Improve or Fix Your Breast Implants with Revision Surgery
By Benjamin J Boudreaux M.D. on July 28, 2014
When you come into our Mandeville plastic surgery office for breast enhancement, you benefit from the highest quality of care, experience, and comfort. We understand our patients’ needs and concerns, and we therefore aim to meet each of your expectations with every breast augmentation or similar implant procedure.
It is also important, however, for patients to maintain accurate expectations for treatment, including the understanding that some implant procedures require eventual revision. Although the reasons for revision are varied, each can be adequately addressed through a follow-up surgery that can have your body looking as good as - or better than - before. See the below information on implant revision surgery to better understand why it may be necessary or desired.
Why Might Patients Desire Implant Revision?
One reason for revision surgery is simple: some women desire a new look. Occasionally, this is because patients are unhappy with their original procedure and therefore come to our office for correction. If implants are incorrectly sized or positioned, or they otherwise do not match the patient’s aesthetic preferences, revision surgery can better achieve her desired look. More often, though, revision surgery occurs for the opposite reason; many women are so pleased with their improved curves that they wish to upgrade the size of their breasts further. Although we encourage our patients to plan their procedures carefully so that they can most likely achieve their ideal appearance after only one procedure, we also understand that preferences change over time. As long as the surgery can safely be performed and our patients are confident in what they want, we are happy to help women enhance their breasts and overall curvature.
Additionally, some patients may experience implant rippling, wherein an implant’s friction causes the skin to form small folds or “ripples,” usually along the sides of breasts. If rippling is especially noticeable or disconcerting, it can be reduced by changing an implant’s position to below the pectoral muscle or by switching to a different implant material.
When Is Implant Revision Necessary?
Although breast implants are considered safe and rarely result in significant health risks, it is not uncommon for complications to arise over a period of time. Not everyone should necessarily expect to encounter such problems, but we encourage our patients to understand the reality of implant complications and their necessity for revision surgery. Common problems include:
- Capsular contracture: After an implant is inserted, it is natural for some scar tissue to develop around it. However, in some cases, scar tissue continues to harden and constrict around the implant, resulting in discomfort, tightness of the breast, and possible implant rupture. This occurs in up to 15 percent of patients, resulting in revision surgery to remove the excess scar tissue.
- Implant rupture: If a tear occurs in an implant, the inside material will leak out. For saline implants, the leak is sudden and dramatic; for silicone, the leak is gradual and subtle. Both instances require revision so that the implant can be replaced. Roughly 10 percent of patients will encounter a rupture within the first 12 years of having implants.
- Double bubble: When an implant is located too high or lower in the breast tissue, it can create a double bubble effect that is aesthetically displeasing. Higher bubbles are caused by an implant failing to fall into the breast pocket, while lower bubbles are formed by an implant falling down beneath the inframammary crease. Although this is not generally considered a medical risk, nearly all patients seek revision surgery for this problem.
What Does Revision Surgery Entail?
Revision surgery begins much like the original procedure, via an incision into the breast. If patients used an inframammary or periareolar incision for their first surgery, it can be reused for the revision surgery. Once the doctor has access to the implant, the problem will be corrected accordingly, such as by repositioning the implant, revising the implant pocket, or replacing the implant. Because less tissue is removed and damaged than in the original surgery, most patients experience an easier and shorter recovery after follow-up procedures.
Do You Require Revision Surgery?
If you are unhappy with your current breast implants or suspect you may require revision surgery, schedule a consultation with Dr. Boudreaux to learn about your options. Contact us to set up an appointment or inquire about our other plastic surgery procedures.
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