Common Reasons for Breast Implant Revision
It is unlikely for a woman considering breast augmentation surgery to also think about when she will have the procedure done a second time. While it is possible for the same pair of breast implants to successfully last for the rest of the patient’s life, breast implants should not be considered lifetime devices. In fact, as many as 20 percent of women who receive breast implants for breast augmentation need their implants removed within 8 to 10 years, according to FDA statistics. Any woman who decides to have this procedure should plan on having the implants replaced at some point during her lifetime in case it becomes necessary to do so. Dr. Alexander can accomplish this with breast implant revision surgery at his practice in Las Vegas.
1. Implant Size
One of the most common reasons for revision surgery is the desire to change the size of implant (usually to make them bigger). Sometimes after breast augmentation surgery, the implants will appear swollen or sit high within the breast for a period of time. Patients should wait one year after their original breast augmentation procedure for their breasts to settle into their final position before making the decision to undergo breast revision surgery.
Patients may also wish to change their implants from saline to silicone or vice-versa because they have simply changed their mind. The complexity of the surgery will depend on several factors, but Dr. Alexander will use his surgical expertise to assess each patient and provide a customized breast revision plan to meet her needs.
2. Natural Aging
Breast augmentation can make the breasts larger and more youthful looking, but the procedure does not stop the natural aging process. Over time, the breasts may sag or the implants may migrate within the breast, which may require the need for revision surgery or a breast lift.
3. Capsular Contracture
Capsular contracture is the most common complication that results from breast augmentation. It refers to a condition in which the scar tissue that has formed around the implants becomes hardened. This hardened tissue can compress the implant, cause the patient discomfort, and potentially affect the appearance of the breasts.
4. Implant Rupture and Deflation
Like other complications, implant rupture is rare. It occurs when there is a tear in the implant shell that can lead to a change in breast implant shape or breast size, hard lumps over the implant or chest area, an uneven appearance of the breasts, and/or pain or tenderness.
According to the FDA, the term “rupture” is used for all types of breast implants, but the term “deflation” is only used for saline-filled implants. Because saline implants are filled with a liquid saline solution, they can partially or fully deflate. Some newer types of silicone implants boast a lower rupture rate because they are more form-stable (soft, yet solid) than other implants. Ruptures with silicone implants are often only detectable with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The FDA recommends that breast augmentation patients who choose silicone gel-filled breast implants receive MRI screening for silent rupture three years after receiving their implants and every two years after that.
5. Implant Rippling
Some women may experience a scalloping appearance on the side or underneath the breast after augmentation surgery. The implant type, size, texture, and position are all factors that can influence this complication. Rippling is more common in women who have thin skin, as any rippling of the implant can more easily show through.
6. Double-Bubble Deformity
“Double bubble” occurs when the natural breast tissue sags below the implant. This creates a very unnatural look that is even more apparent when the arms are lifted. It can occur when the implants are placed too high under the muscle and do not descend adequately.
Symmastia occurs when the breasts merge together at the center of the chest in a weblike manner. It may result from overly aggressive attempts to increase cleavage in patients by altering a certain muscle in the chest wall. This is more common when larger implants are used in thin patients. Thin patients in general, and those with weaker tissues are more susceptible to symmastia.
If you are experiencing breast augmentation complications or are unsatisfied with your results from a prior breast augmentation surgery, we encourage you to contact our board-certified plastic and cosmetic surgeon, Dr. George Alexander. Dr. Alexander has years of experience in performing breast revision surgery and will be able to give you the results you desire. To schedule your consultation, call us at (702) 242-6776 or fill out our online contact form.