Breast Implant Revision
Over time, breast implants can develop a number of issues that would cause women to want to have their implants replaced, removed, or adjusted. These kinds of problems can be corrected with a procedure called breast implant revision surgery. Women whose implants have shifted, were too large for their frame, or whose breasts have changed because of weight loss, pregnancy, or time can dramatically improve the appearance of their implants with a breast revision.
What is a Breast Revision?
Women interested in the breast revision procedure often ask us what is involved. Depending on what you are unhappy with – size, shape, or position of your breasts – determines the variation of what goes into breast revision surgery. The goal of a breast revision is to restore a natural, pleasing, feminine appearance to your breasts – either get them back to the way they were immediately after your first implant surgery, or to achieve the look that you always wanted them to have. The end result of a breast revision is youthful, natural-looking, aesthetically pleasing breasts.
What Problems Does Breast Revision Solve?
Some common problems that can be fixed with a breast revision include:
- Capsular Contracture – After all implant surgeries, the body forms a protective capsule of scar tissue around the implant. Over time, the capsule can shrink and squeeze the implant. This can cause the implant to deform and change shape, resulting in breasts that are painful, hard to the touch, and that look unnatural.
- Implant leak – With saline implants, it is very easy to tell if the implant is leaking because it will start to deflate. With silicone gel implants, an ultrasound or MRI is usually required to tell if they are leaking. New silicone gel implants do not “leak”, since the silicone has a consistency of a gummy bear, but older silicone implants can and need to be replaced if they do.
- Rippling – This is more common in saline implants that are too large for a patient’s body. Visible ripples on the implant can be seen through the skin.
- Animation – Any implant that is placed under the muscle will move when the pectoral muscles contract. This is exaggerated as the implant size gets larger relative to the patient’s chest.
- Malposition – If the implant has moved higher or lower on the chest it can cause discomfort and also distort the appearance of the breasts. Revisions from implant malposition are common when large implants are placed under the muscle. Over time, these implants end up in the armpits or lower down on the abdomen.
- Symmastia – If the implants were placed too close together in an attempt to produce better cleavage, the implants can touch in the middle, resulting in symmastia or “uniboob”.
- Changing size – Even without any of the above problems, breast implant revision can also be performed if the patient simply wants a smaller or larger size implant.
Every patient is unique so if you’re having other problems with your breast implant and you’d like to learn about breast revision, patients should give Dr. Hall a call today at (865) 973-9500. We would absolutely love to hear from you and help in any way we can.
When do I need a Breast Implant Revision?
The timing of breast implant revision surgery varies depending on the reason you are seeking revision surgery. Some women who got implants in their late teens or twenties are seeking to “downsize” their breasts, since their aesthetic tastes have changed over the past 15-20 years. Other women seek breast implant revision surgery a few years after their first implant placement because the implants are malpositioned or they have developed rippling, symmastia, or animation deformities. When you are no longer happy with the way your implants look, it is time to look into whether breast implant revision surgery is right for you.
How is Breast Implant Revision Done?
The particulars of each breast revision depend on the correction that is necessary. However, in many cases, the original incision can be used again to avoid creating another scar.
With this procedure, the problem is that the pocket of scar tissue holding the implant inside the breast is squeezing the implant. Dr. Hall will remove the hard capsule and the breast implant and then replace the old implants with new, modern implants (often replacing saline with silicone).
When the edges of the implant can be seen “rippling” across the outer edges of the breast, Dr. Hall will attempt to use the original incision and try to reposition the implant inside the breast and give it more support. Most patients opt to replace their saline implants with silicone gel during this procedure, as well.
Change In Size
For women who want to increase their implant size, Dr. Hall will use the original incision and then change the shape and size of the space where the implant sits (the “pocket” in surgery language). Obviously, new implants are needed for this procedure.
Better Breasts with your own Fat
In many cases of breast implant revision surgery, implants that were too large were placed in the breast, which causes the breast tissue to thin over time. This makes any revision more difficult because the implant is more difficult to “hide” under very thin skin and breast tissue. During breast implant revision surgery, it is not uncommon for Dr. Hall to harvest some of your own body fat using liposuction and use it to smooth out the contours of the breast in addition to replacing the implants. This addition – called fat grafting – helps to restore the natural shape and feel of your breasts.
Recovering from Breast Revision
Ppatients can expect their recovery from a breast revision to be about the same as their original surgery, as few surgeons practice the same gentle technique for implant placement that Dr. Hall uses. Most breast implant revision patients will be sore for the first week after their surgery, but this resolves quickly. Swelling may last longer than the original implant surgery, and this swelling usually goes away within a month. Drainage tubes are rarely needed.
Most women can return to work within seven to ten days depending on the type of work they do. As with your first implant surgery, you should avoid any kind of strenuous physical activity for at least six weeks.
What Should You Do Next?
If your breasts have any of the above issues, or you are just unhappy with their appearance, contact Dr. Hall today to schedule a consultation with here in our office. During this preliminary consultation you can talk with Dr. Hall about the concerns you have with your breasts and then discuss treatment options.
We love talking with our patients about any questions they have so please give us a call today at (865) 973-9500.