The waterfall breast, sometimes called “snoopy nose” deformity is essentially a complication that can occur post breast augmentation surgery. It is when your breast tissue appears to be falling off the front of the implant. Your breast tissue will spill over the breast implant, resembling a waterfall, and that is why it is also known as a waterfall deformity.
Sydney Plastic Surgeon Dr Jeremy Hunt routinely performs breast procedures and may recommend revision surgery for those experiencing complications from a past breast surgery.
What Does Waterfall Deformity Look Like?
With your breast tissue spilling over the breast implant, the deformity can make the breasts appear less proportionate or downturned (ptosis). Contrary to the popular belief, it is very different from a capsular contracture that makes your breasts look distorted, missahpen and tight. However, it can be caused by a capsular contracture when the implant is placed or contracted into a higher position
What Causes the Breast Deformity?
A waterfall breast deformity primarily occurs in the cases where breast implants are placed underneath the muscle. This placement is known as a submuscular or subpectoral placement. The placement alone isn’t responsible for the deformity. However, it can occur if the implant is placed very high.
In most cases, the deformity occurs when patients already have a healthy amount of breast tissue that sits over the implant. Over time, this tissue slides off and over the implant, giving your breasts the appearance of ptosis.
How Can I Tell If I Have a Breast Deformity?
You can find plenty of reference images online that will help you determine whether you have a breast deformity. However, there is only one way to be completely sure of it. That is to visit a specialist plastic surgeon. After carefully analysing your breasts, the plastic surgeon will be able to give the final verdict and possible solutions to help your condition. So, the first step is to book an appointment with Dr Hunt or Dr Maryam as soon as possible.
1. Waterfall deformity
This deformity can occur after getting a breast implant. It will have the distinct appearance of laxity or ptosis of the breast tissue that falls below the breast implant. It is more common than most people think and can occur well after long-term breast augmentation mammoplasty.
2. Deformity known as “double bubble”
The double-bubble deformity occurs when a breast implant sits lower than the old inframammary crease. It happens when a breast implant is positioned below the old crease at the surgery or when an implant falls below the crease with the passage of time creating a contour deformity.
How to Avoid These Deformities
Believe it or not, there are things you can do to prevent these deformities from happening in the first place. Here are our tips:
1. Always Choose an Experienced Plastic Surgeon
The first and most important thing that you should do prior to getting your breast augmentation mammoplasty is to choose the right plastic surgeon. Invest your time in research, pay close attention to the experience of the surgeon, look at before and after photographs, and only after this make your choice.
2. Plan for Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
If you plan to get pregnant in future or breastfeed, it is good to put the breast augmentation mammoplasty surgery on hold. Pregnancy and breastfeeding can stretch your skin and can put you at a higher risk of deformities.
3. Avoid Extreme Weight Changes
Try to maintain a steady and stable weight post-surgery. Excessive weight gain and weight loss will impact your skin laxity and can cause problems with your implants.
4. Wear a Bra to Add Breast Support
Post-surgery, it is important to wear a good supportive bra and avoid doing things that can affect your breasts. Invest in a good sports bra for working out and choose good-quality materials to give your breasts the much needed support.
5. Choose a Suitable Procedure
If you already have healthy breast tissue and are just hoping to alter the appearance of your breasts a little bit, you can skip breast augmentation mammoplasty altogether. In some cases, a combination of breast lift mastopexty and autologous fat transfer is all you need. In other cases, Dr Hunt can simply place the implant differently and it can save you the trouble.
6. Avoid Choosing the Cheapest Implant Surgery Option you can find
Most people make the mistake of choosing the cheapest surgeon available to them instead of truly investigating the profile of the surgeon. You can either choose a highly experienced surgeon even when you have to pay a bit more or end up paying twice as much money with someone who barely has any experience. Read our blog on How to Avoid Botched Breasts.
Do All Breast Implants Do This?
The answer is no. Although deformities can occur in the case of sub-pectoral implant placement, not all patients will experience them. With age, your tissue and skin quality changes (mainly when you hit menopause) and that can lead to deformity. Other factors that can exacerbate the problem include weight changes, breastfeeding and pregnancy.
How To Correct a Breast Deformity
Needless to say, waterfall deformity breast implant calls for breast implant revision surgery. There are many ways to go about it depending on the unique needs of the patient and deformities. In most cases, the breast implant has to be replaced and repositioned.
In some cases, Dr Hunt might opt for a breast lift mastopexy to reposition the breast tissue. On the other hand, an autologous fat transfer is also a great option make the breasts fuller. If you are planning to increase the size of your breasts and have enough breast tissue, a combination of breast lift mastopexy and fat transfer can achieve an increased breast size without worrying about the problems with breast implants under the muscle.
Dr Hunt might also perform the internal bra technique. Depending on the extent of ptosis, a mastopexy or a redo of the previous surgery is all you need. Dr Hunt will figure out a way to merge the breast tissue and implant mound into a singular shape. Sometimes, support such an internal bra works wonders. In other cases, surgeons might opt for a mesh. It is a naturally derived material that absorbs slowly and is known to provide adequate support for maintaining your breast shape and upper pole fullness in the breast lift mastopexy. It is placed under the skin as an internal bra to wrap the implant and breast together.
Points to Consider Before Getting a Revision Surgery
Now that you are faced with a breast deformity, you will be most likely looking into revision surgery. It might include breast implant removal and replacement, breast lift mastopexy along with autologous fat transfer, liposuction along with an internal bra surgery. The options are endless here and you and Dr Hunt have to choose what will work best for your particular case. Once you have settled on the procedure, make sure to follow all the pre and post-op instructions to avoid any complications.
FAQs about Waterfall Deformity & Other Breast Implant Deformities
Here is a list of frequently asked questions we get regarding this deformity:
What causes waterfall breast deformity?
- This breast deformity generally occurs in women who already have healthy breast tissue. It mostly happens when the breast implant is placed beneath the pectoralis muscle and positioned too high in the chest.
What causes a “double bubble”?
- When an implant is placed under the muscles and has been lowered in a plane deep to the attachment of the pectoral fascia to the skin, it may create the appearance of a double bubble.
What causes animation deformity?
- Animation deformity is caused by contraction of the pectoralis muscle against the breast implant, causing it and the overlying breast shape to unnaturally shift with muscle contraction.
How do you fix a waterfall deformity?
- In most cases, a waterfall deformity can be fixed with the help of a breast lift mastopexy. In certain cases, Dr Hunt might go for implant removal and replacement.
How do you get capsular contracture?
- Capsular contracture ●is a local complication that occurs due to an excessive body reaction to the implant. It is thought to be an inflammatory reaction that causes fibrosis through the production of collagen, leading to excessively firm and painful breasts. Other causes might include Low-Grade Bacterial Infection. Capsular contracture can develop due to the formation of a biofilm within the breast pocket, hematoma and seroma, breast cancer treatment, and genetic predisposition.
Can pregnancy and breastfeeding after breast augmentation mammoplasty cause waterfall deformity?
- While it isn’t the case for most people, pregnancy and breastfeeding can truly impact the results of your breast augmentation mammoplasty and may lead to a waterfall deformity.
Can waterfall deformity be fixed naturally?
- No, unfortunately, the waterfall deformity cannot be corrected without surgery. Revision surgery is the only solution for this issue.
Further Reading about Surgery for Waterfall Deformity
- Read Dr Hunt’s Breast Augmentation Mammoplasty page
- See Dr Hunt’s Real Patient Breast Augmentation MammoplastyBefore and After Photos
Recommended Blogs about Breast Implants & How to avoid Waterfall Deformity
- Choosing your Breast Implants & Augmentation Mammoplasty Surgery Options
- Choosing the Right Implant Size – Sydney Guide to Breast Implant Size
- Benefits of Mentor Implants and Why Dr Hunt uses them
- Mini Augmentation Mammoplasty with Smaller Implants
- Recovery after Breast Implant Removal
Medical References about Breast Implant Deformities
- Waterfall Breast and Double Bubble Have Much in Common
- The waterfall effect in breast augmentation mammoplasty
- Management of a Common Breast Augmentation Mammoplasty Complication
About Dr Jeremy Hunt – Specialist Plastic Surgeon
Dr Jeremy Hunt is a specialist plastic surgeon performing breast, body, face and nose surgery in Australia. He is a member of FRACS & ASPS and has over 20 years of experience providing plastic surgery in Sydney.
Careful, considerate and honest, Dr Jeremy Hunt works with you to find a solution that is suitable for your body and your lifestyle. Every patient is unique and requires a personalised approach to reach their goals.
Dr Hunt has provided his one-on-one service and attention to detail to thousands of women and men from the Sydney & Wollongong NSW area and across Australia.
Dr Hunt’s qualifications and education
Dr Jeremy A. Hunt MBBS FRACS graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine degree from Sydney University in 1990 and is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and member of ASPS – the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons. He completed a Fellowship at the University of Texas in the United States, where he learnt from well-established and experienced plastic surgeons.
Next Step – Make an Enquiry or Request a consultation with Dr Hunt
Want more information before scheduling your consultation?
- Find out more about pricing, medical payment plans and paying for your surgery
- Request more information about the procedure – call on 1300 157 200 or contact us
If breast reduction mammoplasty is something you’re considering, Dr Hunt can thoroughly explain all the options to you in a one-on-one consultation.
- Make an Enquiry or Request a consultation with Dr Hunt
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health professional.