Could my breast implant be slipping out of the pocket? It's been placed under the muscle.

Hi - I am starting to experience intermittant internal pain in my left breast - along the incision site (under the breast). My implants are 13 years old, round saline and under the muscle. I have a couple of small kids (both under the age of 4) of which I breast fed. Since having children I have noticed a loss of upper pole fullness (good amount of sagging), but no slipping to the auxillary area. Could my implants be slipping out of their pocket (from under the muscle)?

Doctor Answers 8

It's possible

Given the age of your implants and the fact that you've had two children, yes, it's possible that your implant is moving. You will need to get it checked out in person. Either see your surgeon or another board certified plastic surgeon in your area (link below) to discuss revision options. Best, Dr. Nazarian

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 46 reviews

Could my breast implant be slipping out of the pocket? It's been placed under the muscle.

 Physical examination would be necessary to provide you with a diagnosis of breast implant displacement; having said that, your description is consistent with an inferior breast implant displacement problem . If this is the case, revisionary breast surgery would be necessary to correct  the breast implant displacement problem. This operation generally involves the use of capsulorraphy  techniques, reconstructing the lower breast goals. I hope this, and the attached link, helps. Best wishes. 

Breast implants

yes, after 13 years with saline implants and 2 children I am sure that your capsules are thin and have expanded to allow for a great deal of mobility of the implant. The good news is this can be repaired and tightened to create a more comfortable breast and better appearance. I would talk to your plastic surgeon about this and I'm sure you'll find an option that works well for you.

Good luck!

Mark T. Boschert, MD
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Could my breast implant be slipping out of the pocket? It's been placed under the muscle.

Only in person breast examination would allow that determination to be made. seek this opinion from your previous surgeon or a new second opinion PS.... 

13 yo saline implants under the muscle

Without an examination is very hard to say, but my personal feeling is that your implants are not slipping out of their pockets, and I wouldn't think this could be capsular contracture either. You surely lost breast volume after your pregnancies, which may account for the empty upper poles. Quite likely, 13 yo saline implants are now starting to deflate too, and may need replacement. You should get in touch with your surgeon for an examination, and discuss the options for improvement.

Ciro Adamo, PhD, MD
London Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews


First off, I am sorry to hear you are having some pain and congratulations on your children! 

From what you are saying, it could be what you had mentioned with the implants "bottoming out" they can push on a nerve you have running from the bottom of the breast to the nipple. It may also be capsular contracture which is the natural scar tissue your body forms around the implants, but it starts to tighten down and cause pain. Check for firmness in the breast that you are experiencing the pain in compared to the other. The good news is both of these situations are fixable with surgery. 

With your mention of sagging that is common in women who have breast fed as they were more full during breast feeding. When you are no longer lactating, your breast seem to deflate like a balloon, we call this ptosis. This is also fixable with a lift if that is something you are wanting to address. 

The best way to get an accurate answer is to have an in person consultation with your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon of choice. I wish you the best of luck!

J. Dayne Petersen, MD
Salt Lake City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Is implant slipping out of pocket

Anytime a foreign body (eg. breast implant) is placed in the body, the normal physiological response is the formation of a capsule to surround that foreign body.  This capsule is essentially a layer of scar tissue.  Once mature, this is a reasonable strong layer that will prevent displacement of your implant short of some traumatic event which disrupts the capsule.  So in the situation you described, it is highly unlikely the implant has slipped out of the pocket; the capsule is likely securely holding the implant in place.

As far as the loss of volume - most noticeably in your upper pole, this is a very common occurrence with age particularly with a history of breastfeeding.  The gland begins to involute or shrink.  This can become apparent with any number of physical characteristics such as loss of upper pole volume and sagging or bottoming out of the breast gland. 

As far as what to do now, the first step is getting in touch with your surgeon.  An exam could best define exactly what is going on including an evaluation to make sure your implant is still intact and no deforming capsule has formed.  You may be an appropriate candidate for implant exchange, breast lift, or other options to address the overall breast aesthetic consistent with your wishes.  Good luck!


Sagging of augmented breasts post-pregnancy usually has more do with the volume loss than implant displacement

At 13 years postop I would expect the capsules - the scar tissue envelopes surrounding all breast implants and the things that keep the implants in place - to be stable and well-formed. Barring anything unusual involving the capsules, like an injury to the breasts or capsule contracture, these usually don’t change much over this long time frame. Additionally, things like that are more often than not limited to one breast and not both to the same degree. Usually what happens after breastfeeding or aging is that the breast tissues undergo a process called “involution,” this involves a reduction of the size and volume of the breast glandular tissue. This is often to a size less than it was before breastfeeding! This shows up primarily as loss of upper pole fullness, as you mention, and especially when you combine that loss of volume with the loss of tone that post-breastfeeding breasts also have, you get some sagging and laxity of the breasts. The implants themselves typically aren’t involved in this, and they typically stay put in their original position. The one other thing to check out is whether your saline implants have deflated, creating the loss of volume and fullness, but again, this is more often on one side only, and it usually isn’t subtle. The best thing for you to do is pay a quick visit to your surgeon. He or she will likely be able to tell pretty quickly what is going on and advise you of your best options. The good news is that for all of these things I’ve mentioned, we do have options, and we can usually take care of whatever it is! Good luck.

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.