Candidates for Breast Implant Revision
At Minneapolis Plastic Surgery, LTD, we have helped thousands of patients obtain safe and effective breast augmentation surgery. We have also performed a number of breast implant revision surgeries, corrective procedures for previous breast augmentations. Although rare, complications or less that ideal outcomes are possible with any surgery. With elective operations on properly selected and fully informed patients, these issues should be avoidable in most cases. Yet, each year we see dozens of women whose surgery elsewhere has not met their expectations. We also see this in a few of our own patients, so learning how to correct the problems and issues of surgery elsewhere helps us to minimize the chances of the same thing occurring in our own patients, and also makes us experienced in dealing with these issues, whether our own or some other surgeon’s.
What is Breast Implant Revision?
Breast implant revision refers to surgery performed to correct or improve upon a previous breast augmentation procedure. This revision surgery is performed in order to address various kinds of complications and problems that breast augmentation patients may face.
The Most Common Reason for Breast Implant Revision
It may surprise nobody that the most common reason women request revision breast augmentation is to change implant size. A few women do indeed request that they have slightly smaller implants placed, but the vast majority of women want to go larger, often more than once. This seems to occur because most women fear being made “too large” at their initial implant placement. Despite sizing, use of goal photographs, and much discussion, apparently there is a strong fear of someone “noticing” and the resultant fear of being “judged” that impels women to choose something other than what THEY want! Yet these same women who choose their (first) implants too conservatively would never shop for size 4 shoes (when they have size 6 feet) out of “concern” that someone might judge them as having “large feet!”
More is written about sizing in the Choosing your Implants section on our Breast Augmentation page. But for now, let it suffice to say that you should choose the implants that make you look exactly how you wish to look, and then choose clothing and brassiere styles to “dress up” the size or to “dress down” the size of your pretty new breasts! And realize that if you get an appreciative glance, it won’t be because they “know” you have breast implants, it will be because you look great, confident, and happy. Forget all the rest!
Breast Implant Revision for Capsular Contracture
Capsular contracture is a complication of breast augmentation surgery in which the scar tissue around the breast implant(s) tightens and makes the breast(s) feel hard. Capsular contracture can be mild (Baker grade 1) or severe (Baker grade 4). Capsular contracture can occur on one or both sides, and can make the affected breast(s) to appear misshapen and can sometimes be painful to the patient. The usual causes of capsular contracture are bleeding and bacterial biofilm. The surgical revision procedure will involve the removal of the breast implant to open up or remove the abnormal scar tissue, and the placement of a new implant.
Breast Implant Revision for Ruptures and Leaks
Implant ruptures and leaks can lead to problems from an aesthetic standpoint. When a saline breast implant has a leak and begins to deflate, the implant will need to be removed and replaced in a revision procedure. Silicone implants are now all cohesive and cannot leak; ruptures are exceedingly rare, but when detected, require implant replacement as well.
Breast Implant Revision for Various Aesthetic Issues
When healing, softening, and settling occurs months after the breast augmentation operation has been performed, patients may notice that their breasts are asymmetrical, uneven, or don’t look quite the way that they’d hoped. Since every woman starts with varying degrees of asymmetry, some degree of this is normal. Absolute symmetry is neither possible nor a reasonable expectation, but usually improvements in more severe cases of pre-surgical asymmetry can be achieved. Asymmetry during the healing process is also part of the nature of surgery, particularly after many years. A revision procedure in these cases can help improve overall symmetry and appearance of the breasts, enhancing the work that was previously done.
Breast Implant Revision for Bottoming Out
Since gravity and aging affect 100% of women with breasts (and breast implants), one issue that patients with breast implants may experience is “bottoming out.” When a breast implant bottoms out, it ends up stretching and creating a new (lower) pocket below the pocket that was originally created for it during the initial surgery. The result is a breast that looks like it is situated lower on the chest, with “high” malposition of the nipples on the too-low breast mound, or issues with the contour of the underside of the breast. Revision of this problem will typically involve carefully repositioning the breast implant higher and resuturing the implant pocket to create a new thicker and better-positioned capsule that will better resist future bottoming out.
Breast Implant Revision to Correct a Previous Surgery
Revision surgeries are often performed in order to address the poor results of another surgeon. In these cases, we work closely with the patient to ensure her initial aesthetic goals are met and that any corrective work we do is as minimally invasive as possible. Issues with implant placement, the size and shape of the implant, breast symmetry, and so forth can all be considered for these kinds of surgeries.
Speak with the Team at Minneapolis Plastic Surgery, LTD
To learn more about breast implant revision and how it can help you achieve better results with regard to your aesthetic goals, be sure to contact our aesthetic plastic surgery center today. The team at Minneapolis Plastic Surgery, LTD looks forward to your visit and will help you achieve optimal results with surgical and non-surgical treatments.
© Dr. Richard H. Tholen, MD