How to tell if your breast implant has flipped or rotated

At Pall Mall we continue to welcome many patients who wish to undergo a breast augmentation, a type of surgery which aims to increase your breast size and enhance its shape. However, it’s important that you knowhow to check if your breast implant has flipped or rotated inside your breast after undergoing the procedure.

Implant flipping or malrotation is a  complication that can occur following breast augmentation. It happens when one or both implants fail to remain fixed in their original place after surgery, rotating so that the back surface of your implant faces forward instead.

There are several reasons why breast implants may flip or rotate post-surgery, some of which include:

  • Breast trauma – you may have endured trauma to your implants from either a sporting activity, accident or unexplained movement
  • Insufficient post-surgery rest – it’s crucial to spend a sufficient amount of time resting after surgery. Avoid most activities until your surgeon gives you the go ahead to start exercising
  • Type of implant – at Pall Mall we use state-of-the-art breast implants like Mentor and B-Lite. You can find out more on our website
  • Capsular contracture – after your surgery your body will naturally form a layer of capsular scar tissue around your breast implant site. Capsular contracture is when your scarring becomes more intense, forming a thick and firm layer that squeezes your implants causing pain and, sometimes, breast implant flipping
  • Large implant pocket – during surgery our plastic surgeon will create a breast pocket to place the implants in. If your breast pocket is too large, your implants will have more room to flip upside down, or mal-rotate back to front. Large implant pockets can be due to other factors such as gravity, lactation, ageing, and tissue factors such as stretching and thinning

Round breast implants generally remain the same shape despite the direction they’re in. Usually, they remain unnoticed unless they flip. Routine imaging is recommended post-surgery where your position of your implants can be confirmed.

A flipped tear-drop implant is more noticeable when flipped. They hold their shape regardless of the position in the breast so you will notice the following:

  • Looks visually different compared to the other breast
  • Feels different to touch
  • Is no longer symmetrical after your surgery procedure
  • Is causing pain or discomfort when lying down or standing up

Breast implant malrotation may not be a lift-threatening but it’s not something that should not be left unattended. Flipping breast implants have several steps to be fixed, this includes:

  • Manual re-flipping – if your breast implants only flip on occasion, your surgeon will demonstrate the way to readjust your implants back into place before attempting at home
  • Revisional surgery – if your breast implants start to become a re-occurring problem, revisional surgery should be considered

If you are concerned about flipping or rotation of your breast implants following surgery, please contact your Patient Co-ordinator who will be able to assist.

Find out more about breast augmentation surgery at Pall Mall.

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