larger implants, narrower chests, more curved ribs and stomach sleeping.

Joseph Mele, MD
Walnut Creek Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Can the breast implant pocket widen (from movement/massage) after surgery?

Although you are not completely healed at only 6 weeks post-op, the capsule around the breast implant is becoming fairly well defined, so this makes further widening less likely.  The implant being in a sub-pectoral position should also give you added lateral support.

If you have concerns about lateral migration, I would recommend not performing any further massage, particularly in the lateral directions.  Wearing a supportive bra will further stabilize things as you continue to heal.

That all said, if everything looks good at this point and time, you should continue to do well.

William F. DeLuca Jr, MD
Albany Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 181 reviews

Widened breast pocket concerns at six weeks. Not to worry.

At six weeks the scar tissue making the pocket is beginning to stabilize.  In very rare cases the scar tissue capsule may overstretch but this is far less common than the possibility of the capsule contracting.  Massage is usually recommended to keep the capsule from contracting and in very rare cases the muscle may contribute to the outside displacement of the pocket.  You should be fine and please do not spend time on the web looking for problems that most likely will never materialize.

Glenn M. Davis, MD, FACS
Raleigh-Durham Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Breast Augmentation. Pocket Widening

At 6 weeks after submuscular breast augmentation, it is unlikely for the pocket to widen significantly.  Typically, the soft tissues may be tight with significant upper pole fullness which will usually take several months to stretch out to achieve a more natural result.  Significant migration of the implant is unlikely at this point, however.  Consult your plastic surgeon if you continue to have concerns.

Stephen Delia, MD
Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Not much to worry about 6 weeks postop.

At six weeks your pocket is becoming defined. Implants naturally fall to the outside to some degree. I believe this is made worse with massage and forcing the implants to the outside. Normal gentle movements at 6 weeks should be ok. However, if it hurts - stop! Good luck.

Brian Klink, MD
Vacaville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Breast implants that shift to the side

For some it is possible to have the pocket widen and the implant tend to fall to the side when on your back. This can be related to skin type, though the process can also be set in motion by the way the pocket is shaped at the time of augmentation. You can avoid any breast massage, especially if your implants are soft and doing well on their own.

Best of luck,

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 42 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.