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3 Common Reasons For Breast Augmentation Revision Surgery

By: Dr. Sigalove
Topics: General
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According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, in 2014 breast augmentation was the most popular cosmetic surgical procedure resulting in over 286,000 procedures with the popularity of this surgery increasing 35% over the last 15 years. Breast augmentations are predictable and produce long lasting cosmetic results; however, some women are starting to see long-term changes that detract from the appearance of their breast(s) which leads to lessened satisfaction.

Breast augmentation revision surgery is commonly sought out for conditions such as capsular contracture, rippling and wrinkling, implant visibility and symmastia following a breast augmentation. These conditions can have an unattractive appearance and even cause pain.

Learn more about 3 common reasons for a breast augmentation revision surgery:

Capsular Contracture

Capsular contracture is a condition in which excessive scar tissue can form around the breast implant, resulting in a firm, hardened, tight, or even painful breast and can occur in up to 14% of women. The exact cause is uncertain, and happens for many reasons. It likely stems from bacteria on the surface of the implant creating a “biofilm” which leads to inflammation and scarring of the capsule surrounding the implant. Conservative treatments such as massage and off-label asthma medications can be used for mild encapsulation, but when these conservative measures fail, surgery may be needed.

Revision Options for Capsular Contracture

The preferred method for surgically correcting severe and recurrent capsular contractures requires a “pocket change.” For implants placed under the pectoral muscle: a new pocket is created above the muscle. For implants in the submuscular (under the pectoralis muscle) position: a new pocket is created between the pectoralis muscle and the capsule (neosubpectoral or neopectoral pocket), implants are exchanged, and kept in place with new, state-of-the-art “mesh” made from pigskin. When this technique is used, recurrence is near zero. Aesthetic results are excellent and recovery time is approximately one week.

Rippling & Wrinkling

Rippling and wrinkling, as well as implant visibility can occur, particularly in people that are thinner. These conditions stem from the natural make-up of saline or older silicone gel implants, a pocket which is too large for the implant, lack of soft tissue coverage over the implant or a combination. Revisionary surgery to correct these conditions may involve exchanging the old implant for a more anatomically shaped silicone gel implant (“gummy bear” implant) and may or may not include fat grafting. Fat grafting is a procedure in which standard liposuction is performed; the fat is washed and isolated, and re-injected into the tissues below the skin to camouflage the underlying implant. Sometimes the pocket containing the implant has been so stretched out, rippling and wrinkling of the implant may become quite visible. In this case, surgical correction consists of exchanging for a highly cohesive implant, placement of “mesh” to fortify the pocket, and fat grafting to help camouflage the new implant.

Appearance of a “Uni-Breast”

Symmastia is a condition where the left and right breast pockets are contiguous, creating a loss of definition on each side. In this instance, both left and right breast appear to be one, resulting in a “uni-breast”. This is a worrisome condition and requires surgical correction. Surgery consists of creating a new pocket between the muscle and the capsule, (neo-subpectoral) placement of “mesh” to fortify the repair, and implant exchange, with or without fat grafting.

Surgical correction in aesthetic revisionary breast surgery has evolved significantly over the last several years. Women who have experienced any of these negative effects or are dissatisfied with their cosmetic results now have many options, depending on their individual situation. These new techniques have given patients the opportunity to improve even the worst of cosmetic outcomes from breast augmentation.

 

If you are unhappy with the results of your previous augmentation, consider having a consultation with a DMG Aesthetics plastic surgeon to review your specific situation and discuss your cosmetic goals. To schedule a consultation, please call 630-348-3000.