Implants Shows when I Flex, Is this Normal?

I had a breast augmentation in 2008, going from an A to a full C. When I "flex" a certain way you can visibly see where my actual breast is & where my implant is (i think?) its an indentation in my breast and im very self conscious about this. I did get my implants below the muscle. Is this normal?

Doctor Answers 8


I have seen this before. It's likely that the lower edge of your muscle, which was released from the ribs along the lower inner aspect of the breast, has attached itself to your skin to cause the deformity when you flex your muscles. There are a couple of options: 1) Your PS can go back in and release the lower edge of the muscle, removing the excess, or, 2) The implant can be moved from under to over the muscle, a solution I find works excellent. I would wait, however, until at least 6 months.

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 reviews

"Animation" Correction

The distortion you are referring to is commonly known as implant "animation". We see patients with this complaint after having their implants placed with the "sub-muscular" technique and suggest a couple different options to correct this: 1) Having your implants switched to subglandular (above the muscle). 2) Have your implants replaced using dual-plane method.

Edward P. Miranda, MD, FACS
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Implants move when Muscle Flexed

Yes, this is a normal occurrence after sub-muscular placement of implants. It is called animation of the implants. If you desire to keep your implants sub-muscular and want to decrease the animation, a technique called a dual plane technique can help to reduce the amount of animation, I typically use this technique on the majority of my sub-muscular implant placements. In addition, you can place your implants sub-glandular, i.e. above the muscle, this will eliminate this problem but does tend to cause more long term problems when your breast size has been increased to a Full C cup from and A cup. I would encourage you to discuss this with your surgeon.

Jonathan Weiler, MD
Baton Rouge Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 85 reviews

Flexion deformity of breast

It sounds like your implants were placed under the muscle and you have a slight flexion deformity.  Changing the implant pocket to a  subglandular approach may help with this problem.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Is it normal for my augmented breast to move when I flex?

YES, the phenomenon you are referring to is "animation" of the augmented breast with pectoralis major muscle flexion.  If it bothers you enough, the problem can be corrected by surgical revision.

Steve Laverson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Flexion deformity with submuscular placement of implants

This is very common with submuscular placement of the implant. It happens when the pectoralis major muscle contracts and pushes the implant. This can be bothersome especially for someone who is active. Changing the implant position to a subglandular pocket can correct this deformity however you must have enough tissue to adequately cover your implants to avoid rippling. Best of luck!

Dana Khuthaila, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 68 reviews

Correction of breast implant animation deformity with split muscle technique

The problem you describe is called an "animation deformity" and it is very common with the standard (dual plane) technique for placing implants under the muscle. It has been reported to occur to some degree in more than 75% of patients but seems to be largely ignored. There is a good way to correct it while saving muscle coverage over the upper part of the implant where it is most important; this is called the split muscle technique and I have been using it for more than 7 years. See the link below for specific information about it, and i would be happy to send a copy of an article i wrote.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Flexing with Breast Implants

Yes, "flexion deformity" may be seen with submuscular breast augmentation.  This is a downside to having implants placed submuscularly (but there are MANY upsides to submuscular placement).

It is possible to move the  implants from the sub muscular to the sub glandular position. However, there are many potential downsides to having implants in the subglandular position.  These include potential for rippling/palpability of the implants,  increased rates of encapsulation, and increased  interference with mammography.

Please make sure you seek consultation with well experienced board-certified plastic surgeons before you decide to do any revisionary surgery so that you are aware of the potential risks associated with the revision.


I hope this helps.

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