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How Do You Know If Your Breast Implant Has Moved?

Can a breast implant move after surgery, why does an implant move, and how can you correct it?

Tagged: Body & Breast

Author: Mr. Bryan Mayou, MB ChB FRCS

Date: 24th April 2023

Medically Reviewed by:  Mr. Bryan Mayou (GMC: 1414396)

Last reviewed: 5th April 2024

Breast Augmentation using silicone or saline breast implants is the most popular cosmetic surgical procedure in the UK and is carried out to increase the size and improve the shape of the breasts. However, although Breast Augmentation is a safe surgical procedure when carried out by an experienced surgeon, there is still the potential for complications to occur.

One of these potential problems is to find that your breast implant has moved out of place. Breast implants can move for a number of reasons, including concerns with the breast skin, the wrong size of implants being selected, or a surgical error in the initial placement of the implants. 

Is it normal if I can feel my breast implant moving?

It is normal for your implants to move slightly during the recovery period as your breasts settle into their new shape, this is known as dropping and fluffing. If your implants were placed underneath the chest muscle, it may take a few months for them to drop into a more natural and comfortable position. A slight movement over a period of time is fine, but if your breast implant feels like it is moving suddenly and dramatically change position, then this means they have become displaced and you should seek advice from your surgeon.

If you notice your breast implant moving towards your armpit, this is a sign of Lateral Displacement, meaning the implants are moving away from the middle of the chest, where they should be located. Your breast implants moving under the armpit can be caused by:

  • The implant pocket being too large, either through surgeon error or the pockets naturally stretching over time
  • The use of smooth breast implants
  • Sleeping on your front following surgery

 

If your breast implant has moved the other way, towards the middle of the chest, this is called Symmastia or breadloafing. It is a much less common complication, and may be caused by:

  • The breast implants being placed too close together resulting in the skin and muscle between the breasts becoming detached, allowing the implants to slide towards each other.
  • Large breast implants being used
  • Over the muscle implant placement

If you have any concerns about your implants moving or any other potential complications, either during yor recovery period, or in the years following your surgery, it is important to contact your surgeon, or the clinic where your surgery took place so they can discuss your concerns and advise the best solution. At Cadogan Clinic, all of our patients have 24/7 access to our team of specialist cosmetic nurses for up too 2 years following your procedure, so you will always have support on hand to assist you.

 


Are there other signs of a roaming implant?

Another symptom you may notice if your breast implant has moved is asymmetry. It is unlikely that the breasts will look the same, even if they have both moved out of place. The implants may also fall below the breast crease, known as bottoming out. This can occur if the breast skin or tissue is not strong enough to support the implant. This may be down to the implant being too large or the skin being too loose as a result of natural ageing, pregnancy or breastfeeding.

At Cadogan Clinic, our specialist surgeons regularly perform Breast Implant Removal and Replacement Surgery which involves removing old breast implants and replacing them with new implants. This procedure may be done to correct complications, including moving or rotating breast implants, or in combination with other procedures, most commonly a Breast Lift. Implants can also be replaced to change the size or shape of the breasts if your preferences change with time.

What to expect from your implant replacement journey

The first step on your patient journey with us will be to meet with the surgeon that our dedicated surgical patient advisors recommend for you and is best placed to perform your procedure depending on your concerns for a consultation at our award winning clinic based in Chelsea, London.  

If your surgeon feels you are suitable for Breast Implant Removal and Replacement, your patient advisor will help you to organise a date and talk you through the cost of the surgery.

Prepping for surgery

In the 6 weeks before your procedure we recommend that you quit smoking as smoking can delay the healing process and put you at a higher risk of developing complications. In the week before surgery you must stop taking aspirin or any medication that contains aspirin. In the six hours prior to surgery you must not consume food or any drink, other than small sips of clear fluid (still water, black coffee, black tea) which are allowed up to two hours before admission.

The surgery

The surgery itself will take one to two hours under a general anaesthetic. Once you have spent several hours in our recovery facilities at the clinic and have eaten and hydrated to the satisfaction of our nursing team, you will be allowed to leave the clinic with a friend or family member. They should stay with you for 24 hours after your breast implant replacement surgery.

Recovery and rest

Recovery time from breast implant replacement surgery is swift and you should be back at work within a week or two and exercising within four to six weeks. We advise returning to low impact activities, such as walking and cycling, before reintroducing more strenuous activity.

You should be fully recovered from your breast implant replacement surgery by eight weeks. You should wear a supportive sports bra for the full eight weeks in order to ensure the best possible results. It is important that you follow all the aftercare advice issued by your surgeon. Failure to do so may delay the healing process and impact on the final result.


Choosing your surgeon

If you decide to undergo breast implant replacement surgery, it is important you choose a surgeon with the right training, skills and insurance to safely carry out the procedure. Only registered doctors can perform cosmetic surgery in England. A reputable cosmetic surgeon will be registered with a professional association such as the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) or the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS).

You should always book a consultation before deciding to have a breast implant replacement or any other surgery. An in-depth consultation will offer you the opportunity to ask questions and find out more about the procedure, recovery and any potential risks.

We have invited a selection of the country's very best consultants to join us at the Cadogan Clinic so that you can be sure that whatever the nature of your treatment, you will be seeing one of the top practitioners in the country. Contact us today to arrange your initial consultation.


Words From Our Founder

Mr. Bryan Mayou

If a patient notices changes in the shape or position of their breast, it may indicate that their breast implant has moved. While this can be concerning, it's important to know that it can often be corrected with a simple, very short, surgical procedure. Our priority is patient safety and satisfaction, so we encourage individuals to seek to speak with a cosmetic surgeon if they notice any changes in their breast implants. Addressing these concerns promptly ensures optimal outcomes and peace of mind for our patients.
Mr. Bryan Mayou

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