Top Reasons for Breast Implant Revision Surgery

DECEMBER 22, 2013
Robert T. Grant, MD, MSc, FACS

Despite the best techniques and execution during a breast augmentation surgery, changes can occur within the breast or implant that can lead a patient to consider a breast revision surgery. Tissue elasticity due to age, childbirth, or implant displacement can cause a patient’s breasts to lose their natural appearance. When such changes occur, breast implant revision surgery can restore the breasts back to their more natural state and position.

During the initial consultation with a plastic surgeon, a patient’s breasts will be evaluated to decide the best course of action for the breast implant revision surgery. It is important to be honest during this consultation in order to manage a patient’s expectations and ensure the best possible results. Factors such as plans for weight loss or pregnancy can affect the results of a breast implant revision surgery in unpredictable ways. As a result, it may be best to wait on a breast revision surgery until those planned body changes are complete.

Some of the top factors that can be addressed during breast revision surgery include:

Breast implant deflation

Saline implants can rupture or leak, leading to deflated, sagging breasts. While the leaking of saline is not a health concern, the aesthetic consequences can leave the patient with lopsided or less attractive breasts. The revision surgery can be as simple as removing the deflated implant and replacing it with a new one, which also allows the patient to consider a new size or type of implant. Many implants offer a lifetime guarantee, so the cost of the implant may be covered as part of the procedure.

Change in breast size

One of the most common reasons for breast revision surgery is the desire to go bigger or smaller. Many women believe that once they have had a breast augmentation surgery, they could have happily gone for a bigger size. Simply replacing the old implants with the new ones is one of the less complex revision procedures. Having information about the original surgery and size of the implants can make this revision process go even smoother.

Capsular contracture

Capsular contracture is a situation where the scar around the implant tightens, causing the breast implants to move into an unwanted position. This can be caused by a variety of factors such as trauma or bleeding around the implant, an infection in the breast, or any sort of other unknown factors. There are many ways to address capsular contracture, so deciding on the best approach depends on the severity of the issue, which is evaluated during the initial consultation.

Implant malposition

Implant malposition can occur when the pocket that holds the implant is too large, which allows the implant to drift out of the desired position. In this case, breast revision surgery often requires internal sutures to correct the size of the pocket to properly hold the implant and may require external remedies, as well.

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