Why Do My Breasts Look Like This When I Flex My Muscles? (photo)

I had breast augmentation and lift with the implants under muscle a year ago.Why they look like that? What can be done?

Doctor Answers 9

You should consider repositioning your implants above the muscle

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The problem you are experiencing is a product of the submuscular placement of your implants. It appears from the photos that you would have enough of your own breast tissue to cover your implants without the need for muscle coverage. Therefore, you might consider having your implants repositioned above the muscle. This is a relatively uncomplicated procedure with less recovery and pain then your original operation. At the same time as the repositioning I would also suggestion a redo of your breast lift because your breasts are too saggy and the nipple complexes are riding to high.

Chicago Plastic Surgeon

Animation Deformity with Submuscular Breast Implants?

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Thank you for the question and pictures.

Your breasts change shape when you activate the pectoralis muscles because of the positioning of the breast implants and the sub muscular position. This “animation deformity” is a down side of submuscular breast implant positioning  that can be annoying to patients;  However, there are many upsides  to having breast implants placed in this position.

I would suggest that you be careful about repositioning breast implants in the sub glandular position and having  to deal with the downsides associated with this situation.

Best wishes.

Breast Movement with muscle flexing

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When implants are placed under the pectorals muscle during a breast augmentation, the patient may find that after surgery flexing that muscle will result in movement or shifting of their breastsd. This is known as "animation deformity". It is not uncommon and can only be "fixed" with re-operation. 

Asaad H. Samra, MD
New Jersey Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

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Animation Deformity

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Your are seeing an animation deformity from the pec major muscle contraction over the implant.  If you have your implants replaced to a sub glandular position then you will see improvement.  However, you would need an evaluation to ensure that there is adequate tissue coverage, etc prior to surgery.  Also, on your right breast on the vertical incision it looks like there is a scab or other issue going on.  You should have your surgeon take a look to ensure that there is not a piece of suture poking out causing chronic irritation to the area.


Good Luck.

Flexing Breasts

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Due to implant placement under the pec major muscle, there will always be a little animation of the implant with flexion.  If the pec major is released too much, it may cause significant animation that may be unacceptable.  Options include repositioning the implants over the pec major muscle.  

Animation deformity

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Breast implants placed below the muscle can result in an animation deformity.  The only way to correct this is to place the implants in a sub glandular pocket.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Animation deformity

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Thanks for your question.  You are demonstrating an animation deformity that occurs to some degree with most subpectoral augmentations.   If the movement of the implants is troubling you, you can consider replacement of the implants above the muscle. 

Why Do My Breasts Look Like This When I Flex My Muscles?

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This is a standard appearance of a flexion of the petoralis major muscle with an implant placed under it or "Animation Deformity". The photos really demonstrate the action. Only a re operation can improve, either by changing the location of the implant to sub glandular or releasing the insertion of the muscle (not recommended). 

Implant distortion after submuscular augmentation

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Breast implants can deform or shift when the chest muscle is flexed after submuscular breast impants. For most the shift is minimal and not a problem, though for some the effect can be annoying. You can have the implants moved to a subglandular position and the problem will be solved.

Peter E. Johnson, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 44 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.