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Breast Implant Revision

Not every breast augmentation goes as planned. Some women may receive less than desirable results, or postoperative complications can alter the appearance of your results. If you have had a breast augmentation that left you with unsatisfactory looking or feeling breasts, it might be time to consider breast implant revision surgery. Revision surgery after a breast augmentation is designed to correct the appearance and feel of the breasts.

Candidates

Women who are considering breast implant revision surgery should wait until their breasts have had adequate healing time after their primary breast augmentation surgery. Minor swelling can affect the appearance of the breasts for six months to a year after surgery. Patients with breasts that appear high on the chest may need to give the implants time to settle into their breast pockets. However, you should consider immediate breast implant revision surgery if you have developed a complication as a result of your augmentation procedure.

Common Reasons for Implant Revision

  • Size: If you have given your breasts adequate time to heal and are still not satisfied with the size of your implants, then you may wish to have surgery to replace them. While some women feel their implants are too large, many more feel that they are too small and don’t provide the breast size increase they desired.
    • In most cases, Dr. Kao can utilize your previous incision sites to remove your original implants and replace them with new ones that will provide the desired size increase.
  • Wrinkling and Rippling: When women with thin breast tissue choose saline breast implants, they may develop visible wrinkling or rippling. This can distort the appearance of the breasts and make women feel self-conscious.
    • Dr. Kao can remove saline implants and replace them with silicone implants to prevent future rippling.
  • Capsular Contracture: A shell of scar tissue naturally forms around the breast implant during healing. In some cases, this shell can become hard and tight, constricting the implant. Capsular contracture can affect the appearance of your breast by making it look and feel hard. In aggressive cases, capsular contracture can be painful.
    • Dr. Kao can perform a capsulotomy to release the pressure of the tissue shell or a capsulectomy to completely remove the scar tissue shell without removing any breast tissue. It is very important for the surgeon to take his time to ensure that no breast tissue is removed with the scar tissue. Dr. Kao performs capsulectomy with meticulous precision without removing any breast tissue. In cases of a capsulectomy, Dr. Kao removes the old implant and inserts a new one.
  • Implant Rupture: Implant ruptures are most easily identified in patients with saline breast implants because the breast visibly deflates. Patients with silicone implants require an MRI to diagnose an implant rupture since there may be no visible difference in the appearance of the breast. While implant ruptures aren’t immediately harmful to your health, you should correct a rupture as soon as it occurs.
    • Dr. Kao can utilize your previous breast augmentation incision site to remove the ruptured implant. In the cases of silicone implants, the breast pocket is cleaned of silicone gel. A new implant is inserted to restore the appearance of the breast.
  • Synmastia (also called “uniboob” or “breadloafing;” often misspelled as symmastia): In rare cases, the breast implants move out of their pockets and migrate medially toward each other. This occurs when the breast pocket was made too wide during your first augmentation, allowing the implants to slip toward the center of the chest where they may begin to touch.
    • Dr. Kao places sutures around the edge of the breast pocket to prevent the implants from crossing the midline. These sutures may be placed in the capsule layer along the inner breast contour or directly into the bone.
  • Bottoming Out: When large implants are placed on weak breast tissue, the implant can become too heavy for the tissue to support. Over time, the implant may slip out of the pocket and past the lower edge of the breast tissue. Two distinct folds develop on the underside of the breast: the lower implant edge and the higher breast tissue edge.
    • Dr. Kao can provide additional support to the implant by reconstructing the inframammary crease. Sutures are placed in the lower portion of the breast capsule, and the implant is repositioned in the breast pocket.
  • Double-Bubble Deformity: Like bottoming out, two distinct folds develop under the breast. However, the lower fold is caused by weak, sagging breast tissue. Over time, if you had sagging breast tissue and did not receive a lift in combination with your first augmentation, your breast tissue may begin to droop and pool under the breast implant.
    • Dr. Kao performs breast lifts to correct tissue sagging. He removes excess skin and fat from under the implant and pulls the remaining tissue tight.

Recovery

All of Dr. Kao’s patients have the option to stay at an aftercare facility following their procedure. Serenity is a post-surgical care facility situated just across the street from Dr. Kao’s surgical facility, and it is located in a federally and state-licensed healthcare center.

You may experience bruising, swelling, and redness following your procedure, and you may experience some minor discomfort that can be alleviated with prescribed oral pain medication. You will be required to rest in an upright position for several days to minimize swelling and should avoid strenuous physical activities for several weeks.

The length of your recovery period will depend on the extent of correction needed. Most invasive procedures will leave people out of work for two weeks. You can resume your regular exercise routine after four to six weeks. Most major swelling should begin to subside at this time.

Results

Secondary breast procedures usually permanently correct the issue you face. Some complications, like capsular contracture, have a chance of developing again. It is important to discuss with your surgeon the methods to help prevent further complications from developing.

Scarring

Dr. Kao attempts to minimize the need for additional scarring by utilizing existing incision sites. Some cases may require new incisions to be placed on other areas of the breast(s). Additional scarring is likely to fade over time.

If you are dissatisfied with the appearance of your breasts after your augmentation or are experiencing complications that affect your breasts’ aesthetics, schedule your consultation today. Dr. Kao is a board-certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience in breast procedures. He and his friendly staff are available to answer any questions or concerns you may have. Contact our office at 310-315-9211 or fill out our online contact form here for additional information.

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