There are many reasons why women may consider breast revision. Plastic and reconstructive surgeons are frequently asked what makes a woman a candidate for breast revision surgery (also known as secondary breast surgery) after a previously performed breast augmentation? Dr. Franklyn Elliott has been performing cosmetic and reconstructive breast surgery for over 25 years and regularly teaches other surgeons new and effective breast surgery techniques including those for secondary breast surgery. Below are some of the most frequent breast revision surgery motives he encounters along with what he frequently suggests to mitigate the issues.
Patients who wish to exchange their breast implants for a different size or type, are not satisfied with their results, or those who develop complications may wish to correct their prior procedure. Breast revision surgery may be crucial if implant rupture, capsular contracture, or infection occurs. Rupturing or leaking is rare, but if this does happen the implants will need to be removed. Many patients choose to have their breast implants replaced upon removal, but for others, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon can utilize breast reduction and lifting techniques during breast revision to create optimal results without needing an implant. Contrary to many beliefs, breast implants themselves do not get hard, but scar tissue around implants can become this way, creating capsular contracture. The best way to avoid capsular contracture is to follow breast augmentation aftercare instructions by limiting physical activity and wearing any prescribed post-surgery supportive garments. If the complication does occur, a capsulectomy can be performed during breast revision to remove excess scar tissue and soften the breasts. Infection and allergy are very rare but there is still a chance that a woman’s body could reject the breast implant, ultimately causing an infection.
Although there are medical conditions that may make breast revision surgery necessary, other aesthetic changes may warrant revision. Even with proper planning and execution of breast augmentation surgery, changes such as weight loss or gain can occur later leading many women to consider and undergo breast revision surgery.
Weight fluctuation throughout your lifetime is very common, and breast augmentation patients are likely to experience weight gain or loss at some point after their surgery, especially if they plan on having children. Breast revision surgery can help maintain overall body proportion. Sometimes women struggle to choose an implant that satisfies their needs and may desire smaller or larger implants or to switch their salineimplants to silicone or vice versa, in either case implants can be replaced. No matter the reason for breast revision surgery, it’s important to discuss your concerns with a plastic surgeon you trust and feel comfortable talking with. Additionally, selecting a surgeon who is active within professional plastic surgery associations and breast surgery symposia is another to ensure your provider has the latest education in surgical techniques and plastic surgery technology.
Every patient is an individual and should be evaluated and treated based on their unique case. It’s imperative to do your research and make sure your plastic surgeon is experienced in performing this surgery and is board certified in plastic and reconstructive surgery. To stay up to date on the latest breast news, make sure to follow Dr. Elliott on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. You can also sign up for his newsletter.