It might surprise you to learn that breast revision surgery is not uncommon. While most breast augmentation surgeries result in a fantastic outcome, there are some patients who need to consider a revision procedure. One of the most common reasons for breast revision surgery is that patients decide they would like larger implants after their initial breast augmentation procedure. Whether it is a personal choice or medical necessity, breast revision surgery can be customized to achieve a patient’s goals and desires. It should also be performed by a board-certified plastic surgeon like Dr. Jules Walters.
At Walters Plastic Surgery in the New Orleans area, Dr. Walters offers breast revision surgery, also known as implant replacement or removal. After your initial consultation, Dr. Walters will listen to your aesthetic goals, perform a thorough examination, and utilize 3D Vectra imaging technology to show each patient how their desired outcome may look. Here is an in-depth guide to some of the top factors that can be addressed with breast revision surgery and how Dr. Walters can help.
Why is breast revision surgery performed?
The primary goal of revision surgery is to improve or change the appearance of the breasts, and in some cases, update the implant material. Reasons that patients request breast revision surgery include:
- Changing the size or shape of the breast implants
- Revising the material of the implants (for example, saline to silicone)
- Relieving pain or discomfort caused by capsular contracture
- Medical concerns regarding a possible rupture or migration of an implant
Do breast implants have to be replaced every ten years?
There is no specific timeline for when patients should replace their breast implants. Most breast implants have a lifetime warranty on the actual medical devices, but after ten years, the costs to replace them are no longer covered. Many women elect to update or replace their breast implants during this ten-year window. Another factor is that even augmented breasts will change with the natural process of aging. Breast tissue changes as we get older, so even breasts with implants can look or feel different over the years. Breast implant revision surgery varies by case, so it needs to be tailored specifically to what each patient needs.
Breast augmentation revision for capsular contracture
The development of capsular contracture after breast augmentation surgery is not unusual. Capsular contracture is a condition when scar tissue forms around the implant, which is the body’s natural response to the presence of a foreign object. When the body creates this barrier, it can be barely noticeable, or it may build up to become like a hard shell around the implant, which may cause discomfort or pain. Symptoms are usually gradual, like a mild tightening, but can increase and cause the breast to have a distorted appearance.
It is impossible to prevent the development of capsular contracture, so breast revision surgery may be necessary. Capsular contracture is treated with a capsulotomy, which involves partially breaking up the capsule to release any tightness, or in some cases, completely removing the implant. Working closely with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Walters ensures you'll get the best possible resolution for this condition.
Other reasons for breast revision surgery
There are several other reasons why a patient may need or want a second breast augmentation surgery. A small percentage of patients experience what is termed "bottoming out." This condition occurs when one or both implants fall below the breast crease, causing the breasts to appear too low on the chest. It can be the result of fluctuating weight, trauma, pregnancy, or implants that are too large for the natural breast tissue. Some patients may have implants that look disproportionate or asymmetrical in size or shape. Implant rippling can occur with breast augmentation and is common for patients with a low body weight. Rippling can be fixed with breast revision surgery by switching saline implants for silicone. No matter what the reason or need, Dr. Walters will assess and create a revision treatment plan that is right for you.
How soon after breast augmentation can a revision be performed?
The final results of breast augmentation surgery can take up to six months. It is typically recommended to wait at least 6 – 9 months before considering a revision unless you are having breast implant complications like capsular contracture. Although the surgical error factor is uncommon with breast augmentation procedures, patients who choose an inexperienced plastic surgeon for their initial surgery may find themselves needing a revision. Dr. Jules Walters is a breast revision specialist in the New Orleans area, and can help you get the right results the second time around.
There are different reasons a patient may need breast revision surgery, and it should be customized to fit each patient’s needs. Once Dr. Walters has evaluated your case and listened to your concerns, he will devise a surgical plan and utilize 3D Vectra imaging to give you a digitally simulated outcome of what you can expect.
If you are in need of breast revision surgery or have additional questions, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Jules Walters at Walters Plastic Surgery in the New Orleans and Metairie, LA areas.