Breast Revision Surgery is necessary for a variety of cosmetic and medical reasons. It may be the last thing on your mind when you undergo a breast augmentation. But breast implants are not built to last a lifetime.
Even under the best of circumstances, implants may eventually need to be replaced.
Replacement becomes necessary for a variety of reasons, including deflation, rupture, leakage, or sometimes simply to upgrade to a newer implant type.
In the case of older silicone gel implants, patients often want both implants removed in order to replace them with newer alternatives, such as the latest generation of silicone gel- filled implants. Switching from saline to silicone implants due to rippling problems or just a desire for a softer, more natural feel, is another possibility.
The most common reason given for Breast Revision Surgery, however, is a woman wants to have larger implants. According to FDA statistics, switching to a larger size implant is estimated to account for approximately 37 percent of all breast revision surgeries in the United States.
Other Reasons for Breast Revision Surgery
On the other end of the spectrum, some women who have had breast augmentation surgery in the past want their implants taken out. Removal is then performed, sometimes in conjunction with a breast lift.
Weight fluctuations, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and changes in skin elasticity through age all affect the appearance of the breasts. They may begin to sag and droop, taking on a less than satisfactory appearance. In this case, a breast lift may be the appropriate procedure, either with or without the replacement of the implants.
Sometimes a Breast Revision Surgery is performed when a woman is simply not happy with some cosmetic aspect of the look or feel of her breasts.
What is the Consultation Procedure Like?
Your session will begin with a personal consultation with Dr. Chang, where you will have the chance to ask the doctor any questions you may have about the procedure. You will also discuss things such as why you feel you need Breast Revision Surgery, and how you hope to benefit from the procedure.
What Happens During Breast Revision Surgery?
The answer depends on the reason for the surgery. Breast revision usually involves swapping out the old implants for new ones, often with a size change. It can also include a breast lift, release of scar tissue, and change to the size, shape, and location of the “pocket” (the space inside the body where the implant sits).
With some cosmetic problems, additional surgery may be needed for the best result. For instance, repair of symmastia and bottoming out may be more successful when the implants remain out of the body for a period of at least 12 weeks after removing the old implants and strategically placing sutures to close off the pocket. Once proper healing and stabilization is achieved via the formation of new scar tissue, the final surgery can be done to replace the implants.
Where is the Surgery Performed?
All breast procedures are performed at Countryside Ambulatory Surgery Center, Inova Loudoun Hospital, or Inova Fair Oaks Hospital. All facilities are accredited and overseen by anesthesiologists.
What is the recovery like?
Patients recover at home (or at Lansdowne Resort for out-of-town patients). Some patients can elect to purchase an On-Q pain pump, which will help eliminate pain for the first three-to-four days. Most patients do not need pain medication after a few days.
Most patients return to work in seven to 10 days. Bruising and swelling take two-to-four weeks to improve.
The first post-operative visit is a day or two after your procedure. During this visit, your initial dressings are removed and you may start wearing a sports bra. Underwire bras are discouraged for the first four weeks. Incisions are generally closed with absorbable sutures. Scars normally take about a year to mature.
What Other Types of Breast Surgery Does Dr. Chang Perform?
- Breast Lift (Mastoplexy)
- Breast Lift with Breast Implant
- Breast Augmentation
- Breast Reduction
- Nipple Reduction
- Breast Areola Reduction
Why Choose Dr. Chang for Breast Revision Surgery?
Revision surgery is often more complicated than the original breast augmentation procedure, so it is very important that you select a surgeon who is board-certified, highly-skilled and experienced.
Dr. Change is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and has trained at some of the premier plastic surgery centers in the United States. He completed a Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Fellowship in Rochester, N.Y., and a Cosmetic Surgery Fellowship in Beverly Hills and Newport Beach in California.
An unfortunate side effect of the demand for breast augmentation has been an increase in the number of less-qualified surgeons performing the procedure. When doctors with no specialty training in plastic surgery techniques perform breast augmentation, any number of complications can arise. These include lopsided or asymmetrical breasts, unnatural rippling or wrinkling, excessive scarring, and over or under–filled implants.
The Secret to Breast Revision Surgery Success
The biggest predictor of the success of Breast Revision Surgery is the quality of communication between the doctor and the patient prior to the surgery. Patients who receive a full and honest explanation of what they can expect are likely to be much more satisfied in the end.
Finally, remember that it is of utmost importance to go into your surgery with realistic expectations. Perfection does not exist in nature or in plastic surgery. Your pre-surgery body is not completely symmetrical, and it won’t be perfectly symmetrical afterwards either.
Dr. Phillip Chang is a board-certified plastic surgeon with office in Loudoun County (Leesburg) and Fairfax County (Reston) in Virginia. Complimentary consultations are offered at Aesthetica Cosmetic Surgery and Laser Center, as well as Radiance Salon and Medispa. Dr. Chang sees patients from Virginia, Maryland and throughout the Washington D.C. metropolitan area.