Even if your breast implant surgery was planned and executed perfectly, changes can occur over time, which lead to changes in the breast appearance and contours.
Breast implant revision surgery involves the removal and/or replacement of silicone or saline breast implants with the overall goal to restore the youthful contours and appearance of your breasts. This surgery is typically requested due to aging breast implants, to change the size or type of implants or to correct any complications from a primary breast augmentation.
When should you Consider Breast Revision?
• When you have experienced a saline implant deflation or an X-Ray, MRI, or mammography suggest your silicone implant has a shell leak.
• You want to change the size of your implant/breast.
• You have capsular contracture or tightening of the scar tissue around the implant or your implant has shifted its position.
• Your breast tissue has changed as a result of skin stretching from aging, weight gain/loss.
The exact procedure your surgeon will use for breast implant removal and replacement varies depending on the reason for your breast revision.
Change in implant size: If you decide to change your implant size, Dr. Moore will use your original incision for implant removal and replacement. If you want a larger implant, Dr. Moore will surgically enlarge the “pocket” or space in the breast, surrounding your implant to accommodate a larger implant. If you want smaller implants, you doctor may surgically reduce the size of the pocket with sutures to properly fit smaller sized implants. A breast lift may be done at the same time.
Capsular contracture (hardening of the capsule and implant): Dr. Moore will probably use the same incision used to insert the original implants to remove the hardened capsule and implant. She will then insert a new implant.
Implant rippling: When the edges of saline breast implants are visible and palpable (able to be felt), Dr. Moore may use the same incision to remove or reposition the implants as was used to originally insert them. Other options include using a different type of implant or placing the new implant into a different breast pocket that either has thicker muscle coverage or uses other tissues to cover the implant edge.
Implant malposition: Sometimes implant pockets are created too far apart or too close together, resulting in poorly positioned breasts. To correct this, using the prior incision, Dr. Moore will manipulate the scar tissue from the capsule surrounding the implant and reconstruct the pocket in the appropriate position using suturing techniques. Dr. Moore may need to utilize other tissues to reinforce this new implant pocket and may recommend using an acellular dermal matrix product to add additional support.
Implant removal: If your implants are large and your skin has stretched, Dr. Moore may recommend a breast lift in addition to implant removal, but implant removal alone may suffice. The original incision created to insert the implant will almost always be the same one used to remove it. The lining around the implant, or “capsule”, is often surgically removed at the same time to facilitate rapid healing.
Elevation of nipple and areola position: If it is necessary to elevate the position of your nipples and areolas (pigmented skin surrounding the nipples), you will need additional incisions. Incisions around the upper portion of the areola will be adequate in cases where not much elevation is needed. When more lifting and tightening is necessary, an incision all the way around the areola, including a vertical scar extending down from the areola to the crease under the breast, may be necessary. For cases where significant excess skin needs to be removed (such as in women who have had massive weight loss), a third incision may be necessary that will extend horizontally beneath the breast, following the natural curve of the breast crease. If your nipples need lifting, the nipples and areolas remain attached to underlying mounds of tissue and this usually allows for the preservation of sensation and the ability to breastfeed.
Dr. Moore and her staff strive to assist you in order to achieve the most beautiful and natural-looking results in addition to making your surgical experience as comfortable as possible.
If you would like to focus on what is unique to you, please contact us for a consultation.