Silicone Implant Slides Around and is Painful - What is the Cause and How Can I Correct it?

Had bilateral mastectomy, expanders and silicone implants. After lifting felt a pull on right implant. Left skin numb and now implant moves too far side to side and is painful. My PS is pondering a way to correct it. Had nipple/areolar reconstruction. Any suggestions. I can't live with this discomfort. What surgical options are available? HELP!

Doctor Answers 10

Implant discomfort

The pain you are experiencing can be many different things including a tight capsule.  An exam may be helpful to determing ethe cause.

New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Revision for implant that moves

It is impossible to say without seeing you personally, but in general if the pocket size is too large for the implant then it can move. I have seen cases where this is associated with pain and it gets better after making the pocket smaller, but it is a difficult thing to predict.

Richard Baxter, MD
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Implant displacement

With displacement of your implant, it may be that the internal support used, such as a serratus fascia flap or alloderm, separated with your lifting episode and now the implant has come out of its internal pocket.  Some type of internal support may be needed to reposition the implant.  Talk to your surgeon.

Jeff Scott, MD
Everett Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Implant Pocket Revision After Breast Reconstruction

When a patient complains about the implant moving too far to the side, whether it is a breast augmentation patient or a breast reconstruction patient, the answer is generally the same.  The lateral pocket needs to be reinforced and secured so that the implant cannot move as far as it does now.  This can be done by reinforcing the lateral aspect with sutures, as well as adding some biologic material to really secure the areas internally.  Any plastic surgeon who performs breast reconstruction on a regular basis should be very familiar with these techniques.  I hope this helps.

Christopher V. Pelletiere, MD
Barrington Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Implants painful on the sides

Since your injury your implants hurt, it is likely that correcting the pocket of the implant will help your symptoms considerably.

Ricardo A. Meade, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 120 reviews

Reconstructed Breast Pain - ? Cause and Correction

Reconstructive Breast Surgery has much different challenges than cosmetic surgery. While in Breast Augmentation we create a pocket for the implant right behind the nipple complex in breast reconstruction the breast is largely missing and we have to reconstruct it completely. In your case, it sounds like the stitches creating the side wall pullded out giving you the pain and now allowing the implant to move more to the side than it was originally supposed to be. You need to see your surgeon and have him diagnose you and plan its correction. Good Luck. Dr. Peter Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 109 reviews

Breast revision

Your pocket needs to be revised so the implant moves less and doesn't drift laterally too much.  Whether this helps the symptoms is unknown.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

You can benifit from pocket revision

Your implant pocket is too big and that is why implant moves around too much. Please discuss this with your surgeon.

Kamran Khoobehi, MD
New Orleans Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 124 reviews

Revision breast reconstruction works.


Almost certainly, you can be made a lot better with a revision. There are literally a dozen possible steps. Exactly what is done depends on detailed physical examination and on what the experienced plastic surgeon finds during surgery. 

Alloderm often has a role in modifying the implant pocket.

George J. Beraka, MD (retired)
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Pain After Breast Implant Reconstruction

This depends on how long it has been painful and how far the implant is moving to the side.  It may be necessary to repair the pocket.

W. Tracy Hankins, MD
Henderson Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 299 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.