Issues and problems with Implant Reconstruction

I would be interested in talking to anyone who has had an implant and if they had any issues afterwards.  I’m having a mastectomy in January and my surgeon said I could have an implant reconstruction at the same time but he did mention all the disadvantages (there seems to be quite a few!) , i.e. hardening, rippling, infection, need for further surgery, particularly the difference in size and droop compared to other natural breast and looking uneven, being aware of the implant and feeling unnatural. 

I would love to hear from anyone who has had an implant and has experienced any of the above and also from those people who have not had any problems, and how they are feeling about their new implant.  I am trying to ascertain how common these problems are. 

Also what difference it makes if you are small breasted, I’m only 36A so I am concerned the new breast with implant will be considerably bigger than my natural breast.

I appreciate anyone taking the time to get in touch with their experiences (good or bad). 

Hi CeliaRose - I had an implant at the same time as my mastectomy about 3.5 years ago, so I’m happy to answer any questions you might have. In my experience all doctors have to warn you about everything that could go wrong because of the risk of being sued if they didn’t. Just because they mention something doesn’t mean it will happen - or one thing might but not all.

I had a “pre-pectoral” implant, meaning it sits on top of the chest muscle in some sort of Braxon sling. I had radiotherapy afterwards and I was warned about the risk of hardening (capsular contracture), but he was happy to go ahead with this option of implant.

It isn’t a perfect match for me real one, but I’ve got used to it and am happy with it now. I use a partial prosthesis or breast form to even things up under clothes so you would never know when dressed (unless you stared really hard!!). The implant is more rounded. I don’t have much sensation in my implant breast but I honestly don’t notice it now. I chose the implant route because of a shorter operation and recovery but it really is a very personal decision and you need to think about what is a priority for you - some prefer natural tissue and others choose to stay flat.

I am also quite small breasted, 32B/C - the B is the real one, the C is the implant. Your surgeon will do all he can to measure and calculate the best size implant to get the best match.

Have you asked your surgeon to show you pictures of options of reconstruction so you know what to expect?

Please do ask any questions at all - it’s important for you to feel happy with your choice and decision. Evie xx

Hello Celia Rose,

I had a skin sparing mastectomy with immediate implant reconstruction in mid November. I am now almost 6 weeks post op.  My implant is on top of my chest muscle. I remember signing the consent form prior to the operation and seeing the list of potential problems and feeling the same concern as you. So far everything has gone really well and I haven’t had any of the problems they mentioned. My scar is almost healed and the bruising on my new breast is considerably less than it was. I do still have a little swelling. The skin around the implant does feels sensitive, my consultant suggested using E45 cream, which has helped. I have little feeling on my implant which does take some getting used to. I was unable to lift with my arm or straighten my arm but by doing the physio exercises I am now so much better with this. These are the main issues I’ve had, so, so far so good!

The new breast does look a little fuller than my natural breast but with clothes on you can’t tell at all. I have been advised to wear a post surgery bra for at least 8 weeks morning and night. The bra will help the implant stay in place and bind to your skin. The bra I have is from Theya (online). It has pockets within the bra to add padding should people need to even things up. The droop of my 2 breasts in a bra is identical! But my new one does feel harder and doesn’t droop like my natural one when I don’t have a bra on. My main concern if that people can’t tell anything when I am clothed, which people assure me they can’t.

Prior to the op I wore a B or C cup bra, depending on the fit. Although I have read that implants tend to be more successful in women with smaller cup sizes :slightly_smiling_face:

If you have any other questions please feel free to ask. 

All the best with your surgery. I think, like with everything, they always have to warn people what could go wrong. I feel hopeful that all will go well with your surgery too.

Take care x

If your natural breast is smaller to your reconstructed breast they can match it to your new breast changing the size