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 rated and board-certified plastic surgeon in Houston, Texas, has more than two decades of experience performing breast surgeries, including implant revision.
If your breasts have changed in the years since your breast augmentation surgery, breast implant revision in Houston, TX can help you to feel comfortable and confident once again.
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.
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.
Why Choose Breast Implant Revision?
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- Inferior Fold
When implants “bottom out,” they become positioned too low in the breasts due to 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.
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 is sometimes called “uni-boob,” as the positioning of the implants causes the two breasts to come very close together in the midline, and in some cases, to touch each other. Symmastia creates cleavage that looks unnatural. A common cause of symmastia are implants that are too large for a woman’s frame.
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 some silicone implants.
Scar tissue, known as a capsule, develops around the implants as the breasts heal from augmentation surgery. In some cases, however, the capsule thickens and starts to shrink around the implant causing the breast implant to be compressed circumferentially and feel hard. Capsular contracture can cause deformity of the breasts implants with folds or malposition and can be painful.
What happens within the body after an implant rupture depends on the type of implant. Saline implants typically deflate quickly, as the saltwater leaks out and is safely absorbed by the body.
Silicone implants do not deflate, however, the silicone elastomer shell can 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)
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 the revision surgery, you’ll be asked to quit using nicotine products. You may also need to stop taking certain blood-thinning medications or supplements before your surgery. Let Dr. Vitenas know about any medications you take regularly, even over-the-counter medicines and vitamins.
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.
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. It is performed on an outpatient basis using general anesthesia.
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.
Recovering from Breast Implant Revision
Initial recovery after breast implant revision 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 likely 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.
Frequently Asked Questions About Breast Implant Revision
The risks associated with breast implant revision are usually minimal but may include bleeding, infection and scarring.
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.
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.
Breast implant revision surgery is typically performed using general anesthesia.
The procedure takes between one and three hours on average.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 nearly 30 years of experience. 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. 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.
*Client testimonials are based on personal experience. Individual results may vary.