Normal or lateral displacement? (Photo)

I am 10 weeks post-op and my breasts spread far apart when I'm lying down. Is this a normal amount or is this lateral displacement? I also have a small amount of pressure on the outer edges while lying down which is uncomfortable.

Doctor Answers 3

Lateral displacement

It is difficult to tell exactly whether or not you have lateral displacement from the photo.  If you do, it is only a small amount.  A good way to tell would be to have someone take a photo of you lying down with your hands at your side.  The photo is taken level with your chest at the base of your feet.  You'll see how far the implants fall to the side very clearly this way.  I treat lateral displacement with implant exchange to a textured implant.  A technique known as the popcorn technique can be used to "shrink" the implant pocket and bring the implant back into proper position.  The textured implant will keep the implant in position long term.  I have found the suturing techniques to be difficult and unreliable.  The use of an acellular matrix is possible, but it is extremely expensive.  At his point, it doesn't appear that you need this procedure, as you have very little lateral displacement.


Philadelphia Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Normal or lateral displacement?

Thank you for the question and picture. You demonstrate your concerns nicely. Although some “falling to these sides” of breast implants is quite normal when you lie down, IF this occurs “excessively”, it may be a concern to patients. This phenomenon is called lateral displacement of the breast implant; it may be of concern from the visual and the discomfort standpoints. Surgical correction is an option.
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. In my practice, I use a 2 layered suture technique to close off the space laterally (towards the axilla). The use of acellular dermal matrix is an option ( although not usually necessary) especially if significant implant rippling/palpability is present. Also, the use of a larger/wider breast implant may help improve/decrease the space between the breast implants. Based on your photographs, I think that your concern is areola size; areola reduction surgery may be necessary to achieve your goals.
I hope this, and the attached link (dedicated to revisionary breast surgery concerns), helps. Best wishes.

Breast augmentation

Hello, and thank you for this question. It is somewhat difficult based on your picture although it does seem you have some minor lateral displacement. I am assuming that your implants are under the muscle. I would recommend you discuss these changes with your treating physician. You are still early in the postoperative recovery phase and I would also recommend that you allow things to fully settle down and heal up in a normal fashion. Best of luck.

John J. O'Brien, Jr., MD
Saint Petersburg Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

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