Do I need to replace my implants?

I've had my silicone implants for just over 4 years now. I've always noticed that they fall to the sides since I've had them. I never thought anything of it, thought that was the way my body was. I've also been experiencing these stabbing pains in both breasts like hot needles around my incision area. It's not all the time and may last a few minutes each time, but it's happened enough that I'm concerned. Would replacing my implants help with the malposition or would it likely happen again?

Doctor Answers 4

Breast implant lateralization

You are demonstrating lateralization of your breast implants; this can occur especially when your breast pockets are over aggressively dissected laterally; this can be easily corrected with tightening of your lateral pocket with special stitch work, often called capsulorrhaphy. you do not have to replace your implants if they are good and you don't want a change in size.

Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Do I need to replace my implants?

I am sorry to hear about the problem you are experiencing.   Although some “falling to these sides” of breast implants is quite normal when you lie down, if this occurs “excessively”, it may be a concern to patients.  This phenomenon is called lateral displacement of the breast implant;  it may be of concern from the visual and the discomfort standpoints. Surgical correction is an option.

Generally, the lateral breast implant displacement can be corrected using an internal suture technique, decreasing the size of the pockets and moving the implants toward the midline.    In my practice, I use  a 2 layered suture technique (capsulorraphy) to close off the space laterally (towards the axilla). The use of acellular dermal matrix is an option ( although not usually necessary)  especially if significant implant rippling/palpability is present.


I hope this (and the attached link) helps. 

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,499 reviews

Do I need to replace my implants?

The best response to your question is to suggest that you see one or two ABPS board-certified plastic surgeons to assess your anatomy and your options.  The shape of the rib cage and the natural shape of a breast encourages implants to slide laterally when you are in a supine position but there are possible treatment options including capsulorrhaphy, change to a textured implant and possibly full mastopexy for skin reduction.  Since you have not submitted a photograph it is impossible to give you any more specific advice without a face-to-face examination.

Jon A Perlman M.D., FACS
Diplomate, American Board of Plastic Surgery
Member, American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS)
Beverly Hills, California

Jon A. Perlman, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 reviews

Implant malposition

Without examining your breast, it is impossible to say whether your 'malposition' can or should be fixed. Implants can seem like they are falling off the breasts either in a natural way because of the curvature of the rib cage or may indeed be malpositioned either in relation to the chest or to the breast because of the size and location of its capsule. Implants under the muscle may not move in concert with the overlying breast and so the implant may be seen as malpositioned relative to the breast tissue. The episodic sharp pains you feel, especially if sensation is otherwise normal, are probably due to very small sensory nerves that gets injured in the normal course of dissecting the pocket for the implant. They typically and gradually recede in frequency and severity as time goes on and can by annoying but not disabling in any way.

Robin T.W. Yuan, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 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.