Do you wish you had gone with bigger breast implants? If so you are not alone. According to the FDA, 37% of all breast revision surgeries in the United States are done to switch out implants for a larger size. Houston breast surgeon, Dr. Bryan Correa has corrected a variety of problems arising from a primary surgery. He specializes in correcting problems that have developed from primary augmentation surgeries and is fast becoming one of Houston’s most sought after breast revision surgeons.
Reasons for breast revision
Breast revision surgery is done to correct an earlier breast surgery, and involves removing or replacing implants. Complications arising from an original augmentation procedure are not uncommon. It is estimated that 20% of breast augmentation surgeries will require revision. Other than simply wanting to change the size of the implants, some of the problems that occur are:
- Ruptured implants
- Shifted implants
- Capsular contracture
- Muscle flex deformity
- Poorly positioned implants
Implants are made of shells that contain a saline solution or a thick silicone gel. If a saline implant ruptures it is unmistakable physically, as breast volume visibly decreases. The more modern silicone implants can rupture with no visible signs of decrease as the silicone is thicker and is designed to stay within the shell. Patients with silicone implants are encouraged to visit their doctor for regular checkups to detect any ruptures. If you are concerned about a possible rupture of an implant be sure to set up an appointment to be evaluated.
Most implants stay where they were put, but sometimes they can migrate in any number of directions—for example, toward the outside of the chest or closer to the sternum. Additionally, it is also possible for implants to slip below the inframammary fold (crease under the breast); this is a particular concern if the inframammary fold was altered during the first operation. Not only do these conditions make the breasts look unnatural, they can be very uncomfortable.
The body naturally encloses any foreign object, including a breast implant, with scar tissue. This is a normal process in all cases. However, in some women the scar tissue becomes very thick and contracts, compressing the implant. This can cause the breast to become misshapen and hard, as well as cause the implant to move (usually upwards on the chest). Sometimes only one breast is affected which also causes asymmetry in the chest with one breast higher than the other. This condition can be painful.
Animation or “muscle flex” deformity
Women who notice their implants moving abnormally when lifting heavy objects or working out have what is called animation deformity. To some degree, this is unavoidable whenever an implant is placed below the pectoral muscle. However, in some patients it becomes worse or more noticeable with time and thus is bothersome enough to motivate evaluation.
On some patients, implants can migrate to other positions after surgery. This can happen for a variety of reasons but is commonly related to implants that are too large for a person’s chest. It is also possible that things did not heal normally after the first operation or that the first operation was problematic. Implant migration or malposition is typically only a cosmetic concern and depending on severity can be minimally noticeable to extremely bothersome and unnatural.
Breast revision surgery consultation
Breast surgery revisions are more complicated than original surgeries. Houston breast surgeon, Dr. Correa will be happy to meet with you to discuss ways of correcting your particular problem so that your breasts look natural and do not cause you pain or discomfort. If your implant has ruptured your options vary based on the type of implant. Saline implants typically need to be replaced due to the obvious change in size that occurs. Silicone implants that rupture can often be simply watched and do not need surgery; this is determined on a case-by-case basis.