Even the most successful breast augmentation results can benefit from revision surgery at some point. One of the primary reasons women get breast augmentation revision surgery at our Austin, TX, practice is to upgrade from saline to silicone gel implants. But there are a number of other factors that can influence the decision to undergo a revision procedure.
In this blog post, I’ll describe the different reasons for revision surgery and explain why it’s important to choose a board-certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience performing revision procedures.
What Is Revision Surgery?
Breast augmentation revision is a procedure that involves replacing or removing a patient’s existing breast implants. The surgery shares some of the same techniques used during the initial augmentation procedure but is a more complicated operation. For example, during revision surgery the scar tissue that has formed around the implants and stretched skin poses challenges that don’t exist when inserting breast implants for the first time. Successful breast augmentation revision operations require a surgeon with specialized training.
Reasons for Revision Surgery
Breast implants are not meant to last forever, so women who undergo breast augmentation should be aware that they may need future revision surgery. Complications are rare, but they do happen and may make revision a necessity. Here are the most common reasons we see patients get breast augmentation revision surgery:
Changing Implant Size
This is actually a much more common reason than most patients realize. Even though some women want to reduce the size of their implants, it’s our experience that the majority of patients want to go bigger. Replacing implants in these situations is made much easier if you have the information about your original surgery and implants.
Changing Implant Style
Silicone gel implants gained FDA approval a little more than 10 years ago, however many women still have saline implants or older generations of silicone gel. As we wrote in an earlier blog post, breast implant options available today give patients more choices than ever. Highly cohesive silicone gel implants feel and look more like natural breasts than the implants that were available 10 years ago.
Changes in Breast Tissue
Aging, pregnancy, or significant weight loss can change the shape of a woman’s breasts. These changes can cause breast implants to look less natural, and breast augmentation revision surgery may be needed to maintain the optimal results.
Incidents of capsular contracture are declining, but this condition remains the primary complication associated with breast augmentation. It occurs when the scar tissue around the implant tightens. The squeezed implant moves into an unwanted position and feels hard. Severe cases can be painful. The “no-touch” breast augmentation technique I described in my previous blog post reduces the risk of capsular contracture, which has been linked to bacterial infection. Other, less common, complications also usually require revision surgery to correct.
Women with saline-filled implants will notice almost immediately if one of them begins leaking because the breast appears deflated. If a cohesive silicone gel implant cracks, however, a woman may not notice and only an MRI will detect the change.
If you’re thinking about elective implant exchange, or think you may need breast augmentation revision surgery, you can contact us using the online form to request a consultation or call us at either (512) 244-1439 (Austin) or (512) 244-1444 (Round Rock) to schedule an appointment.