What happens if the breast implant doesn't drop into place? (photo)

My surgery was about 5 months ago and the right implant is still high and has not dropped. What are the options at this point?

Doctor Answers 8

Implant not dropping into place

It does appear from your photos that you may have some asymmetry.  If your implant is still high and hasn't dropped into place, then you may have capsular contracture or the implant pockets were dissected differently.  But this is best determined in person with an examination by a board certified plastic surgeon.  Regardless, after five months, I don't think that your results will change without an additional surgical procedure.  Please see your plastic surgeon in person for his/her opinion.

Baton Rouge Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Implant Settling

When an implant is placed under the chest wall muscle, the muscle needs to stretch out to accommodate the implant.  The pocket is created during surgery, when the muscle is relaxed.  After surgery the muscle will tighten due to pain and massage, high breast straps and muscle relaxants are given to "coax" the implant into the proper position.  This usually takes 3 weeks to 3 months.  Occasionally, when patients have a tight, well-developed muscle, this process takes longer.  I would continue to massage the implant and avoid wearing bras that will give the implant too much support.  If, at 9-12 months, the implant is still too high, you may need to have the capsule (scar tissue around the implant) released on the bottom to help the implant settle. 

Marisa Lawrence, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Implant still high

Hello, if your implant remains high and conservative treatments (massage, upper chest band etc) are not helping, there are surgical options that your PS can explain in more detail.

William Andrade, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Breast issue

The photo is a bit blurry. It would be nice to see preop photos. You are best to be seen in person to see if this is normal asymmetry or not.  Good luck.

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

What happens if the breast implant doesn't drop into place?

From the picture you uploaded it is not clear to see what is going on. And, since you did not upload before pictures of your breasts, it will be hard to say if the asymmetry should be expected. If one breast becomes firm and moves up towards your collarbone causing the nipple to rotate downward and can even be painful, it could be capsular contracture. Capsular Contracture is not well understood, and a single cause has not been identified. I would advise being seen in office to rule out this and determine what is going on. Best of Luck,

Evan Feldman, MD, FACS
Texas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 87 reviews

What happens if the breast implant doesn't drop into place?

Thanks for your question. It's hard to see what you see from this photo. The dominant side usually stays a bit fuller/higher because the muscle is thicker on that side. If it is minimal it is not worth addressing. Massage may help. If it is truly high your PS will want to consider release and rule out a contracture. Check in with your ps to be sure.

Adam Tattelbaum, MD
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 105 reviews

Implant not dropped after breast augmentation

it is not unusual for an breast implant not to have completely dropped into its pocket after surgery.  As long as your surgeon had created the appropriate pocket during surgery the most likely cause is from contraction of the chest muscles keeping the implant high.  If it doesn't drop within a certain period of time a capsule forms and the implant is unlikely to drop.   The majority of implants have dropped by 3 months.  You have 2 choices at this point.  The first is to live with it.  If that is not acceptable then the only other alternative is to have the capsule that has formed surgically released.  This is usually quite straight forward to perform with a quick recovery.   Good luck.  

Gerald L. Yospur, MD
Mesa Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

What happens if the breast implant doesn't drop into place?

I am sorry to hear about your concerns after breast surgery.  Your plastic surgeon will always be your best resource when it comes to accurate assessment and/or advice.

Generally speaking, breast implants will "drop" into the pocket that was created during surgery. The rate of breast implant "settling" may depend on factors such as size of breast implant pocket dissected, tightness of the overlying skin/muscle layers, and size of breast implant utilized. Normally, it takes about 3-6 months (for some patients longer) to see the final result. It is very common for one side to settle faster than the other.

***In cases where significant breast asymmetry persists, the pros/cons associated with revisionary breast surgery (for example, capsulotomy surgery for an implant that is sitting too high) should be carefully considered prior to making decisions whether or not to undergo further surgery. 

Best wishes for an outcome that you will be very pleased with.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,498 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.