If you are considering breast augmentation, you have likely begun to do your research on the procedure and have discovered all kinds of information, including the different implant options you have and what to expect during your recovery. One topic that you may have run across is the risks associated with the surgery. While breast augmentation is widely considered a safe and fairly routine procedure, there is a small possibility of complications on rare occasions. Capsular contracture and implant rupture are two risks you may have heard of, but bottoming out is another which you may not be familiar with, as it is somewhat less common.
The caring team of board-certified plastic surgeons at Austin-Weston, The Center for Cosmetic Surgery is dedicated to providing an unmatched level of patient service, beginning with education, and take great care to ensure that their Northern Virginia breast augmentation patients understand the risks, benefits, and potential results of the procedure before undergoing surgery. Read on to learn more about what it means for breast implants to bottom out, including why this rare complication can occur and what your options are if it does happen to you.
What is bottoming out?
If you are unfamiliar with the concept of a breast implant bottoming out, you are certainly not alone. It is a relatively uncommon complication of breast augmentation, but it can happen in some cases. Bottoming out is a form of breast implant displacement in which an implant drops below the inframammary crease. A bottomed out breast implant is typically characterized by one or more of the following symptoms:
- Nipples point upward
- A patient can feel the implant at the bottom of the breast
- Increasing distance between the nipple and the breast crease
- Excessive fullness or bulging in the lower portion of the breast
In many cases, a woman may simply feel that her breast implants dropped too much after surgery. While this may mean that the implants have slipped out of place, there are some cases when the implant may naturally sit lower than originally expected. The best way to determine with certainty whether or not you may be experiencing bottomed out implants is to be evaluated by one of the qualified, experienced, and skilled plastic surgeons at Austin-Weston, The Center for Cosmetic Surgery.
What will cause breast implants to bottom out?
There are a number of potential reasons that implants may bottom out, many of which are associated with surgeon error during the original procedure or the placement of an implant above the muscle rather than underneath. Some additional causes of breast implants bottoming out include:
- Implants are too large: When a woman selects an implant that is too large or heavy for her frame and tissue to support, there is a greater risk for the implant to drop below the breast crease. During your initial consultation at Austin-Weston, The Center for Cosmetic Surgery, your knowledgeable surgeon will help you choose an appropriate implant size that allows you to achieve your cosmetic goals while minimizing the risk of size-related complications, such as bottoming out.
- Weak skin: In some cases, a woman’s skin may have lost some of its strength and tone, often due to pregnancy, breastfeeding, weight loss, or aging. When this occurs, the tissue may not be able to adequately support the implant without some additional surgical reinforcement, particularly if the implant is too large or heavy.
- Smoking: In addition to the countless general health and anesthesia-related risks associated with smoking, breast augmentation patients who smoke are also at increased risk for their implants bottoming out.
- Improper support: If a patient fails to wear supportive bras, particularly during strenuous physical activity, she may be more likely to experience implant displacement.
How to prevent bottoming out
While it is certainly possible to correct a bottomed out implant through a revision procedure, the surgeons at Austin-Weston, The Center for Cosmetic Surgery make every effort to help patients in Northern Virginia prevent implant-related complications in the first place. Some of the most important things you can do to prevent an implant from bottoming out include:
- Following your doctor’s postoperative guidelines
- Wear supportive undergarments
- Select an appropriately sized implant
- Do not smoke
- Maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine
- Avoid significant weight fluctuations
In addition to these steps, perhaps the most valuable thing a woman can do to ensure the best possible chance for a successful procedure and beautiful results is to choose a highly experienced, reputable, board-certified plastic surgeon.
Call the convenient Northern Virginia location of Austin-Weston, The Center for Cosmetic Surgery today to schedule your consultation with one of our exceptional board-certified plastic surgeons, or take advantage of a complimentary virtual consultation from the privacy and comfort of your own home. We look forward to helping you restore a more youthful look or achieve the physique you’ve always wanted through breast augmentation or one of our other exciting cosmetic procedures!