After your breast augmentation, you probably thought that you’d be happy with your implants for many years to come. But tastes change, opinions change, and in many cases, breasts change! Flash forward a few years and you’re finding that you’re no longer thrilled with the implants you once loved. It might also be the case that you weren’t happy with your surgical results from day one and you’d like to finally do something about it.
Enter breast implant revision, a surgery that corrects issues with a previous breast augmentation, whether those issues are due to the implants themselves or to changes to the breasts over time. The procedure can replace or remove your existing implants and can correct persistent issues with the breast tissue.
Why Choose Breast Implant Revision?
There are many reasons why breast implant revision might be the right choice for you. It could be that you want to replace your current implants with a pair that are smaller or larger. You might not have any specific troubles with the breasts themselves but simply want a different look.
You might also want to swap out one type of implant for another. For example, if you had your first breast augmentation when you were under 21, you most likely got saline implants. The same is true if you had your surgery during the time when silicone implants were off the market.
While saline implants have their benefits, many women prefer the feel and appearance of silicone. Revision surgery can swap out saline implants for more natural-looking (and feeling!) silicone models.
In some cases, women choose breast implant revision because they develop complications relating to their original breast augmentation procedure. One relatively common issue is capsular contracture. After breast augmentation, a capsule of scar tissue forms around the implants, holding them in place. In some cases, the capsule starts to shrink down around the implants. The contraction can deform the implant, making the breasts look uneven. The tightening can also cause discomfort. Breast implant revision can remove and correct capsular contracture.
The position of the breast implants might also make you consider revision surgery. Due to gravity and changes in your body, your implants might bottom out, or hang too low, making the breasts look bottom-heavy. They can also push together, creating a “uni-boob” look or spread far apart, creating a lot of space between the breasts.
Another reason to consider breast implant revision is if you can see the implants beneath the skin. If you don’t have a lot of natural breast tissue or have thin skin, the ripples and texture of the implant can be visible. The issue is more common with saline, rather than silicone, implants. Sometimes, swapping out the implants can resolve the problem.
How Long Should You Wait to Get Implant Revision?
Although in some cases, it can take years for a problem with the implants to develop, some women realize pretty quickly after their breast augmentation that they aren’t happy with the results.
Problems can occur even if all else goes well with the surgery. You might realize right away that you aren’t happy with the size of your implants or that you don’t like the type you chose. If that’s the case, you’ll usually want to wait at least a few months, preferably six, before you start to consider a revision.
Waiting several months gives your body time to heal and your implants time to settle in. It might be the case that after months have gone by and any swelling has gone down, you decide that you do like your implants and that you don’t want an additional surgery. Or, you might choose to go through with the revision.
If you plan on having any major life events, such as getting pregnant, breastfeeding, or losing weight, it might be a good idea to postpone your surgery until life settles down. Pregnancy, breastfeeding, and weight loss can all change the size and shape of your breasts, which might affect the results of your surgery.
What Happens During Breast Implant Revision?
The steps of your breast implant revision procedure will depend in large part on your goals and motivations. During the surgery, Dr. Vitenas will make incisions in the creases under the breasts or around the nipples, based on what needs to be revised.
He’ll then remove the existing implants and will make any needed changes to the breast tissue and scar tissue. Before inserting new implants, he will reshape the breast pockets. He might use a dermal matrix product to help the scar tissue heal and to improve the results of the surgery. Once the tissue is adjusted and the new implants are placed, the incisions are closed.
What Can You Expect After Breast Implant Revision?
The recovery after breast implant revision will be very similar to the recovery after your original breast augmentation. You can usually expect the initial recovery to take about one or two weeks, during which time you’ll want to relax and take it easy. Take off from work and cancel any other regularly-scheduled activities. Usually, many patients are able to resume vigorous activities, such as exercise, about a month after their surgery.
If you’re not happy with your existing implants, revision surgery might be right for you. Dr. Paul Vitenas is one of Houston’s top-rated plastic surgeons. He specializes in breast surgeries and can help you decide if replacing, revising, or removing your implants is the way to go. Call 281-484-0088 to schedule an appointment or book an online consultation today.