The below question is answered by Charleston breast surgeon Dr. James Craigie of The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction.
I have had two failed breast reconstructions using an implant. First was placed too high up, and the second one anchored down with abdominal advancement flap. After 5 months the implant began to disappear. MRI proved it was not ruptured. Doctors were not worried and I was told to stop worrying about it, so I continued on with my life. I then developed chest pain, muscle/ligament/joint/back pain and breathlessness when climbing hills or stairs. Eventually after 2 and a half years, I referred back to PS who told me I had a chest wall concavity due to the implant being forced inwardly under pressure from the scar tissue and muscle. The implant size was 770cc. Will this concavity “spring” back into place or will I have it for the rest of my life? Also what effects might this have on my body if my frame is being pushed out of alignment?
Thanks for your question. I’m sorry you have had these problems. We see people whose chest wall and ribs become indented due to implants quite frequently. The problem develops because body reacts to the implant by making scar. We call this capsular contracture and in some people it can exert tremendous force due to constant pressure. The process will persist as long as you have an implant. We have not performed scientific studies to prove the ribs return to normal but we have treated hundreds of patients with this type of problem by removing the implants and replacing them with their own tissue with out taking their muscles. This has solved their problems related to implants permanently. I hope this answers your question, let me know
James Craigie, MD
Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction
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