It’s been some time since you had breast surgery and your final breast augmentation results are in . . . and you’re not happy with them. There are a number of things that can go wrong with breast augmentation, from getting implants that aren’t the right size to having implants that don’t settle into place correctly. Usually, one of the biggest reasons why women aren’t happy with their breast augmentation results is because they decided to get implants that were just too big for their frame or for the amount of breast tissue they have.
If you’re looking at your new breasts in the mirror and are just not happy with what you see, you have a few options for correcting the problem with the help of a board-certified plastic surgeon.
Wait and See
It’s important to remember that your breasts need time to heal and to settle into place after your initial surgery. Although you will see a change in the size of your breasts right after the augmentation procedure, as your body heals and recovers, the initial size will change. Swelling will decrease over time, the implants will drop into place, and the muscle will stretch over the implant. It can often take as long as two to three months after the surgery before you see the final results.
If you’re looking in the mirror a week after your procedure and thinking that you aren’t happy, it is worth it to wait before you consult your surgeon about a revision procedure. To help your implants settle into place, and to improve your overall results, your surgeon will most likely recommend that you perform implant exercises.
These exercises involve gently manipulating the implant so that the pocket created by the surgeon remains wide open and so that the scar tissue that forms around the implant remains soft and supple. Breast implant exercises help minimize the risk of capsular contracture and helps the breast implants look as natural as possible.
Consider Breast Implant Revision
There are two major reasons to consider breast implant revision. It might be right for you if, after you have had time to heal from your initial surgery, you just aren’t happy with the results or if something has happened or changed about your implants months or years after your breast augmentation surgery. For example, you might develop capsular contracture, or an implant might break or burst.
In some cases, it might be too soon after your first surgery to really see if your breast augmentation results aren’t going to turn out the way you had hoped. It can take some time for swelling to go down and for the final results to be visible. If that’s the case, it’s best to take a wait-and-see approach. You might decide that you’re actually happy with your results after a few months.
But if it’s been some time since your first surgery and your breasts just don’t look the way you had hoped or worse, have some sort of deformity or another issue, revision might be the ideal pick for you. A revision surgery might be appropriate for you if you are unhappy with the size or shape of your implants. Occasionally, implants can cause the skin to stretch or bottom out. The breasts look lopsided and the nipples appear too high. If your implants aren’t placed properly, your breasts can end up too close together or one breast can appear higher than the other.
Some women have naturally thin breast tissue or skin, which can lead to visible rippling of the implant if it isn’t positioned properly or if the wrong type of implant is used. Generally, silicone implants are a better option for women with less breast tissue as they are less likely to ripple.
In the case of capsular contracture, an implant revision procedure will involve cutting away the stiffened scar tissue.
You might request an implant revision not because there is anything physically wrong with the implants or with your breasts after surgery, but because you are dissatisfied with the results. Even with trying on implant sizers and the use of computer imaging, it can be difficult to exactly identify how your breasts will look after you’ve fully recovered from surgery. It’s also difficult to fully predict how your implants will make you feel afterward. Some women find that they just don’t like their implants and decide to have them taken out.
Whether your surgeon replaces or completely removes the implants during a revision depends on your specific case. If you want smaller or larger implants, a revision is usually the time when they will be placed. Some women decide that they no longer want implants, either because they weren’t happy with their results or because they’ve grown tired of the implants over the years. In those cases, taking the implants out is often the best option.
Remove the Implants
One of the more extreme options if you’re unhappy with your breast augmentation results is to have the surgeon take the implants out. If you do decide to have a surgeon remove your implants and not replace them with a smaller or larger pair, it’s important to understand that the surgeon will most likely also have to perform some work on the capsule that forms around the implant. Depending on the state of it, the capsule might also need to be removed.
In some cases, a breast implant removal procedure might need to be accompanied by a breast lift. If the implants stretched out the breasts or if you have loose skin in the breast area following removal, a breast lift can help improve the shape and position of your breasts.
Change the Implants
You might not be happy with the size of your breasts, but you also might not want to get rid of them completely. In that case, a breast implant exchange can be an appropriate option. During an implant exchange, the surgeon takes out the old implants and puts in a new pair, which can be smaller or larger.
Implant exchange isn’t only performed for aesthetic reasons. There might be medical reasons for you to get a different set of implants. For example, if you have saline implants, and one pops, creating an uneven look, you might decide to switch to silcone implants or to get a new pair of saline implants.
Correct Aesthetic Issues
Speaking of aesthetic issues, there are often a few more reasons to have a breast implant revision than simply to change the size of the implants. Over time, your new implants will settle into place. How well they settle and how they look once they’ve settled depends on several factors.
In the past, capsular contracture, which develops when scar tissue forms around an implant and squeezes it, was a more common issue that affects a woman’s breast augmentation results. As the capsule grew tighter and more contracted, the shape of the breast would change. Capsular contracture could also be rather painful.
Another problem women occasionally experience after breast augmentation is known as bottoming out. This occurs when the implant is too big and causes the skin to stretch, creating a swollen look on the bottom of the breasts and changing the shape of the nipple.
During a breast implant revision, the surgeon will usually go beyond simply adjusting and replacing the implants. Depending on your specific concer, the surgeon might remove scar tissue, reshape the pockets inside the breasts and use a product such as acellular dermal matrix to provide more support to the corrected breasts.
Have a Breast Lift
It’s not uncommon for women to have a breast lift performed at the same time as a breast augmentation. While an augmentation increases the size of the breasts, a breast lift changes their position and shape. If your breasts were droopy and low before your augmentation, combining the procedures can not only enhance their size but enhance their position.
If you only had augmentation performed, you might realize later on that you would have also benefited from a breast lift. If your new breasts seem less perky than you’d like or sit lower than you prefer, a breast lift can elevate them. The surgery is an ideal option if you not only want to improve the shape and size of your breasts, but also help them look more youthful.
How to Manage Expectations About Breast Augmentation Results
In many cases, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to breast augmentation. Before your surgery, your surgeon will sit down with you and explain what you can expect from the procedure. During the consultation, you’ll get to review before and after pictures of previous patients so you can see what breast augmentation can do. You’ll also be given plenty of information about picking implants, including the differences between saline and silicone implants and advice on the different shapes and sizes available.
Going into breast augmentation with a realistic sense of what the surgery can and can’t do and with a fair idea of how it will change the size and shape of your breasts can help you avoid the need for a later revision.The surgeon you choose to perform your breast implant revision or exchange matters. Ideally, you want to work with the best and with one of the country’s top-rated surgeons. In Houston, Texas, that surgeon is Dr. Paul Vitenas. Dr. Vitenas performs hundreds of breast surgeries every year and is regularly rated as one of the top surgeons. To schedule your consultation with Dr. Vitenas, call 281-484-0088 today.