Breast Augmentation Revision FAQ’s
In trying to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about Breast Augmentation Revision, I have provided information here and on my main web sites. Information on the Internet, however, cannot replace a consultation with a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. If you are having problems with your Breast Implants, seek the advice of a qualified professional, preferably a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
What Are the Most Common Reasons for Breast Augmentation Revision?
The most common reasons for Breast Augmentation Revision include:
- The desire to Change Size
- Breast Implant Deflation
- Capsular Contracture
- Breast Implant Malposition (often caused by capsular contracture)
Changing Breast Implant Size
One of the most common reasons for Breast Augmentation Revision is to change the size of the Breast Implants. The overwhelming majority of the time, the goal is to increase the size of the Breast Implants. The procedure is usually simpler, and has a much easier recovery, than the initial Breast Augmentation. The pocket is opened, the old implants removed, the pocket is enlarged (capsulotomy or capsulectomy), and new implants are placed. When the goal is to decrease the size of the Breast Implants, the procedure is the same except the pocket is not enlarged, and sometimes it needs to me tightened (capsulorrhaphy). Breast Implants can also be changed from Saline to Silicone Gel, and less frequently from Silicone Gel to Saline.
Breast Implant Deflation
With the advent of improved manufacturing and materials, the risk of breast implant deflation is reduced. What happens when a breast implant deflates depends on what is it filled with. Saline Breast Implants go flat, and the solution is safely absorbed by the body. Silicone Breast Implants have a firm center, and initially there may be no sign of a leak. Over time, the gel can leak out of the capsule, and you may feel a lump. Any lump in the breast should be promptly investigated. The sooner a broken implant is replaced, the simpler the procedure will be. The big three US breast implant manufacturers all have warranties: Allergan, Mentor and Sientra.
Capsular Contracture is the term for hardening of the Breast Implants. The breast implants themselves do not get hard, but the scar capsule that lines the pocket in which the Breast Implant sits tightens. The scar squeezes the Breast Implants and can change the firmness, shape and position of the Breast Augmentation. In the before picture above the redness of the breasts is caused by congestion of the circulation. It the most severe cases of Capsular Contracture (Grade IV) not only is the shape of the breast changed, but the breast also become painful.
Treatment of Capsular Contracture includes one, or a combination of:
- Capsulectomy (removing the scar)
- Capsulotomy (opening the scar)
- Breast Implant Replacement
Breast Implant Malposition
Breast Implant Malposition is a large topic by itself. When Breast Implant Malposition is caused by Capsular Contracture, the treatment is similar to that described above. When caused by Breast Implants that are too large for a woman’s frame, reducing the size of the Breast Implants may be an important part of the treatment. When implants are too low, the inframammary fold may need to be repaired, or completely reconstructed as is often the case in Breast Reconstruction after a mastectomy. Symmastia is also a form of Breast Implant Malposition that is seen when the breast implants migrate towards each other, breadloafing and forming a uniboob.
Problems With Breast Augmentation
If you have problems with your breast augmentation, seek the assistance of a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, who has experience with the correction of Breast Augmentation. Although many of the skills required for Breast Augmentation are necessary for Breast Augmentation Revision, Breast Augmentation Revision Specialists have developed specific skills, and can help guide you to achieve safer and more predictable results.