Excessive Thinning of the Skin

Thin skin after breast augmentation is due to the placement of a breast implant beneath the breast and overlying tissues expanding and stretching. This causes thinning of the tissues over time. Although this occurs in all patients, it is more obvious in those who have very small breasts and who choose larger implants. Thinning skin is also associated with pregnancy, extreme weight loss, and advancing age.

Tissue thinning is more commonly seen in those patients who have subglandular implants and/or poor skin quality. The thinning of the skin can have negative consequences such as the ability to more easily feel the implant and to notice ripples in the implant itself. Stretching of the skin may result in sagging of the breast. Thinning of the tissue is often noticed most at the bottom and the sides of the breast.

How can I prevent thinning skin after a breast augmentation

This issue is best avoided by making the right decision on implant size before your enhancement. Choose an appropriate-sized breast implant relative to your anatomy and tissue quality. Stay within a “normal” range and you will simply do better.

Does regular bra use help stretching and thinning of the skin?

Yes. A truly supportive bra simply helps all issues related to your breasts and should be accepted as a fact of life.

If I have thinning skin after a breast enhancement, what are my alternatives to improve the situation? 

Treatment alternatives include changing out saline implants for the silicone variety, moving subglandular implants into the submuscular location, and changing out larger implants for smaller ones. Sometimes a breast lift and implant change are recommended.

Is ADM, or Acellular Dermal Matrix, needed in the repair of thinning breast tissue after enhancement?

ADM has been used for thinning skin and rippling for years. It can be effective, but it is simply overused in my opinion. It is not without risk and it is quite costly. Excellent surgeon judgment is needed here in making a recommendation for ADM. If your surgeon recommends it in all cases of skin thinning and uses it as a “blanket” or “layer” of additional tissue, I would suggest a second opinion.

What is the best way to avoid thinning of the skin after breast enhancement?

It’s all about prevention. Always choose an implant size that works best with your tissue characteristics (the surgeon’s responsibility), and support your breasts with an excellent bra (your responsibility).

Which breast implant is most associated with skin thinning—saline or silicone?

There are no formal studies that answer this question, but in my experience the saline implants are more associated with skin thinning than the silicone variety.

Is thinning of the skin from a breast implant associated with stretch marks?

You may experience both thinning of the skin and stretch marks, but I don’t believe thinning of the skin causes stretch marks. Think of them as two issues caused by different factors.

If I have thinning skin, do I need a breast lift? 

Maybe, maybe not. It all depends. You need the expert judgment of a breast revision specialist. He or she needs to examine the quality of your skin and tissues and take other factors into consideration before deciding on the need for a breast lift.

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