Why Do I Feel Like I Have This Constant Tight Feeling After Breast Reconstruction?

Had bilateral mastectomy for brace2 gene in 2005. Never liked them. They are hard and I can feel the edges of the saline implant. I always feel like I have a bra on that is too small when I don't have one on. Also I put on about ten pounds since surgery and have these fat rolls on the scars under my arms so it feels like my breasts are under my arms. Very bad body image. Is this normal?

Doctor Answers 4

Breast reconstruction

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If you are unhappy with implant reconstruction,. you may want to consider using your own tissue if you are a candidate.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Breast Reconstruction

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yes it is normal but things can be done. If the saline implants are too hard , then silicone would be what I would change you to. Also , the tissue under your arms can be revised with a direct resection or liposuction combined.  Fat grafting may help with the implant being felt . The final option would be to scrap the implant reconstruction and go autologous; TRAM, DIEP etc. 

All this is dependent on information such as history of radiation or infections etc. 


Paul Albear, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon

Silicone gel implants would be better for post mastectomy reconstruction

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Susanri: Sorry to hear about your predicament.  As of the date of this writing, you as a breast cancer survivor are entitled to have revision of bilateral breast reconstruction, which could potentially include a) bilateral implant exchange (saline to silicone gel); b) +/- ADM (acellular cadaveric matrix)/Alloderm capsulorrhaphy (to stabilize the implants and decrease the rate of lateral edge implant palpability; c) liposuction of bilateral axillary tails or dorsal rolls (fat on scars under arms); d) fat grafting to any contour depressions; e) capsulotomy (surgical modification of the scar around current implants). Tightness is definitely abnormal, unless you had bilateral radiation to your chest wall.  Hope this helps.

Lavinia K. Chong, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

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You can have implants removed that feel to tight and have DIEP flaps for a more natural result

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Many of the first DIEP Flap breast reconstructions I performed in 2005 were for Implant reconstructions.  Issues like tightness, redness and sometimes just pain were problems that I was commonly asked about.  Because the implant reconstruction looked good the patient in many instances was told to be patient.  In reality the devices were the cause of the issue and needed to be replaced.

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