10 Potential Issues Caused By Overly Large Breast Implants

By Cameron Craven, MD, FACS July 6, 2018 No Comments

overly large breast implants

Deciding on breast implant size is one of the most important, and sometimes stressful, choices all breast augmentation patients must make. While there are several characteristics of implants that are important (including shape, substance, and texture), implant size is the variable that will most impact the aesthetic outcome of the procedure.

Implant Size: How Big Is Too Big?

When selecting the size of your implant, it’s important to have realistic expectations regarding what size is best for you. We encourage patients to think about how the size of their new breasts will impact their lifestyle and post-procedure appearance. Specifically, we warn patients that choosing implants that are too large for their frame or body might in fact lead to some unwanted problems in the future.

Here are some concerns that relate to choosing excessively breast implants relative to your body:

  1. Petite patients with overly large breast implants can suffer from chronic back pain.
  2. Large implants make any revisional breast surgery that may be needed more complicated. The large implant requires the creation of a larger breast pocket, which can be difficult to reduce should the patient want to later remove or decrease the size of their implants.
  3. Larger silicone implants typically require longer incisions than smaller implants, resulting in more visible post-procedure scarring.
  4. Rippling of the implant may be more visible as natural breast tissue is less able to cover the implant.
  5. The risk of capsular contracture is higher as overly large implants may stretch or distort natural breast tissue.
  6. Larger implants also have a higher risk of becoming displaced compared to smaller implants.
  7. There is an increased risk of post-procedure nipple sensation loss with larger implants.
  8. Patients with larger implants may experience a faster rate of breast drooping, potentially requiring breast lift procedure to address.
  9. The formation of stretch marks along the breasts are more likely.
  10. A “double bubble” issue can occur as the implant and silhouette of the natural breast are both visible.

Try Before You Buy

One of the best ways to avoid choosing overly large implants in relation to your body frame is to try different sized implants on for size when you visit with your plastic surgeon.  Another option you can do at home is the Rice Test, which is a “do it yourself” method of sizing. This website provides instructions to convert cups of rice to simulated implant volume.

Listen To Your Surgeon

We always recommend that you choose a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with ample experience performing breast augmentation using a variety of different implants and techniques. A skilled surgeon will take the time to understand your needs and goals and will never push the limits of your body. It’s always a good idea to ask your surgeon for their opinion and truly listen to their advice.

 


Cameron Craven, MD, FACS

Cameron Craven MD, FACS is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Dr. Craven specializes in the full spectrum of cosmetic surgery including breast augmentation, liposuction and body contouring, facial rejuvenation, laser surgery, eyelid surgery, and rhinoplasty, as well as reconstructive surgery for skin cancers.


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