How do I know if an implant has malpositioned or if the pocket has gotten too big?

I had a BA a year ago. Out of nowhere last week I noticed my right breast causing me pain when I tried sleeping on my left side. It's almost as if the implant slid across the midline of my chest wall and put pressure on my pec muscle. When I lay on my back - both breast move equally towards my arm pit so it doesn't appear to be that the pocket is too big. Also I'm having a numb, dull feel off and on in my right arm. The right breast feels "off". Hard to explain. It's driving me crazy!

Answers from doctors (13)


Barry J. Kaplan, D.O.

Published on Jun 09, 2016

Sounds like you are over the muscle. This is not good. Going under the muscle may be able to correct the problems.

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Answered by Barry J. Kaplan, D.O.

Sounds like you are over the muscle. This is not good. Going under the muscle may be able to correct the problems.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Stephen M. Davis, MD, FACS

Published on Jun 23, 2015

I would recommend you see the surgeon who operated on you. He / she will know exactly what they did and can readily help you understand your concerns.

Stephen M. Davis, MD, FACS
Green Hills Plastic Surgery

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Answered by Stephen M. Davis, MD, FACS

I would recommend you see the surgeon who operated on you. He / she will know exactly what they did and can readily help you understand your concerns.

Stephen M. Davis, MD, FACS
Green Hills Plastic Surgery

Published on Jul 11, 2012


William Hedden, M.D.

Published on Jun 16, 2015

It would be best for you to actually be seen, to see what is going on. Most plastic surgeons should offer free consultations as we do. But it would tie a visit to truly tell you what is wrong.

Dr Hedden

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Answered by William Hedden, M.D.

It would be best for you to actually be seen, to see what is going on. Most plastic surgeons should offer free consultations as we do. But it would tie a visit to truly tell you what is wrong.

Dr Hedden

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Bahram Ghaderi, MD, FACS

Published on Jun 16, 2015

After a full year of recovery the pocket for your implant is well formed and difficulty to disrupt. You could have a mild injury and I would recommend seeing your surgeon for an evaluation to determine if any intervention is needed.

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Answered by Bahram Ghaderi, MD, FACS

After a full year of recovery the pocket for your implant is well formed and difficulty to disrupt. You could have a mild injury and I would recommend seeing your surgeon for an evaluation to determine if any intervention is needed.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Larry Leverett, MD, FACS

Published on Jun 16, 2015

The appearance of the augmented breast can/will change over time as a result of changes of both the breast and of the implant. Implants migrate (usually inferiorly and laterally) as a result of forceful contractions of the pectoralis muscle (usually weight lifting, push ups,planks, yoga, etc). It happens with implants of all sizes and MAY be a bit less common in tear drop shaped implants b/c there is less mass up top for the muscle to push against. Textured implants not only have statistically decreased incidence of capsular contracture, but they also tend to displace less often. Large implants may cause more stretch on the breast tissues and fall OVER the inframammary fold, not necessarily causing it to migrate. Repair is performed internally and is usually done through existing breast incisions but CANNOT guarantee that any pain/sensitivity/ irritation is relieved. Best advice, see your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon... And be prepared to make both implant and lifestyle changes.

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Answered by Larry Leverett, MD, FACS

The appearance of the augmented breast can/will change over time as a result of changes of both the breast and of the implant. Implants migrate (usually inferiorly and laterally) as a result of forceful contractions of the pectoralis muscle (usually weight lifting, push ups,planks, yoga, etc). It happens with implants of all sizes and MAY be a bit less common in tear drop shaped implants b/c there is less mass up top for the muscle to push against. Textured implants not only have statistically decreased incidence of capsular contracture, but they also tend to displace less often. Large implants may cause more stretch on the breast tissues and fall OVER the inframammary fold, not necessarily causing it to migrate. Repair is performed internally and is usually done through existing breast incisions but CANNOT guarantee that any pain/sensitivity/ irritation is relieved. Best advice, see your Board Certified Plastic Surgeon... And be prepared to make both implant and lifestyle changes.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Remus Repta M.D.

Published on Jun 16, 2015

Thank you for the question. It is hard to know what is causing your symptoms without an in person exam. From what you describe it may be that the side of one of the Breast implant pockets is getting stretched out and therefore the nerves within that tissue are also being stretched out. Pocket repair can address this if needed.

All the best,
Dr Remus Repta
Scottsdale Plastic Surgery

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Answered by Remus Repta M.D.

Thank you for the question. It is hard to know what is causing your symptoms without an in person exam. From what you describe it may be that the side of one of the Breast implant pockets is getting stretched out and therefore the nerves within that tissue are also being stretched out. Pocket repair can address this if needed.

All the best,
Dr Remus Repta
Scottsdale Plastic Surgery

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Gerald Minniti, M.D., F.A.C.S

Published on Jun 16, 2015

Hello,
I'm sorry you are having problems suddenly. Implant positioning on the chest wall is dictated by the pocket it sits in, so a pocket that is too big in any given direction will cause implant malposition. Typically pockets tend to expand downward or to the side, causing 'dropout'. However, implants implants that migrate to the center of your chest can cause symmastia, or 'uniboob'. This phenomenon doesn't just happen a year later, though. So, I don't think that's the problem.

Unfortunately, I will not be able to tell you what is going on, if anything at all. You should visit your plastic surgeon to be examined.

Best of luck!

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Answered by Gerald Minniti, M.D., F.A.C.S

Hello,
I'm sorry you are having problems suddenly. Implant positioning on the chest wall is dictated by the pocket it sits in, so a pocket that is too big in any given direction will cause implant malposition. Typically pockets tend to expand downward or to the side, causing 'dropout'. However, implants implants that migrate to the center of your chest can cause symmastia, or 'uniboob'. This phenomenon doesn't just happen a year later, though. So, I don't think that's the problem.

Unfortunately, I will not be able to tell you what is going on, if anything at all. You should visit your plastic surgeon to be examined.

Best of luck!

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Joubin S. Gabbay, M.D.

Published on Jun 16, 2015

That can be very frustrating! It can be normal to still have various pains and aches even a year after breast augmentation. It is a good sign that your breasts fall evenly to the side when you lay down, but it is hard to give her an informed opinion without photos. If you have concern about your implants and their position, you should follow up with your surgeon. They can definitely take a look and give you their opinion.

I wish you the best.

Dr. Gabbay.

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Answered by Joubin S. Gabbay, M.D.

That can be very frustrating! It can be normal to still have various pains and aches even a year after breast augmentation. It is a good sign that your breasts fall evenly to the side when you lay down, but it is hard to give her an informed opinion without photos. If you have concern about your implants and their position, you should follow up with your surgeon. They can definitely take a look and give you their opinion.

I wish you the best.

Dr. Gabbay.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


John J. O'Brien, Jr. M.D.

Published on Jun 16, 2015

Hello, and thank you for this question. It does appear that something has happened in the past month that has change your situation regarding your breast augmentation.I would recommend you follow up with your treating plastic surgeon to go over this in detail as well as have a formal physical examination. It may be that the pocket is too large or you have potentially torn some internal scar tissue causing some of her problems. All of this should be worked out with an examination. Best of luck.

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Answered by John J. O'Brien, Jr. M.D.

Hello, and thank you for this question. It does appear that something has happened in the past month that has change your situation regarding your breast augmentation.I would recommend you follow up with your treating plastic surgeon to go over this in detail as well as have a formal physical examination. It may be that the pocket is too large or you have potentially torn some internal scar tissue causing some of her problems. All of this should be worked out with an examination. Best of luck.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Aristocrat Plastic Surgery

Published on Jun 16, 2015

Thank you for your question. It seems you may have some lateral shifting of your implants especially if they are smooth round implants. You may be a candidate for revision using textured silicone cohesive gel (gummy bear) implants. You would need to have a consultation for precise recomendations.

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Answered by Aristocrat Plastic Surgery

Thank you for your question. It seems you may have some lateral shifting of your implants especially if they are smooth round implants. You may be a candidate for revision using textured silicone cohesive gel (gummy bear) implants. You would need to have a consultation for precise recomendations.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


More About Doctor Tom Pousti, M.D.

Published on Jun 16, 2015

Thank you for your question.

If you are feeling discomfort, I would suggest going in to see your surgeon and having an examination soon.

The physical examination is the only way to know what is going on and give you a good treatment plan.

Best wishes.
Tom Pousti MD

Answered by Tom Pousti, M.D. (View Profile)

Thank you for your question.

If you are feeling discomfort, I would suggest going in to see your surgeon and having an examination soon.

The physical examination is the only way to know what is going on and give you a good treatment plan.

Best wishes.
Tom Pousti MD

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Steven Yarinsky, M.D, F.A.C.S.

Published on Jun 16, 2015

You should see your plastic surgeon for evaluation. You may have a capsular contraction or pressure on sensory nerves. There may be other causes for late breast pain after augmentation, but your plastic surgeon should be able to diagnose and treat or reassure you.

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Answered by Steven Yarinsky, M.D, F.A.C.S.

You should see your plastic surgeon for evaluation. You may have a capsular contraction or pressure on sensory nerves. There may be other causes for late breast pain after augmentation, but your plastic surgeon should be able to diagnose and treat or reassure you.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


Otto Placik, MD

Published on Jun 16, 2015

I'm not sure why this would suddenly happen. When implants are placed under the muscle, the muscle is often released from its attachments to the ribs and lower sternum. There are some nerves in this location and numbness will commonly occur. When the nerves regenerate pain can occur or if the nerve endings are irritated or inflamed or develop a neuroma. Please monitor and discuss with your surgeon.

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Answered by Otto Placik, MD

I'm not sure why this would suddenly happen. When implants are placed under the muscle, the muscle is often released from its attachments to the ribs and lower sternum. There are some nerves in this location and numbness will commonly occur. When the nerves regenerate pain can occur or if the nerve endings are irritated or inflamed or develop a neuroma. Please monitor and discuss with your surgeon.

Published on Jul 11, 2012


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