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Common Reasons for Breast Implant Revision

By tmccall on January 07, 2014

Milwaukee Breast Implant Revision SurgeryThere are multiple reasons why a woman may benefit from breast implant surgery: she may desire larger or more symmetrical breasts, a more youthful look after pregnancy, or breast reconstruction. For all manners of breast implants, our plastic surgery office strives to help patients in the Pewaukee and Milwaukee areas meet their personal goals.

Just as there are a variety of reasons for an initial surgery, however, there are also different factors that may lead to surgical revision. Whether you received your implants from us or another practice, we are eager to help you retain superior results for years to come.

Cosmetic Reasons for Implant Revision

When discussing breast implant procedures with patients, it is our goal to help everyone form realistic expectations of their results, and then meet those expectations. Very often, patients are immediately satisfied with their implants. Still, desires may change over time, as may a patient’s body. To better illustrate why someone may opt for revision, here are a few cosmetic concerns:

  • Desire for different size: Some patients are so pleased with their new curvature that they decide to further augment their breasts. Once the body has already adapted to the first procedure’s results, a second breast augmentation tends to be easier, with more predictable results. Patients who had an inframammary or periareolar incision for their first surgery can further benefit from the reuse of these incisions.
  • Changes to one’s body: If a patient’s body changes in size or form, she may want her breasts to better complement it. Aging or changes in weight are typical reasons why new implants may be desired.  
  • Skin irregularities: Some women may find certain cosmetic irregularities caused by implants, such as rippling of the overlying skin. With a change in size, placement, or implant type, such effects can be diminished.

Revision for Capsular Contracture

After breast implants are initially inserted, the body forms scar tissue around them. This is a natural part of the healing process, and should be expected to some degree. However, some patients may experience an excessive amount of internal scarring, which only seems to grow worse over time. As this scar tissue tightens around an implant, it can result in discomfort as well as the risk of implant rupture. Although most patients will not experience this, the risk is increased over time and in patients with silicone implants.

Contracture can generally be identified by breasts that feel unusually firm and have uncomfortable tension. By meeting with your surgeon, you can identify whether capsular contracture is present. If necessary, revision surgery can relieve the tension through the removal of scar tissue and, if appropriate, replace the implant.

Revision for Implant Rupture

Roughly one out of every 10 patients will experience an implant rupture during the first 10 to 12 years. Luckily, ruptures post little immediate risk and can easily be fixed through a replacement procedure. Depending on the type of implant, ruptures can be identified in different ways:

  • Saline implants: If the implant ruptures, it will likely deflate immediately as the saline solution is released. The solution will be harmlessly absorbed by the body, and patients should be able to easily identify the ruptured implant due to its visible effect on the breast.  
  • Silicone implants: If a silicone implant ruptures, it will not likely be noticeable at first. The breast should be relatively unaffected, as silicone gel remains in place. However, small amounts of silicone may leak over time, traveling through the body. While no health complications have been definitively attributed to silicone leaks, it is recommended that patients take certain precautions to detect possible ruptures. Specifically, patients with silicone implants are advised by the FDA to have an MRI taken three years after surgery and every two years thereafter.

If a rupture is detected, revision surgery can replace the broken implant with a new one. This also provides an excellent opportunity for patients to remove excess tissue scarring, make adjustments to the implant type or size, or readjust the position of the implants.

Schedule a Consultation

If you are considering breast implant revision or new implants altogether, schedule a personal consultation with Dr. Tracy McCall. Contact our office today to learn more.

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