Revision Breast Augmentation Washington DC
About Revision Breast Augmentation
Revision Breast Augmentation is a common procedure performed in women who have previously undergone breast augmentation with implants. Much to the surprise of many patients, women who have undergone breast augmentation with implants will need a revision surgery at some point in their lives. Breast implants are not meant to last forever and everyone’s breast and skin envelopes change as they age. Most importantly, remember that breast implants are an investment. Breast augmentation is rarely, if ever, a one and done procedure. The younger the woman is when she has her first breast augmentation, the more likely she will need a revision…..or two.
There are a variety of reasons for revision breast augmentation:
- Implant Rupture – The rupture rate for silicone and saline implants is about 1% per year. So, at 10 years, there is about a 10% chance that the implant can rupture. Newer “gummy bear” silicone implants have a slightly lower rupture rate, but women should always be aware that they could have a rupture. It’s important to follow-up with a plastic surgeon about every 2 years to have your implants checked for rupture. MRI is also a useful tool in diagnosing a rupture.
- Aging Breasts – With time, the perky fibrous tissue of the breast is replaced with fatty tissue and the ligaments that support the breast become lax. This leads to breast ptosis (AKA saggy breasts). The breast will start to fall off the implant and create what is commonly called a “snoopy deformity.”
- Implant Malpostion – With time implants can move downward or toward the sides. In these cases, patients complain that one breast appears lower than the other or both breasts are starting to sag. Women also complain that the implants are dramatically moving to the side when they lay on their back. This is referred to as lateral implant descent and is more common in women with saline implants than in those with silicone implants.
- Caspsular Contracture – Every breast implant forms a small amount of scar tissue around it. This is the body’s way of isolating a foreign object. However, in the case of capsular contracture, the scar tissue becomes thickened, the breast starts to feel firm and the position of the implant will change. For more information on capsular contracture, read Dr. Pittmans blog.
- Implant Size Change – With age, some women’s goals will change in relation to implant size. Patients may desire smaller or larger implants.
- Implant Removal – Again, women who may have had implants placed at a young age may not want them anymore.
The Details of a Revision
Revisions are performed for any of the above reasons and require implant removal and removal of internal scar tissue. A change in the internal architecture of the implant pocket is performed. Commonly,Dr. Pittman will place a supportive mesh to support a new implant and prevent a future malposition. Once the new implant is placed, if there is a need for removal of excess skin and repositioning of the nipple a mastopexy is performed.
Complete Removal of Implants
Women who wish to have their implants removed altogether usually wish to have the remaining breast tissue rearranged with a mastopexy to reshape the breast and prevent their breasts from looking deflated. Fat transfer is often a good option to volumize the breast after implant removal.
Different Strokes for Different Folks
Revision breast reconstruction is a highly individualized procedure. No two patients are the same and each operation is specifically tailored to the needs and desires of the patient. Click here to schedule a consultation with Dr. Pittman to discuss your revision surgery.
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