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Breast Revision

What Is Breast Revision?

Breast revision surgery is performed for women who experience a need for revision surgery after their initial breast augmentation. While breast augmentation is a safe cosmetic procedure, rare surgical complications may require corrective surgery. Breast revision may also be an elective procedure sought by patients who wish to improve the results of their breast augmentation due to the natural changes of aging and time that may lead to an undesirable appearance. Revisionary breast surgery can exchange your breast implants and correct surgical complications to improve the appearance of your breasts.

The Benefits of Breast Revision

  • Improves the aesthetic appearance of your breasts
  • Corrects surgical complications that may impact your health or appearance
  • Provides relief from discomfort associated with surgical complications
  • Enhances self-esteem and self-confidence

Reasons to Undergo Breast Revision

Some women desire larger or smaller breast implants than they initially received. Breast revision can help women achieve their desired breast shape and size. For women who desire larger breast implants, the surrounding breast tissue may need to be released to some extent, as the larger implants will place more stress on the tissue. For women who desire smaller implants, breast lift surgery combined with removal of some excess breast tissue and skin may be necessary to improve the results.

In some cases, the scar tissue that encapsulates a breast implant may tighten and constrict. This condition, known as capsular contracture, can cause the breast to become hard, painful, and noticeably distorted. Surgical removal of the scar tissue is necessary during revision, and the implant will be exchanged for a new implant in the affected breast. Sometimes, patients who have recurrent capsular contractures benefit from Strattice™ ADM (acellular dermal matrix) placed around the implant to decrease the recurrence rate, provide support for the breast, and add another layer of coverage.

Bottoming out is when the breast implant falls into a lower position than the breast tissue. Breast revision for bottoming out requires the use of internal sutures to close off the lower portion of the breast pocket. Usually, the implants are removed during surgery and then reinserted at a later date so that the body can heal from the procedure. If the tissue quality is poor or too thin, Strattice™ ADM may be helpful in supporting the weight of the breast implant.

Double bubble deformity is when the implant and the breast tissue appear separated. The implant may appear to sit below or above the breast tissue, creating the appearance of two “bubbles” or breasts. Breast revision surgery may include a breast lift or release of the tissues so that they will correctly take on the shape of the implant.

A ruptured or deflated implant may cause noticeable distortion, pain, and capsular contracture. The compromised implant must be replaced or removed with breast revision surgery. The procedure requires removal of loose silicone and all implant material, and a new implant may be inserted into the breast pocket.

Symmastia is when a breast implant shifts toward the sternum, eliminating cleavage and causing noticeable distortion and pain. Corrective surgery can reinforce the breast pocket and provide better implant support to prevent shifting.

Breast Revision Surgery

The procedure is typically performed with the patient under general anesthesia.

However, the breast revision procedure varies in surgical technique according to the reason the patient is undergoing the procedure. Dr. Chin will select the appropriate surgical technique based on your needs. Where possible, he will avoid additional scarring by using the same incisions used for your initial augmentation procedure. This may not be possible in all cases, particularly if the patient had a transaxillary incision or if a breast lift is required as part of the breast revision. Patients should expect that their revisionary procedure will remove and/or replace their implant(s) as part of the procedure.

Faqs

A: Surgical complications after breast augmentation are usually corrected with revision surgery. Certain medications may provide a nonsurgical alternative to early capsular contracture. Patients who elect for breast revision surgery to change the size of their implants should carefully weigh the pros and cons before undergoing invasive surgery a second time. If you are not certain whether you need breast revision surgery, contact our office to discuss your concerns. Breast implants are not necessarily lifetime devices, and revisionary surgery may be required at some point to maintain the best aesthetic results over time. Women who undergo breast revision surgery can experience a relief of complications or dissatisfaction from their previous circumstances and will be able to enjoy an improved appearance and a renewed sense of self-confidence.
A: Your recovery after breast revision may be slightly longer than your recovery after your initial augmentation procedure. Some skin discoloration and swelling may occur after surgery, but these should resolve over time. Prescription pain medications will be provided for your comfort. Return to work may be possible after approximately one week to 10 days. Strenuous exercises should be avoided for about one month. Dr. Chin can provide you with more detailed recovery instructions for your particular situation.
A: All surgical procedures carry some risk. Patients undergoing breast revision surgery may experience adverse reactions to anesthesia, infection, blood accumulation, changes in breast or nipple sensation, or other complications. Unfortunately, patients who have experienced surgical complications such as capsular contracture are more likely to experience the same complication again, even after breast revision surgery. Dr. Chin will give you detailed postoperative instructions to help reduce your risk of complications.
A: While patients may be able to exchange their implants for slightly larger or smaller implants, there are some limits. After the initial breasts augmentation procedure, the newly created breast pockets conform to each implant, limiting your options for new implants. For example, a patient who desires to exchange her round implants for anatomical implants may not be able to do so if her breast pockets will not correctly conform to the new, differently shaped implants, which may rotate and have an unusual appearance. Dr. Chin can discuss your options with you in greater detail during your consultation.

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