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What is Breast Implant Revision?

Breast implant revision surgery is a procedure that is typically performed to help previous breast augmentation patients correct problems that have developed with their implants. The surgery can also be performed on women who are interested in changing the shape, size, or style of their breast implants.

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When to Consider Breast Revision Surgery

At any point after breast augmentation, you might decide that you want to make some changes to your results. Problems might develop with your current implants or you might just find that you’re ready for something different. 

Breast implant revision is a surgical procedure that removes old implants and replaces them with a new pair. Dr. Paul Vitenas, a highly sought-after board-certified plastic surgeon in Houston, Texas, has more than three decades of experience performing breast surgeries, including implant revision and has done more than ten thousand breast procedures.

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Breast Revision Before & Afters

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About Strattice Reconstructive Tissue Matrix

One of the most common problems that occur with breast augmentation patients is capsular contracture. This occurs when the membrane that forms around the pocket or breast implants themselves begins to thicken and subsequently contracts circumferentially around the breast implant causing it to feel hard. The contracture may also cause the implant to become mispositioned. Removing the implant as well as the capsule is the first stage to correcting this problem. Further, using an ADM (Acellular Dermal Matrix) to cover the new implant in an internal bra effect reduces the chance for recurrent capsular contracture down to about 1-2% which is significantly better than doing the first stage alone.

The Ideal Breast Revision Candidate

Several complications with implants can lead to revision surgery. Those complications include poor positioning of the implants, capsular contracture, implant rupture, and implant deflation.

Candidates for surgery include healthy women who have had at least one breast augmentation and who wish to replace their implants to correct their problem.

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Why Choose Breast Implant Revision?

During your consultation, Dr. Vitenas will get to know the issues you’ve been experiencing and will learn all about your previous medical history. This will help him determine whether or not you are right for breast revision surgery.

There are several reasons a patient may choose breast implant revision:

  • To change the size, shape, or style of the implants
  • To replace or reposition an implant that has ruptured or moved
  • To reduce discomfort and correct malformation caused by capsular contracture
  • To correct issues caused by a prior breast augmentation

Types of Breast Implant Problems

Bottoming Out & Stretch Deformity

When implants “bottom out,” they become positioned too low in the breasts due to a lack of inframammary fold integrity. Much of the breast volume ends up being located beneath the nipple, which can make the breasts look droopy. The nipples themselves look overly elevated and point upward. This usually occurs in patients who have very ill-defined inframammary folds to begin with or in patients who get implants that are too big for their chest. Correction of this problem often involves reconstruction of the inframammary fold and reinforcing it with a resorbable mesh-like Galeflex.

Lateral Fold Malpositions

In the case of inferior and lateral fold malpositions, the implants are positioned too far out to the sides of the breasts. Often, there is a considerable amount of space between the breasts and many women with this issue find that their cleavage is too wide.

Symmastia

Symmastia is sometimes called “uni-boob,” as the positioning of the implants causes the two breasts to come together in the midline, and sometimes touch each other. This creates cleavage that looks unnatural and often results when implants are too large for a woman’s frame or the surgeon over dissects the medial aspect of the breast pocket to try to bring the breasts closer together. This is a difficult problem to correct and requires the use of synthetic mesh for a long-lasting correction.

Wrinkling and Rippling

Women who have thinner skin and tissues might be able to see wrinkles or ripples created by their implants. This occurs most frequently with saline implants but can be seen with silicone implants in thin individuals.

Capsular Contracture

A capsule of fibrous tissue develops around the pocket or the implants as the breasts heal from augmentation surgery. In some cases, this capsule thickens and shrinks around the implant, causing it to be compressed circumferentially and feel hard. Capsular contracture can cause deformity of the breast implants with folds or malposition and can be painful.

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Dealing with Ruptured Implants

While saline implants typically deflate quickly, as the saltwater leaks out and is safely absorbed by the body, silicone implants do not. The silicone elastomer shell can instead rupture and allow the silicone to be free inside the capsule. This is more common in older generations of silicone implants.

Signs of a rupture in a silicone implant can include swelling in the affected breast, changes in breast size and shape, or hardening of the breast. In some cases, a silicone implant rupture can only be detected with medical imaging, however, a physical exam by a trained and experienced plastic surgeon is usually sufficient.

Am I a Candidate for Breast Implant Revision?

You might be a candidate for breast implant revision if you have had a previous breast augmentation surgery and are no longer happy with the appearance of your implants.

You might also be a good candidate for implant revision if you’re concerned about the condition of your implants. Ideal candidates for breast implant revision will:

  • Be in good general health
  • Want to change their breast implants and have realistic expectations for the results
  • Be a nonsmoker or willing to quit before surgery (smoking adds to the risk of capsular contracture)
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The Breast Implant Revision Consultation

If you are interested in breast implant revision, the first thing to do is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Vitenas at his practice in Houston, TX. During your consultation, Dr. Vitenas will listen to your concerns, evaluate your current implants and any issues with your breasts, and review your medical history. Dr. Vitenas will take photos of your breasts and implants and will give you a better understanding of what you can expect from the surgery. If you are interested in having your implants replaced, rather than removed altogether, he’ll discuss replacement implant options with you and help you make an informed choice about your new implants.

Preparing for Breast Implant Revision

Dr. Vitenas will give you specific instructions to help you prepare for your breast implant revision. He might recommend imaging to get a better look at the implants so he can assess the extent of any issues. You might also be asked to have lab tests before the surgery.

In the weeks leading up to your revision surgery, you’ll be asked to quit using nicotine products. You may also need to stop taking certain blood-thinning medications, and should let Dr. Vitenas know about any medications you take regularly.

You will also need to arrange to have someone bring you to the surgery center on the day of your revision and drive you home afterward and stay with you that afternoon on the day of your surgery, as you will need assistance while the anesthesia wears off.

The Breast Implant Revision Procedure

Dr. Paul Vitenas performs breast implant revisions at Houston Surgery Center, an outpatient facility conveniently located in the same building as Vitenas Cosmetic Surgery in Houston, Texas. The surgery typically takes one to three hours to complete and will be performed on an outpatient basis using general anesthesia.

Surgical Technique

The location of the incisions for breast implant revision will vary depending on the particular patient and the complications being addressed. Possible incision locations include under the crease of the breast, which is by far the most common, or around the nipple.

During the procedure, Dr. Vitenas removes the breast implants, corrects the breast tissue, and removes scar tissue. He then re-contours the breast pockets before placing the new implants (if the patient’s goals include replacement) and closing the incision.

He might also use acellular dermal matrix products during the surgery, such as Strattice. Strattice has been shown to dramatically improve revision breast surgery results in repairing and preventing capsular contracture and implant malposition. If needed, drains may also be placed.

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Recovering from Breast Implant Revision

Following your breast implant revision in Houston, initial recovery typically takes up to a week or two. Many women can return to work within a few days to one week after the surgery.

Exercise can be resumed after 4 weeks, and full healing typically occurs within 6 weeks. Because most sutures are placed inside the breasts, they may not have to be removed.

Dr. Vitenas will give patients a full list of instructions to help them heal after breast implant revision. He is also going to schedule follow-up appointments to remove any drains and check on the healing process. Should you have any questions or concerns after your surgery, feel free to call the office to discuss them at 281-484-0088.

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Everything about Dr. Vitenas’ office and staff is wonderful. They are all so nice and very concerned to make you happy and get you the results you’re looking for. They want to please you. My whole experience with them was awesome. They really take the time to help you figure out what you’re wanting. They answered all of my questions and didn’t make me feel as if any were unnecessary or that I was wasting their time. They took their time to help me figure everything out. I felt at home. Everything was perfect. I couldn’t ask for a better surgeon and staff. I definitely will recommend Dr. Vitenas to all of my friends. He gave me exactly what I was hoping for PLUS some. My results are amazing. He deserves every bit of his Houston’s Top Doctors award. He is very good at what he does.

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Breast Implant Revision FAQ

What are the possible side effects or risks of surgery?

What is breast implant revision?

How do I know if I am a candidate for breast implant revision?

What kind of anesthesia will be used for my breast implant revision?

How long does breast implant revision surgery take?

What is the recovery time following breast implant revision?

What are my implant options during breast implant revision?

Where will the implants be placed during my breast implant revision?

When can I expect to see “final” results after breast implant revision?

Why Should I Choose Dr. Vitenas to Perform My Breast Implant Revision?

What are the possible side effects or risks of surgery?

The risks associated with breast implant revision are usually minimal but may include bleeding, infection and scarring.

What is breast implant revision?

Breast implant revision is a surgical procedure for breast augmentation patients to correct problems associated with breast implants such as implant malposition, capsular contracture, implant rupture, and implant deflation. The surgery can also be performed on patients who want to change or remove their existing implants but who aren’t having any physical problems.

How do I know if I am a candidate for breast implant revision?

If you had breast augmentation in the past and are currently experiencing problems such as implant malposition, implant rupture, implant deflation or capsular contracture, breast implant revision may be right for you. Candidates for breast implant revision are generally in good health and do not smoke.

What kind of anesthesia will be used for my breast implant revision?

Breast implant revision surgery is typically performed using general anesthesia.

How long does breast implant revision surgery take?

The procedure takes between one and three hours on average.

What is the recovery time following breast implant revision?

Full healing following breast implant revision takes approximately 6 weeks. However, patients are often able to return to work within a few days to a week. Many women can resume moderate exercise within 4 weeks.

What are my implant options during breast implant revision?

Dr. Vitenas will help you choose the replacement implants that are most appropriate for you. You can choose between saline or silicone implants. Implants are available in a range of sizes and in some cases, different shapes.

Where will the implants be placed during my breast implant revision?

Dr. Vitenas will review your breast implant placement options with you during your consultation. Implant placement depends on your past results, the amount of breast tissue you have naturally, and the type of results you want from the revision surgery.

When can I expect to see “final” results after breast implant revision?

In many cases, the final results from breast implant revision will be visible six weeks after the surgery. The swelling will have gone down by that point and the implants will have settled into place. In a few instances, it can take up to 6 to 12 months before the implants fully settle and for the breasts to feel soft and “normal” again.

Why Should I Choose Dr. Vitenas to Perform My Breast Implant Revision?

Finding the right surgeon to perform your breast implant revision surgery makes all the difference. You should work with a highly-recommended plastic surgeon who specializes in breast procedures and who has ample experience in performing revision surgery.

Dr. Vitenas is a board-certified plastic surgeon with over 30 years of experience and has performed over ten thousand breast surgeries. He is one of the most sought-after plastic surgeons in the state of Texas and has frequently been named a top doctor and among the top 10 plastic surgeons in Texas. He performs a range of different breast surgeries and customizes each procedure to meet his patients’ unique needs. His cosmetic surgery practice is located in Houston, Texas, between the Galleria and Greenway Plaza at 4208 Richmond Ave.

To learn more about breast implant revision or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Vitenas, call (281) 484-0088.

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