Implant contraction (atrophy) after breast augmentation

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KIES-U Breast augmentation Korea

One should not overlook the problem of breast contraction (atrophy) after the breast augmentation. Implant, made of silicone, does not change its form or even corrode, but if it stays for a long time inside the body, the surrounding skin continuously puts much pressure on it. This pressure makes the surrounding skin thin and we call this atrophy.



This type of atrophy is common but it becomes severe with tighter skin (patients before giving birth) and as the larger sized implant is used. I think that atrophy happens less to those women who already gave birth. If the implant is small, the skin does not put much pressure on it, so there is rare incidence of atrophy.



In the world renowned magazine, plastic and reconstructive surgery journal  Dr. Claudia and others shared more findings on atrophy in an essay called "Volumetric evaluation of the mammary gland and pectoralis major muscle following subglandular and submuscular breast augmentation." 

They shared findings on the atrophy caused due to the plane that the implantation is conducted on. Out of 50 patients, 24 had implants placed under the pectoralis muscle, 24 above the pectoralis muscle and the rest 10 were assigned as a control group. The MRI results 12 months before and after were compared.

MRI computer picture of compressed breast tissue


This essay was published on April issue of PRS 137(4).
In conclusion, the contraction was clear for those patients that placed implant above the muscle. The contraction happened within the 12 months (22% contraction).



There was no contraction on the breast tissue for those who placed the implant below the pectoralis muscle but there was some contraction on the muscle itself. The muscle became thinner. There was some contraction on the volume of the breast but the contraction was in the statistical error range.



It would have been better if there were more sample sized so that the data were more segmented but it is meaningful that there is a MRI finding that implant below the pectoralis muscle can prevent atrophy.

When we consider atrophy, it is better to avoid putting implant above the pectoralis muscle unless it is really necessary. But, if the patient’s skin is not too tight and the implant is not too big compared to the body, then the contraction would not result with higher percentage as well.



Let’s summarize.
It is right to think that contraction(atrophy) will happen with breast augmentation that uses silicone implants. But we can minimize the changes of contraction by placing the implant below the pectoralis muscle (or applying dual plane) and by avoiding implants that may be too large for you.

Thank you.



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