Breast enlargement is a cosmetic procedure that is designed to help women with smaller breasts achieve their desired breast size and volume. Plastic surgeons may use a number of techniques to complete this treatment. One of the most common surgical methods for augmentation mammoplasty entails the placement of implants under the muscle. This technique offers multiple benefits, such as a more natural appearance and reduced risk of capsular contracture. However, it also carries some potential for complications. In this article, we’ll explore the problems associated with breast implants placed under the muscle and how to prevent and treat them.
Potential problems with breast implants under the muscle
Placing breast implants under the muscle often results in a more natural-looking breast. However, there are potential complications associated with this technique:
- Muscle distortion – placing breast implants under muscle could cause the muscle to stretch and distort. This in turn results in an abnormal breast appearance. This problem is especially more common in patients who have a thin layer of muscle (thus making it more difficult to support the implant).
- Pain – pain and discomfort may occur particularly during the healing process. This discomfort is often managed with pain medication and rest.
- Animation deformity – implants may move when chest muscles are flexed, causing an unnatural appearance of the breast. This problem is more common in patients who have a larger implant size or who perform exercises that involve chest muscles.
- Bottoming out – the implant may shift downwards and result in a lower position of the breast. This complication is particularly more common in patients who have a larger implant size, weaker breast tissue, or a thin layer of muscle.
- Capsular contracture – the risk of capsular contracture is lower with implants placed under the muscle. However, it can still occur. Capsular contracture occurs when the body’s immune system reacts to the implant ant triggers the formation of scar tissue around the implant. This can cause the breast to become hard and misshapen.
Prevention and treatment of problems
Certain interventions may help prevent and treat these potential problems:
- Muscle distortion may be prevented by choosing an appropriately sized implant. Using a smaller implant or changing the placement of the implant to above the muscle may also help reduce the risk of muscle distortion.
- Pain and discomfort may be managed with pain medication and rest during the healing process.
- Animation deformity may be prevented by placing the implant in a dual-plane position or using an implant with a textured surface that adheres to the muscle.
- Bottoming out is treatable with surgery to reposition the implant and correct the breast shape.
- Plastic surgeons often address capsular contracture with medication, massage, or surgery to remove the scar tissue capsule. In severe cases, the implant may need to be removed or replaced.
Choosing an experienced and qualified plastic surgeon can go a long way to lower the risk of complications associated with breast enlargement surgery. A qualified plastic surgeon should be able to evaluate your treatment needs and create an individualized surgical plan to achieve your desired outcome.
Implants placed under the muscle may help result in a natural-looking breast but also carry a higher risk of complications. Muscle distortion, pain, animation deformity, bottoming out, and capsular contracture are some of the main risks that breast enlargement patients face. However, there are ways to prevent and treat these problems. The first step is to choose an experienced and qualified plastic surgeon, as well as follow the postoperative instructions after the procedure.