First of all this is not my patient; I grabbed her from RealSelf.com. But she illustrates an issue that is common yet can be quite complicated – high riding breast implants. This occurs for several reasons and I’ll try to cover them all.
Following primary subpectoral breast augmentation there is a tremendous amount of pressure on the soft tissues. The muscle and breast tissue are not used to having the implant beneath them. In addition when the implants are placed we tend to push them up into the pocket, sometimes too high. Finally the implant shells, although “smooth”, won’t easily slide around the pocket when initially placed (this is a good thing). But as you heal, the tissues stretch creating more room for the implant in the lower pole thus allowing them to settle. However, more common than not I have found that the implants will not fall due to gravity alone.
This is due to the friction between the tissues and the implants. To prevent this I have my patients wear a bra with a strap above the breasts that basically forces the implants to descend. Since implementing this bra, I have not had a problem with high-riding implants. With subglandular augmentation I have found that although the implants may ride somewhat high, initially it’s less of a problem.
Implants can also ride high when we want them to. I perform a lot of “mommy makeovers” and this usually involves rejuvenation of the breasts. As women age the upper area of the breast (upper pole) becomes thinner and frankly, less feminine. To correct this an augmentation mastopexy is performed. A low profile implant is placed under the pectoralis muscle to fill the upper pole. In addition the nipple areolar complex is elevated back to it’s youthful position. In this case I like the implants to ride high to give that upper pole fullness. Although they may fall somewhat they still provides that youthful rejuvenation.
Patients should never have to accept high riding breast implants. If the implants are riding high after 6-8 weeks there’s not a whole lot that the appropriate bra will do. Unfortunately, in these circumstances only surgery will correct the problem.
Feel free to come talk to me about your implants by clicking here or calling Katie at 703.752.6608.