Can breast implants that have settled in the armpits be fixed with another surgery?

I had BA in March 2015, which means I am 6 months post op. I have 330cc high profile under the muscle. My implants seem to have settled into my armpits and are very far apart. Is there a way to fix this problem?

Doctor Answers 11

Can breast implants that have settled in the armpits be fixed with another surgery

Unfortunately you have an implant displacement complication. Since your are 6 months post op, you would be a candidate for a revision surgery. This will require removal of the implant and correction of the capsule with internal sutures. The goal is to close off the "extra-space" that the implant is "slipping into" near the armpit. This can be done with sutures only, or can be reinforced with the use of surgical mesh such as SERI, Strattice, or Alloderm. Consult your plastic surgeon for specific recommendations.

Frisco Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Laterally displaced implants

Yes, laterally displaced implants can definitely be improved with revision surgery.  You need to see your original surgeon and express your concerns.  A plan can be formulated to correct the problem. If you are uncomfortable with the evaluation and plan, get another opinion.

John Dean, MD
Baton Rouge Plastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Implants in armpits

Thanks for your question.  If implants have displaced too far laterally, it might be correctable by closing the outer part of the implant capsule and making more space along the inner part.  A plastic surgeon can explain your specific options in more detail.

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

Breasts are too wide apart

 From what you have told me, having had a trans axillary approach to breast augmentation the outside portion of the breast pocket has stretched. If you would like to keep the same size implants, then some type of suturing that we call a  capsuloraphy should be  done. Sometimes, it is necessary to add something stronger than your tissues. In that case, I will usually use an ADM like Strattice. I consider this an insurance policy to avoid having to redo the closure should it pull apart again. Seek the counsel of a board-certified plastic surgeon in your area. Good luck.

Marc J. Salzman, MD, FACS
Louisville Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Breast Implants

Yes your breast implants can be fixed. It sounds like the pocket is lateral and maybe too large. The pocket can be closed with sutures and if the sutures need reinforcement seri scaffold can be used. Seri is much cheaper then the ADMs and I have had great long term results with seri. 

Lisa M. DiFrancesco, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Implants moving into armpits

This is not an uncommon problem that I have seen in my career.  The problem can usually be fixed by closing off the implant pocket laterally so that it can't drift outwards.  This can be done with stitches inside the pocket (capsulorrhaphy) or with the addition of ADM (Alloderm, Surgimend, etc.).  ADM's are VERY expensive and I find that I can fix these problems without them.  I would suggest that you schedule an appointment with a board-certified plastic surgeon who can examine you and review your options with you.

Edwin C. Pound, III, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Implant migration

When the implants are under the muscle the weak spot is the lower outer quadrant, so when there is implant malposition the implants usually drift down and out.  If your implants were placed via the transaxillary approach a tunnel must be created from the incision to the muscle, occasionally if the tunnel is made too wide the implant may migrate towards the armpits.  This can be fixed either with a biologic type membrane such as SERI or a capsulopexy. 

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

Implant malposition

Implants can end up in your armpits for technical issues during surgery, angled rib anatomy or from lack of support day and night combined with stomach sleeping. Regardless of why it occurred (although it would be nice to try and figure out why to reduce risk of recurrence) surgery can absolutely improve implant position. You need a pocket revision/capsulectomy, and potentially wider implant and if you have angled ribs a textured implant may also be considered. This will require an exam and consult with a breast expert not just any board certified plastic surgeon. Best of luck. 

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

Speak to your plastic surgeon, we are all different


Thanks for posting your question. I am happy to try and help you. It is important to remember that a board certified plastic surgeon will be your best resource when it comes to an accurate assessment of your situation, and concerns.

Having said that, you should speak to your plastic surgeon. Online consultants are not the appropriate source of information for you; your plastic surgeon should be your resource when it comes to postoperative concerns. This is important because every surgeon has different perspectives, the only one that should be important is the one that operated on you ;)

This is typically an easy fix.

Best wishes,

Dr. Michael J. Brown
Northern Virginia Plastic Surgeon

Michael J. Brown, MD
Ashburn Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Can breast implants that have settled in the armpits be fixed with another surgery?

I am sorry to hear about the problem you are experiencing after breast augmentation surgery. Based on your description, it seems like you are experiencing a breast implant displacement problem.

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. Doing so will prevent the breast implants from migrating to the sides when you lie down and will help centralize the position on the breast mounds. In my practice, this repair is done with a 2 layered suture technique. 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 (dedicated to lateral breast implant displacement concerns), helps.

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.