Breast Implant Revision Surgery

Women may choose to have breast implant revision surgery following their original breast augmentation procedure for various reasons. In most cases this involves removal of the existing implant usually with replacement with new implants.
There may be device issues such as leakage, deflation or rupture. The implants may have become firm, hard or displaced in a process called capsular contracture. There may be cosmetic concerns involving breast size, shape or symmetry. Breast implant revision surgery may be able help. During your consultation, Dr. Jarrell will examine you and discuss your concerns with you to help develop a treatment option that is right for you.

Reasons For Breast-Implant Revision Surgery

Women may choose to undergo breast implant revision surgery for many different reasons:

Lifestyle change: after several years of having breast implants life’s circumstances may change and patients may desire a different look, size or shape to their breasts

Leakage or deflation: breast implants are not lifetime devices and some patients develop problems such as leakage, rupture or deflation which may prompt them to seek implant revision surgery. They can leak because of age or defect, injury to the breast, or overfilling. Whatever the reason, a leaking implant should be replaced.
A leak to a saline implant is immediately noticeable; the implant deflates and the saline is absorbed by the body. When there is a leak in the types of silicone implants used today, because the silicone is designed to hold its shape, leaks are often only discovered during routine mammograms.

Modern implant options: Implant options today may not be the same as when a women had her previous implant surgery and she may desire to have a more modern device available on the market now that can provide improvement in the shape and feel of the breast.

Body changes: Maybe you have developed sagging of breast tissue over the implant, pregnancy or change in body weight may have changed things. Maybe there is a desire for smaller/larger size or no longer a desire to have implants. Breast implant revision surgery may be the right procedure for you.

Contour irregularities: Sometimes patients can develop worsening asymmetry through time or dissatisfaction with features of the implants that may be addressed with implant revision surgery.

Capsular contracture: This is a known complication in which scar tissue forms around the implant, hardening the breast and changing its look and feel. This may require surgery to remove or release the scar tissue and place a new implant.

How is breast implant revision surgery performed?

The surgical approach is customized and specific to each patient and her goals for a surgery. Dr. Jarrell will examine you and discuss your concerns with you to help develop a surgical plan that is best suited for your needs. This may involve only exchanging the implant for a new one. If a size change is desired this may require some modifications to the implant pocket as well, or if scar tissue (capsular contracture) is noted it may have to be removed or released in the process. Many times this can be achieved through the same incision, while other times alternative incisions may be required. Other incisions may also be required in order to reposition the breast tissue (mastopexy) to better fit over your chest and/or a different sized implant.

Although considered safe, revision surgery to correct problems with breast implants may be more complicated and challenging, cost more and take longer to recover from than the initial surgery. Results can sometimes be less predictable and surgical approaches are usually unique for each case. Even when breast-implant revision surgeries are successful, new implants are still subject to the same problems as the original implants. Dr. Jarrell will discuss the considerations with you and make sure you understand what is involved.