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On 08



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Andrew McGregor, MD

woman putting on a bra

Breast augmentation is a popular cosmetic procedure, offering countless women the opportunity to enhance their appearance and boost their confidence. While the vast majority of these surgeries are successful and result in high patient satisfaction, complications can occasionally arise. One such complication is the "double bubble" deformity. Though it can be distressing, the good news is that this issue can be effectively corrected through revision surgery performed by an experienced plastic surgery specialist. 

In this blog, we'll explore what the double bubble problem is, why it occurs, and how it can be resolved, providing reassurance that a beautiful and satisfying result is within reach.

What is the Double Bubble Deformity?

The term "double bubble" refers to a specific type of breast implant malposition where a visible crease or indentation forms beneath the breast. This creates the appearance of two distinct bulges or "bubbles" – the natural breast tissue and the implant. This can occur soon after surgery or develop over time, leading to dissatisfaction with the aesthetic outcome.

Causes of Double Bubble

Several factors can contribute to the development of a double bubble deformity:

1. Implant Placement:

  • Submuscular Placement: Implants placed beneath the chest muscle can sometimes shift or cause the lower part of the breast to drop, especially if the natural breast tissue is already slightly droopy (ptotic).
  • Incorrect Pocket Creation: During surgery, the creation of the pocket where the implant sits is crucial. If the pock

2. Natural Breast Anatomy:

  • Women with significant natural breast tissue, especially if it sags, are at a higher risk of developing a double bubble. The natural tissue may not integrate well with the implant, causing a distinct separation.

3. Post-Surgical Factors:

  • Healing and Scarring: Post-surgical healing and scar tissue formation can sometimes alter the placement of the implant.
  • Weight Fluctuations: Significant changes in weight can affect breast tissue and implant positioning.

Recognizing the Double Bubble

The double bubble deformity is typically noticeable when looking at the breast in profile or when raising the arms. There will be a visible indentation or fold across the lower portion of the breast, separating the natural tissue from the implant. This issue can affect one or both breasts and can vary in severity.

Corrective Measures

The prospect of dealing with a double bubble deformity can be unsettling, but rest assured, corrective measures are available. Revision surgery can effectively address and correct this issue, restoring a natural and aesthetically pleasing breast contour. Here’s how:

1. Consultation with a Specialist:

  • The first step towards correction is a consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon who specializes in breast surgery revisions. They will conduct a thorough examination, review your medical history, and discuss your aesthetic goals to devise a tailored treatment plan.

2. Surgical Options:

  • Repositioning the Implant: One of the most common corrective measures involves repositioning the implant. This might include adjusting the pocket where the implant sits, either by lowering the inframammary fold (the crease under the breast) or moving the implant to a more appropriate location.
  • Changing the Implant Type or Size: Sometimes, switching to a different type or size of implant can help achieve a more harmonious look. For instance, changing from a submuscular to a subglandular (above the muscle) placement can be beneficial in certain cases.
  • Capsulorrhaphy: This technique involves tightening the capsule around the implant to secure it in the correct position and prevent it from shifting.
  • Breast Lift (Mastopexy): For women with significant ptosis, combining implant revision with a breast lift can correct the double bubble by removing excess skin and reshaping the natural breast tissue. Use of an “internal bra” may be necessary in some cases, and you can discuss this option with your surgeon. 

3. Post-Surgical Care:

  • Following revision surgery, adhering to post-operative care instructions is crucial for optimal healing and results. This may include wearing a supportive bra, avoiding strenuous activities, and attending follow-up appointments with your surgeon.

Positive Outcomes

The journey to correct a double bubble deformity can be transformative, both physically and emotionally. Patients often report a significant improvement in their breast appearance and a boost in self-confidence following revision surgery. Advances in surgical techniques and personalized treatment plans ensure that the majority of patients achieve their desired results with minimal risk of recurrence.

Final Thoughts

While the double bubble deformity is an unfortunate complication, it is important to remember that it is rare and is both identifiable and treatable. If you’re experiencing this issue, seek out a qualified plastic surgeon to discuss your options. Revision surgery offers a reliable path to achieving the natural, harmonious breast contour you initially envisioned.

Your journey towards correction and satisfaction is well within reach, and with the right expertise, you can look forward to beautiful, lasting results.

Look good, feel good. Discover a healthier, happier you!

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