Ask The Doctor-Will my pectoral muscles will return to normal after I have my implants removed?

purple flowerThis week, James E. Craigie, MD, of The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction answers your question.

Question: I had a mastectomy with reconstruction using saline implants. I am considering having the implants removed, and am wondering if my pectoral muscles will return to normal.

Answer: Thank you for your question. If you are planning to have your implants removed, then are you planning to have any further reconstruction? Frequently, tissue expanders and breast implants used for breast reconstruction are placed under the chest muscle. If you are having problems with your chest muscles because of the breast implants, it is likely that some of the  problems would improve or possibly go away completely if you have the implants removed. On the other hand, it is very unlikely that your muscles will ever go completely back to normal after they have been lifted up and or divided to cover an implant. In my practice we keep the implants above the muscle. When this is possible the muscle is not disrupted at all. When we have a patient who has had problems with their implants, we can usually help them by removing the implant and capsule and reattaching the muscle. We then perform the breast reconstruction with the new breast on top of the muscle. If you  choose to have breast reconstruction after problems with implants, then replacing them with your own fatty tissue can be a great option. Let me know if you need more information. Thanks again for your question!

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