While breast augmentation is widely considered to be a safe and effective procedure for increasing a woman’s breast size and volume, there is some risk of complication. Capsular contracture, implant rupture, and breast implant-associated illness are some of the commonly discussed risks of breast augmentation with implants, but the chance of these occurring is very low in most patients. One of the lesser-known complications that can occur with breast implants is the “bottoming out” phenomenon. If you are unfamiliar with bottoming out implants, you are likely not alone, as it is quite rare.
Talented and experienced board-certified plastic surgeons Dr. James N. Romanelli and Dr. John Layliev take extreme care during breast augmentation to ensure a beautiful result and the lowest possible risk of complications for each and every patient at Romanelli Cosmetic Surgery near Long Island, NY. However, it is important to understand all of your risks prior to surgery so that you can watch for symptoms and be prepared to take action should you experience a complication.
What is bottoming out?
In the world of breast augmentation, bottoming out is a type of breast implant displacement characterized by a breast implant falling below the inframammary crease. This can occur with either silicone or saline gel breast implants. Some of the most common signs and symptoms that may mean your breast implant has slipped out of placed or “bottomed out” include:
- Nipples begin to point upward rather than straight ahead
- Larger distance between the nipple and the breast crease
- Overly full or bulging look in the lower portion of the breast
- Feeling that your breast implants have dropped too much
What causes breast implants to bottom out?
There are a number of reasons why breast implants may bottom out. One of the most common issues leading to bottoming out is surgeon error. In fact, selecting a highly skilled, experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon is one of the most important things you can do to lessen your risk of bottoming out or other breast augmentation complications. Some of the additional causes of bottoming out include:
- Implant placement: In the majority of breast augmentation cases, the surgeon will place the implant below the muscle in the chest. This allows for greater support for the implant. When the implant is placed above the chest muscle, there is less tissue and structure to hold it in place, resulting in a greater risk for bottoming out.
- Implant size: When an implant is too large or heavy for a woman’s body to support, there is more of a chance that it will slip out of place and bottom out. For this reason, it is important to carefully discuss with your surgeon a realistic implant size range that your body can handle.
- Weak skin or tissue: There are a number of things that can cause a woman to have weak breast skin and tissue, including pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight loss aging, and genetics. In some cases when a patient’s skin is too weak to support the implant, there is a higher risk for bottoming out.
- Smoking: Patients who smoke are also at greater risk for bottoming out as well as a number of other complications during anesthesia and surgery in general.
- Lack of support: It is essential for breast augmentation patients to wear a medical-grade support bra throughout the recovery period and continue to wear supportive undergarments even after they have healed. Vigorous exercise without proper support can increase the risk of breast implants moving out of place.
Although the occurrence of breast implants bottoming out is low, it is still imperative that patients follow all of their surgeon’s preoperative and postoperative instructions to minimize their overall risk of complications.
How do you fix a bottomed out breast implant?
If you do experience bottoming out of your breast implants, try not to worry. Bottomed out breast implants can be corrected through surgery. Scheduling a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon is the first step in this process. The caring team at Romanelli Cosmetic Surgery understands how frightening or discouraging it can be to have complications after a breast augmentation and is highly experienced in breast implant revision and correction surgeries.
In order to fix a bottomed out breast implant, Dr. Romanelli or Dr. Layliev will first make an incision in the breast crease. Fortunately, the original surgical incision is often able to used, helping patients avoid additional scars. Depending on the severity of your case, it may be necessary to remove the implants and let your body heal before putting in new implants. In either case, the surgeon will reconstruct the breast pocket and likely reinforce it using a variety of techniques so that it is better able to support the new breast implant. In some cases, a breast lift may also be recommended. Once the new implant is in its new position and the surgeon is satisfied with the result, he will close the incision.
How can I prevent bottoming out?
Even though corrective surgery is always an option, preventing your breast implants from bottoming out in the first place is the goal. If you are in the Long Island, NY area and considering breast augmentation, make sure that you minimize your risk of bottoming out:
- Maintain a stable, healthy weight before and after surgery
- Eat a healthy diet
- Exercise regularly
- Quit smoking
- Follow all preoperative and postoperative guidelines
- Don’t rush your recovery
- Wearing supportive clothing
- Choose a highly qualified surgeon
Call the convenient Huntington, NY office of Romanelli Cosmetic Surgery today to schedule your breast augmentation consultation with one of our exceptional board-certified plastic surgeons, Dr. James N. Romanelli or Dr. John Layliev, today! We look forward to helping you feel more confident and look better than ever!