Loftus Plastic Surgery Center

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Breast Implant Displacement

How Breast Implants Sometimes Move out of Position

On this page, Dr. Loftus explains what implant displacement is, how to detect it, and what the risk factors are.

After a breast augmentation surgery, there is always the risk that breast implants can displace or move from their original position, due to gravity, capsular contracture, muscle pull, the forces of healing, or the weight of the implant. This may happen immediately after breast augmentation surgery or months later.

breast implant displacement diagrams

After breast augmentation surgery, breast implant displacement may occur. Interestingly, the nipple will point the direction opposite from where the implant has displaced. For example, if the implant moves upward, the nipple will appear to point downward (see Figure a). If the implant is displaced toward your breastbone, the nipple will appear to point outward, toward your armpit (see Figure b). Significant implant displacement can compromise the natural appearance of your breasts and can require an operation to re-center the breast implant. Due to the forces of gravity, it is much easier to fix an implant which has displaced upward than an implant which has displaced downward. Efforts to raise low breast implants are particularly confounded when the implant is very large. Hence, a larger implant which has displaced downward is much more difficult to fix than a small implant that has displaced downward or a large implant that has displaced upward.

Size of implant, type of implant, and position of implant can affect your risk of breast implant displacement. Breast implants larger than 500 cc are more likely to displace downward or outward than smaller implants. Saline breast implants are heavier than silicone breast implants and therefore more likely to displace downward. Implants placed over the muscle are more likely to displace downward than implants placed under the muscle. Hence, a large saline implant placed over the muscle is probably not the best option. When women choose implants over 500 cc, Dr. Loftus generally encourages them to select silicone implants and to place them under the muscle to reduce the risk of downward displacement.

Dr. Loftus

About Dr. Loftus


Dr. Loftus is a female plastic surgeon who is considered a national authority on plastic surgery, having appeared on numerous talk shows as an expert. Her book has become a best-selling book on plastic surgery and has earned her the reputation as a vocal advocate of patient safety, satisfaction, and education in plastic surgery. No wonder her patients have such great things to say about her…
Dr. Loftus standing by staff
My results are amazing - Dr. Loftus is amazing!
My friends can't believe how natural I look!
I had no pain after surgery and recovery was so easy.
The entire experience was fabulous!
I am a nurse who has worked with many doctors, Dr. Loftus is the best!
The care was exceptional and results are incredible!
My results are better than I ever imagined!
Dr. Loftus is a rare surgeon: highly skilled, personable and compassionate!
My experience from start to finish was completely extraordinary!
Awesome results from a skilled and caring doctor.
I love love love Dr. Loftus and everyone in the office!
I've never felt so comfortable and understood in a doctor's office.
I felt so comfortable and barely had any pain at all.
I never knew I could look this good! Thank you Dr. Loftus!!!
Never met such a warm and caring staff anywhere else.
If only every doctor could be like Dr. Loftus, how very fortunate we would be.

Dr. Loftus
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Dr. Loftus
on The Today Show

Dr. Loftus
on MSNBC

Dr. Loftus
on Later Today

Dr. Loftus
on Later Today

Dr. Loftus
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Cincinnati: The Christ Hospital
2139 Auburn Avenue, Suite 201
Cincinnati, OH 45219
(513) 793-4000
5 minutes from downtown Cinci,
At the Christ Medical Office Building

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Northern Kentucky
1881 Dixie Highway, Suite 300
Fort Wright, KY 41011
859-426-5000
3 minutes from downtown Cincinnati &
visible from I-71/75

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