Q: Dr. Eppley, I am interested in getting a pectoral implant on just one side. I have pectus excavatum on the right side of the sternum/chest and have been treated with fat inejctions. They did not do as much as I wanted due to some fat resorption. I think if I just had a small pectoral imnplant as opposed to a full one on that side that would make it much better and no volume would be lost. My question is how would this implant behave with years of abuse (contracting the muscle) through physical work, and working out the chest. and since it would be placed under the muscle it should be rather invisible during the movement of the muscle right? How long have your patients gone with implants? A silly question about this implant, would it be permanent and to my understanding the longer the implant would be under the muscle the more the chances of complications(movement) decrease?
A: Physical activity and chest muscle action have no negative effects on a submuscular pectoral implant or vice versa. Pectoral implants (whole or partial) under the muscle are not seen on the outside. It is implants that are above the muscle in the chest that have concerns in these regards. Pectoral implants are made of a soft silicone elastomer that does not degrade, this it is permanent and would never need to be replaced. I know of no pectoral implant patients who have ever had long-term problems with their implants. The only potential issues are short-term after surgery with the very low risks of infection or seroma formation.
Dr. Barry Eppley
Q: Dr. Eppley, I would like a consultation for a breast augmentation. I have pectus excavatum and didn’t realize this until early adulthood. At this point in my life I would prefer cosmetic surgery as opposed to a more invasive surgery to correct my deformity.
Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you!
A: Breast augmentation can do a good job of masking/hiding minor to moderate degrees of a pectus excavatum deformity. When the chest plane is fairly flat with minimal breast mounds, a inward curvature or depression of the sternum (pectus excavatum) can be very noticeable. One would think that increasing the size of the breast mounds would make the sternal depression more obvious…but it doesn’t. Conversely it has the opposite effect and makes it ‘disappear’. This is because enlargement of the breast mound with an implant pushes up the inner aspect of the breast mound and part of the skin that makes up the edges of the pectus deformity. With two mounds emerging right next to the sternum, the deepest part of the pectus deformity now creates a natural cleavage effect and the sternal depression has now ‘disappeared’.
Dr. Barry Eppley