Breast augmentation surgery seems relatively straightforward. Truth is, the procedure is relatively complicated and issues can occur that make the patient want her implant procedure corrected or, for lack of a better term, fixed. This is called breast implant revision or correction surgery.
The main reason a patient seeks revision surgery is to change the size of her implants. But there are other reasons such as capsular contracture, asymmetry of the breasts, or implant rupture.
Depending on what has happened, revision surgery is often more complicated than the original augmentation procedure. Wherever possible, Dr. Ferraro will use the same incision locations to minimize any additional scarring.
Why Do Patients Opt For Implant Revision?
Here are the main reasons for implant revision and how Dr. Ferraro handles surgery for each.
Changing The Implant Size
When a woman is unsatisfied with the size of her implants, Dr. Ferraro suggests she wait one full year before opting to make a change. This allows for any swelling to fully subside and for the implants to settle. If the patient still wants to change her implant size, Dr. Ferraro will enter through the original incision. If a larger implant is desired, he will increase the size of the pocket, the space in the breast to hold the implant. If the patient seeks smaller implants, he will reduce the size of the pocket with sutures to fit the smaller implants. In cases of reduction, a breast lift may be done in conjunction with the implant revision to remove any sagging tissue and possibly relocate the nipples.
The body reacts when an implant is placed. This reaction is called the “capsule”and it is made up of calcified cells and scar tissue. If this capsule becomes very thick and causes the implant to shift or the breast to feel very firm, or if there is pain from the constricting scar tissue, this is called capsular contracture. If the capsule is very calcified, Dr. Ferraro will remove it along with the implant. If it isn’t, he usually will leave it in place. If there is a rupture of a silicone implant, the capsule may contain silicone shell fragments, silicone gel, and inflammatory cells that all need to be removed prior to placing new implants.
Sometimes, particularly with saline implants placed atop the chest muscle, the implants show rippling and the edges may even be able to be felt. In these cases, Dr. Ferraro enters through the original incision and replaces the implants with better muscle coverage. This may involve switching implant types and/or placing them in new breast pockets.
Sometimes the implant pockets were created either too far away or too close together and the patient is not happy with the placement. In these cases, Dr. Ferraro will use scar tissue from the capsule and will reconstruct new pockets for the implants in better positions.
When a patient decides she no longer wants to have her implants, they are removed through the same incisions. Dr. Ferraro will also remove the capsule if it is calcified and thick. He may recommend a breast lift at the same time to remove excess sagging skin and breast tissue.
Recovery from implant revision surgery is similar to initial augmentation, but usually involves slightly less pain for the first two or three days. A surgical bra will be necessary, as it was with your initial procedure. If you’ve also had a lift, your recovery will be longer.