Breast implants don’t last forever, and most people who have implants do eventually need to have revision surgery. Fortunately, the ever-increasing variety of shapes, sizes, and types of implants means that if you’re ready for a revision, you likely have more choices now than when you first had your implants put in! If you think it’s time for implant revision or you’re not sure, a board-certified plastic surgeon is the person to see for help. They will be able to identify any problems caused by your implants, talk you through replacement options, and help you make the right choice. But how do you know when you need a breast implant revision?
1. You’re Experiencing Discomfort or Pain.
The most urgent sign that you may need breast implant revision is if you’re experiencing physical discomfort related to your implants. For instance:
- Your breasts feel more sensitive than normal.
- They hurt when you touch them.
- They hurt when you flex your chest muscles.
If you experience any of the above, you may have capsular contracture. This condition usually happens if your breast surgery led to more scarring than normal. A high level of scarring causes the breast implant capsule to contract and displace the implant.
This kind of problem may be unpleasant and painful to experience, but the displaced implants can be easily removed and replaced. The problem scar tissue can be removed too! The result of revision procedure for this problem is breasts that look more natural and feel more comfortable, with or without new implants.
2. Your Breasts Don’t Look or Feel as Good as They Used To.
Sometimes implants shift or start to look different as time passes.
Due to capsular contracture…
Capsular contracture doesn’t always cause physical discomfort, but if it happens, it almost always changes the way the breasts look. They become hard to the touch and protrude from the chest wall more than they should.
Due to changes over time…
Implants can move in other ways, too, shifting over time to fall below the bottom of the breast (called “double bubble”) or moving to the middle of the chest (“bread-loafing”). Sometimes the implants may push up toward the collarbone.
Due to rupture…
Silicone gel implants can sometimes rupture. While newer kinds of implants are less prone to rupture, older implants can still be at risk. Silicone is an inert substance. That means if it ruptures, it doesn’t react inside the body. Still, a rupture can affect the feel and look of the breast.
Due to leakage…
Once in a while, saline implants leak, and the shells deflate. If this happens, it almost always results in a marked difference in the size and shape of the breasts. Any of these issues can be corrected with revision surgery. To get the best results from a revision procedure, choose a board-certified surgeon with a good record of successful revisions, and speak with them beforehand about how to reduce the risk of problems with your new implants.
3. You Had Your Initial Implant Surgery More Than 10 Years Ago.
Breast implants are medical devices, and, like all medical devices, they can suffer from wear and tear over time. Normal wear and tear increases the risk of a breast implant rupturing or other problems. The natural aging process can cause augmented breasts to start to sag too. Because of these facts, people with implants that are more than 12 to 15 years old often benefit from a breast implant revision or replacement procedure. If you have older implants, replacement can give you a chance to upgrade to a new kind of implant material or change the shape or size to give your breasts a new look. There’s even the opportunity to have a breast lift procedure performed at the same time, to really give your breasts a boost!
4. You Want to Try a Different Size.
Having a breast augmentation is a personal choice and reflects the feelings you have about your own physical appearance. The same goes for the shape and size of the breast implants you choose! Your feelings about them can change over time, 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 and shapes, 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. While the final choice is yours to make, your surgeon can help you by providing advice about what kinds of styles and sizes will look best on your body. Dr. Obaid can also utilize Crisalix technology, so you can actually see what new breasts would look like on your body!
5. You Want a New Style.
Medical science is constantly making new advances in technique and technology, and that’s as true for breast implants as anything else! In recent years, advances in breast implant technology include new kinds of implants, such as gummy bear implants and IDEAL IMPLANTS®. These new types of implants improve on comfort and safety. Gummy bear implants, for instance, are made from a thicker and stronger kind of silicone than previous implants. That means they have a more natural feel and are also less likely to break and leak. IDEAL IMPLANTS are saline implants with a unique structure that reduces the risk of rupture and makes the breasts feel natural. Thanks to advances like these, you have more choices than ever before! And when it comes time for a breast revision or replacement, you’ll have the opportunity to upgrade to implants that are as safe and fabulous as possible!