Help with Your Breast Implant Placement or Breast Deformity?


Help with Your Breast Implant Placement or Breast Deformity?

Good news. We can help!

When you decide to move forward with breast augmentation, one of the choices you will need to make with your plastic surgeon is whether to place the implants above or below your chest muscle. Known as submuscular placement, this technique is often recommended to women seeking breast augmentation and reconstruction, due to the natural appearance that can be achieved. However, some women find this placement leads to a problem known as “animation deformity.” Dr. Rappaport performs revision breast augmentation for patients that want to reverse animation deformity and improve their confidence in their new breast size.

Explaining Breast Animation Deformity

Animation deformity can be defined as movement of the breast implant when the chest muscle moves. This can result in a visible rippling, creasing or displacement of the breast when you raise your arms or perform certain activities. Women may become very self-conscious about this effect, especially during physical exercise or intimacy.

The animation deformity is caused by the interaction between the breast implant and the chest muscle. In most cases, the muscle is partially released from the chest and the implant inserted beneath the muscle. In some cases, when the chest muscle flexes, it may push down on the implant, causing distortion or elevation of the implant in an upward and lateral position creating an unnatural appearance and possible discomfort.

Benefits of Submuscular Placement

There are a number of potential benefits to submuscular placement of breast implants:

  • Prevents the edges of the implants from showing on the outside of the breast
  • Maintains a natural slope to the upper pole of the breast
  • May lead to a lower risk of capsular contracture
  • Protects the implants from mastectomy incisions
  • Makes it easier to see more of the breast during mammograms

With many benefits, it is no wonder plastic surgeons frequently recommend submuscular placement to their patients. However, animation deformity is one drawback that is unique to this implant position.

Reversing the Problem

If you have a significant amount of animation deformity, you might consider revision surgery to repair the problem. As with any revision augmentation, it is imperative to select a plastic surgeon with extensive experience in both augmentation and revision techniques to ensure the best possible results. Animation deformity is not always a simple fix and requires knowledge and expertise by the surgeon to choose the right procedure for your situation.

The majority of patients with animation deformity will see the best results by removing the implant from behind the chest muscle, reattaching the muscle to the chest and placing the implant in the breast tissue above the muscle. Known as subglandular placement, this switch is often sufficient to correct the problem and produce satisfying results.

Some patients may not have sufficient breast tissue to safely conceal an implant if it is placed above the chest muscle. Women who have undergone breast reconstruction surgery may also find that subglandular placement will not provide them with the most natural results. In these cases, fat grafting and/or the utilization of soft tissue substitutes have proven to be beneficial following implant relocation.

If you are unhappy with the results of your breast augmentation due to animation deformity, there are solutions. To find out if revision surgery is a good option for you, contact Dr. Rappaport at Houston Center for Plastic Surgery at 855-853-7926 to schedule a consultation.

Looking for more information?

Please read some of our other articles about breast enhancement, breast lifts, or breast reconstruction!


Examples of Dr. Rappaport’s breast revision work.

Houston Center For Plastic Surgery

6560 Fannin Street, #1812
Houston, Texas 77030

Phone: (713) 790-4500
Fax: (713) 793-1299