Revision Breast Surgery
Most breast augmentation procedures result in satisfying changes that last many years. The vast majority of patients who receive breast implants are content with their new look and enjoy optimal proportions without complication. However, there are circumstances in which breast implant revision is desired. We are pleased to support our patients with personalized care that revolves around their need and goals related to breast implant exchange.
What Is Revision Breast Surgery?
Breast implant revision is a procedure that focuses on correcting previous reconstructive or cosmetic breast surgery. This surgery involves replacing existing saline or silicone implants or removing implants altogether. Overall, the objective of revision breast surgery is to restore the most natural looking contours to the breasts. To achieve this, we take great care in assessing each patient’s situation and desired outcome.
Who Is a Candidate for Revision Breast Surgery?
There are several reasons why breast implant revision may be performed. Candidates may seek this procedure to correct:
- Capsular Contracture. The body naturally forms a capsule of scar tissue around breast implants. However, sometimes, the tissue that forms this envelope becomes thick, rigid, and tight, thus contracting or squeezing the implant. Capsular contracture can develop in one or both breasts. Depending on severity, contracture can deform the breast or cause discomfort. Revision surgery can remove or replace implants as well as scar tissue as needed to support natural appearance.
- Bottoming out. This condition is a complication in which the breast implants fall too low on the chest wall. Only the internal tissue falls, though, making the nipple look abnormally high compared to breast volume.
- Ruptured or leaking implants. Breast implants are not made to last forever. At some point, many implants leak or rupture. This is not dangerous but it does need to be corrected to prevent saline or silicone leakage into surrounding tissue.
- Size. Breast implant revision may be performed to either upsize or downsize implants. Depending on the direction a patient chooses, we may suggest a breast lift in conjunction with implant change.
- Rippling. This problem may affect patients who are very thin or whose implants are above the muscle. Changing the size or position of the implants can decrease or completely correct rippling.
- Symmastia. This breast implant complication occurs when the individual pockets merge in the center of the chest. Correction may be possible when the patient’s breast capsule tissue is strong enough to support separating the merged pockets.
Does Revision Breast Surgery Involve a Breast Lift?
Sometimes breast revision surgery needs to coincide with a breast lift in order to achieve an optimal outcome. Situations such as breast implant removal or downsizing breast implants may result in too much excess tissue and loose skin to appear natural and perky. The benefit of combining these two procedures is that breasts retain a full, shapely appearance and there is only one recovery period.
Can I Have My Implants Removed and Replaced?
Breast implant revision can involve replacement or removal. Replacement is a common revision technique, seeing that breast implants typically wear down or leak over time.
Can I Have My Implants Removed and Have a Lift at the Same Time?
More and more women are choosing to have their breast implants removed rather than replaced. Often, removal leaves too much space beneath the skin and muscle. This results in saggy, sad looking breasts. Combining a lift with implant removal allows us to optimize the final outcome of treatment and allows patients to love the look of their all-natural breasts.
If I Am Decreasing the Size of My Implants, Will I Need a Breast Lift?
In some situations, implants can be downsized without the need for lifting. We take care to conduct a thorough evaluation of the breast tissue before the revision procedure to get an idea of retraction capabilities. If we believe that the breasts will look good with their new, smaller size in their current position on the chest wall, we may perform the revision without a lift. However, position is just as important as size in terms of appearance, so we are meticulous in observing the tiny details that may affect a patient’s satisfaction.
Are There Risks Involved with Revision Breast Surgery?
Like breast augmentation, there are risks associated with revision breast surgery. Significant complications are rare but could include capsular contracture, infection, and loss of nipple sensation. Usually, the side effects of breast implant removal or replacement are limited to temporary swelling and bruising, minor discomfort, and short-term sensation loss. During your consultation in our Austin office, we will discuss the risks that may relate to your desired procedure.
Will I Have Scars After Revision Breast Surgery?
Whenever possible, we conduct revision breast surgery through the same incisions made in the previous surgery. Incisions may be more extensive if we are also conducting a breast lift as a part of the overall revision. The pattern of incisions is discussed during your consultation visit.
Can Revision Breast Surgery Correct Capsular Contracture?
Capsular contracture is a common problem that can be corrected with revision breast surgery. During the procedure, breast implants are removed or replaced and scar tissue is trimmed as needed to restore suppleness and natural-looking shape.