Breast implant migration can have two completely different meanings. First, it can describe filler material which has leaked outside of the outer shell and spread throughout the surrounding organic tissue. This is typically called filler material migration. The second common use of the term describes movement of the complete implant out of its designated anatomical pocket. This typically creates a strange aesthetic as the implant drifts downwards, towards the underarm, or inward, towards the cleavage.
Both issues can have serious consequences and should be treated by a qualified plastic surgeon.
Breast Implant Migration of Filler Material
Breast implants consist of an outer shell made of silicone and an inner filler material made of either saline solution, viscous silicone liquid or cohesive silicone jelly solid material.
Saline leaks the easiest, since it is the thinnest of all filler materials and can find a way to escape out of even tiny imperfections in the outer implant shell.
Silicone liquid is less likely to leak from tiny cracks or holes, but can still leak into surrounding tissue, although typically slower than saline solution.
Cohesive silicone jelly will not leak, since it is bonded into a solid form and will stick together even if the outer shell is cut open.
Breast Implant Migration of the Entire Prosthesis
Implant migration is most often the result of poor surgical technique during the initial augmentation process. If the surgeon over-dissects the tissue surrounding the implant, the prosthesis can move about too much inside the overly large pocket or might even leave the pocket altogether.
This migration condition is more common in submuscular placement than in subglandular placement by a huge margin.
Depending on how and where the implant moves, the woman might suffer from bottoming out, synmastia or double bubble effect. Some women even have their implants wind up on the side of their body, virtually in their underarm.
Of course, all these conditions are quite rare and are mostly preventable by hiring a talented and experienced cosmetic surgeon.
Breast Implant Migration Fixes
If you plan your procedure carefully and choose a good surgeon, it is unlikely that your will suffer full implant migration.
Remember that inframammary breast augmentation can contribute to the deterioration of the natural breast fold, possibly causing downward migration of the prostheses with time, although this is typically considered normal and not a true migration concern.
Synmastia is perhaps the worst possible occurrence and can be very challenging to correct in some instances.
Filler material migration might occur, which is why it is crucial to have regular implant exams from a qualified doctor.
Saline solution should not be harmful if it leaks from your prostheses, but the damaged shell should be removed and a new implant placed immediately.
Cohesive silicone implants are not likely to rupture or leak any interior filler, so migration is not an issue with this particular style of prosthesis.
Traditional silicone style implants pose the greatest risk for filler migration, since the material should not be allowed to move about in organic tissue.
If you suspect that any style of implant is damaged or leaking, make sure to get the prosthesis checked as soon as possible. Talk to your plastic surgeon to learn methods which might prevent filler migration and the unwanted effects of displaced breast implants.