November 30, 2007, Newsletter Issue #46: Common Breast Augmentation Problems

Tip of the Week

Common breast augmentation problems include medical complications and general dissatisfaction. The medical complications may include adverse reactions to anesthesia, post-operative bleeding, infection and capsular contracture. However, for many patients, the problems related to general dissatisfaction are particular troubling.

Some of the common breast augmentation problems which relate to general dissatisfaction include asymmetry, contour irregularities, synmastia, bottoming out or “double bubble.” Asymmetry is a problem in which the breasts are not properly proportioned in terms of size or location. If the size of the breasts is noticeably different or the location of the breasts causes an uneven appearance, it's unlikely the patient will be satisfied with the results. These patients may opt for further surgeries to correct the breast augmentation problems.

Contour irregularities may include ripples on the surface of the breast. These ripples are most common with textured, saline implants placed above the chest muscle. However, they may occur for a number of different reasons. An additional procedure can correct this problem if the patient is not happy with the results.

Synmastia occurs when the implants migrate toward each other across the breast bone. This is often a result of insufficient tissue over the sternum and may be detected soon after the procedure or may not become evident until months later. Additional surgical procedures to correct synmastia require the surgeon to build up the barrier between the implants.

Bottoming out is a scenario in which the supportive tissue of the breasts is no longer capable of supporting the breasts and sagging begins to occur. An additional procedure involving the use of permanent sutures to support the breast can correct this problem.

“Double bubble” is a slang term patients use to describe the situation in which the natural breast tissue sags while the implant remains in place. This occurs when implants are placed under the chest muscles. As the implants remain in place beneath the muscle and the natural breast tissue starts to sag it creates the appearance of four breasts instead of two. An additional procedure such as a breast lift can produce a more natural appearance.

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