Mythbuster Monday: Large Breast Implants Eventually Sag

True – Large Breast Implants Will Sag

Breast implants that are too large will eventually sag. What qualifies as too big? When they are not the right size for your body type.  According to Dr. John Tebbetts, “The envelope of the average breast is designed to support a certain range of weight” (2000). Breast implants that are too large or too firm can stretch and pull the skin holding them, and will inevitably cause the breasts to lose shape over time. If too much weight is placed on the tissues, gravity does its part, and can pull the implants down.  

A study by the ASPS in 2010 supports this notion by stating that “the very forces exerted by an implant to push the breast envelope into a particular shape or dimension are the same forces that can cause irreversible, long-term tissue consequences and uncorrectable tissue deformities.”

What should I do if I already have implants that are too large?

The best option for women who have already received large breast implants is to invest in an implant exchange procedure. This procedure removes the large implants and allows the breast skin to shrink and recover. After about 3 months, smaller implants can be inserted.

Even though the recovery requires a few months without implants, the benefits of the procedure outweigh the cons. Allowing for shrinkage avoids developing ripples in the skin, and can help you avoid needing a breast lift after recovery. Allowing the skin to recover also prevents the need for a more complicated surgical procedure, lessening recovery time and minimizing scarring. 

How can I prevent breast implant sagging?

Choose an implant sized for your body. You want to select a volume no wider than your natural breasts so that they do not rub against your arms. Also, consider your physical activities when choosing a size. Women who are very active and like to run or play sports can prevent sagging and pain with appropriately sized implants

Trust your plastic surgeon to discern the correct size of breast implants for your body type. Many patients (and some doctors) believe patients should be able to choose their new cup size without expert guidance. While patient satisfaction is a high priority, your highest priority must be your health and well-being. Otherwise, years after implants you may need additional surgeries to correct sagging or other deformities.  

When considering a breast augmentation, there are many tools and resources for you to evaluate what your size needs are. A great tool to “try on” new cup sizes is called the Crisalix 3D app, which creates a virtual version of your body before and after a procedure. 

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