When a woman undergoes breast augmentation surgery, she is much more focused on the benefits her procedure will provide than on the possibility that she may need another surgery in the future. Secondary breast surgery is called breast revision surgery. It may be needed for several different reasons, which we will discuss here, along with the challenges that are inherent to a revision procedure.
Breast implants are not intended to last forever. Manufacturer warranties end at the ten-year mark after breast augmentation. This doesn’t mean all women will have to replace their implants or have them removed after ten years. It is an indication that implants have a lifespan and that this must be carefully monitored by patients and their doctors.
Common Reasons for Breast Revision Surgery
Contrary to what many people may assume, not all breast augmentation revisions are performed to correct a problem. According to the FDA, approximately 37% of these second procedures are sought because the patient wishes to increase the size of their implants. In most cases, women undergoing their first breast augmentation are worried that their breasts will be too big. Once they recover from post-op swelling and their breasts have settled, though, many expresses that they wish they had gone bigger. Additional reasons for revision surgery include:
- Capsular contracture. This is the most common complication that may occur after breast augmentation. The insertion of a breast implant causes the body to form scar tissue around the foreign object. This is not a problem. The problem is that some women form thick, rigid scar tissue that causes pain or distortion of the breast.
- Rippling problems sometimes occur when saline breast implants are used. Correction can be achieved by switching saline implants with silicone implants.
- Cosmetic problems can occur if the patient has very thin skin or was treated with implants too large for her natural anatomy. Symmastia and bottoming out are two examples.
- Cosmetic problems may also result from pregnancy or weight changes. To correct these concerns, the surgeon may switch implants and perform a breast lift.
Challenges the Surgeon May Face
Secondary plastic surgeries are nearly always more difficult than primary procedures. Factors such as scar tissue and anatomical changes caused by breast implants affect revision breast surgery. Additionally, many patients are disillusioned by the results of their primary surgery and may have had unrealistic expectations at the time of their first procedure due to poor communication between them and their surgeons.
The best way to meet the challenges of revision breast surgery is to devote sufficient time for consultation. As a reconstructive surgeon, Dr. Patel is well aware of the importance of the finite details of the surgery. Revision breast surgery can be affected by everything from communication to incision location to the type of movement that is needed if the implant is being repositioned.
Get the detailed information you need to approach revision breast surgery confident and well-informed. Call 323-442-0416 to schedule your consultation in our Glendale office.