Most breast augmentation patients eventually require a breast implant revision. Fortunately, improving surgical techniques and a wider range of shapes, sizes, and materials mean that your choices for revision surgery are broader than ever, especially if you received your implants more than a few years ago. Whatever your needs, a board certified plastic surgeon will be able to identify and explain your best options. Below, we highlight some of the most common reasons breast augmentation patients return for implant revisions.
1) Discomfort or Pain
Perhaps the most urgent sign you need breast implant revision is if you are experiencing physical discomfort related to your implants. If you feel increased breast sensitivity, or pain upon contact or when your chest muscles flex, this can be a sign of severe capsular contracture–a result of unusually extensive scarring. Fortunately, displaced implants can be easily removed or replaced, and scar tissue can readily be extracted to restore a more normal breast appearance and make you feel more comfortable.
2) Deteriorating Breast Appearance
There are several ways in which initially satisfactory breast augmentation results can deteriorate over time. Even if it does not cause physical discomfort, capsular contracture can cause implants to be unusually protrusive and hard to the touch, producing a look and feel that many patients find problematic. Implants can also shift over time, falling below the bottom of the breast (“double bubble”), moving into the middle (“bread-loafing”), or even pushing up towards he collarbone. These displacements can all be corrected through surgery, though it is important to consult carefully with your surgeon to determine how best to minimize the chance of future implant placement issues.
3) Your Implants are Getting Old
Given enough time, breast implants eventually deteriorate. Due to the increased risk of rupture that comes with time, as well as the natural aging processes that can cause even augmented breasts to sag, most patients with implants more than 12 to 15 years old could benefit from a breast implant revision or replacement procedure. Moreover, after a significant duration, many implant patients opt to have a breast lift procedure performed simultaneously with implant revision in order to improve implant placement and enhance their overall appearance.
4) You Want a Different Size
Breast augmentation is a very personal choice and reflects strong feelings and emotions that you have regarding your physical appearance. These feelings can change over time, often dramatically, and you may want your body to reflect how you currently feel. Breast implant revision procedures can be planned to achieve a wide range of alternative sizes, using replacement implants either larger or smaller than your present implant size. Of course, you will want to consult with a certified plastic surgeon to determine your options.