Breast implant revision could be necessary for several reasons. You may want smaller or larger implants, wish to replace older implants, or you may be facing complications that need treatment. Dr. Copit may elect to employ one of several advanced revision techniques, based on your unique case.
There are several possible implant complications. In the first few years after undergoing breast augmentation surgery, the risk of suffering a difficulty is relatively low. The older the implants, the more likely a complication can occur, requiring revision surgery.
Breast ptosis is the sagging of the breast skin that naturally occurs with age or due to fluctuations in weight. When the skin on the breasts is less resilient, this can cause the breasts to sink lower over time. Many women who suffer from breast ptosis require a breast lift in combination with implant replacement.
Implant rupture or deflation
Breast implants do not last forever. Eventually, the implant’s movement within the tissues will cause the implant shell to wear. If an implant tears, both implants will be replaced. Revision surgery after implant deflation is relatively straightforward: the old implants are removed, and in most cases, replaced with implants of a similar or different size.
Capsular contracture is when hardened scar tissue forms around the implant. Regularly massaging the breasts or placing the implants below the chest muscle can help prevent capsular contracture. When capsular contracture develops, it restricts the implant, leading to discomfort or pain and a distorted appearance. The scar tissue can make the breast feel hard rather than soft and natural. The hardened capsule (the scar tissue) around the implant may need to be removed or opened. The implant will be removed and replaced. Generally, the new implants should be placed below the chest muscle to avoid the condition appearing again.
The double-bubble look results when there is volume both above and below the breast crease. This may be caused by an implant that has shifted lower in the surgical pocket and sits partially below the inframammary crease. Double-bubble can occur when a breast lift should have been performed at the same time as the augmentation. In the case of double-bubble deformities, revision surgery may involve the release of constricted muscles, reconstruction of the inframammary fold, tightening of the implant pocket, moving the implant, and a custom breast lift.
Implant displacement refers to implants that sit too low, too high, or too far to either side of the breasts. If the implant pocket was too large or stretched after surgery, the implant may sit too low, resulting in a bottomed-out appearance. If the surgical pocket is too small or not positioned correctly, the breasts may sit too high on the chest or too far apart, creating an unnatural look. In the case of implant displacement, the surgical pocket size or location may need to be adjusted.
Implant rippling means the implant can be seen and felt through the skin. When this occurs, you may pursue breast implant revision surgery to correct the problem. Implant rippling is typically associated with saline implants not being filled to the correct capacity or a lack of sufficient natural breast tissue coverage. In cases of implant rippling, the implants may need to be replaced, and our surgeons may advise you that the new implants should be positioned below the chest muscle.
Poor implant coverage
Insufficient tissue coverage for the implant can make implant rippling more obvious and result in a less natural appearance, with the implant visible under the skin. We may recommend the implants be replaced and put beneath the chest muscles. If you feel your breasts appear unnatural, a smaller breast implant could be the solution.
Symmastia is a condition in which the breast tissue converges, resulting in a uni-boob appearance. Correction of symmastia may involve internal sutures and adjustment of the implant pocket.