Breast Revision: How to Know When It’s Time

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Timing a breast augmentation or other primary plastic surgery procedure here in Austin is relatively straightforward, as it’s largely up to the patient. But revisionary breast surgery is often a different matter. Many patients may feel that the decision to have revisionary surgery is less of an option than a necessity.

One thing I always say to patients considering breast revision: Wait at least a year before making a final decision. Beyond that, the factors that motivate women to seek out breast revision generally fall into 2 categories: medical and cosmetic.

Medical Complications

Breast implants seldom lead to serious medical complications, but damaged or broken implants have to be switched out for new ones nonetheless. Today’s breast implants, both saline and silicone, are extremely durable. But occasionally damage is inevitable, especially in older implants, as no implant is meant to last the rest of your life.

In the case of saline implants, a leak or break is immediately evident, because the breast “deflates” as the filling is rapidly absorbed by the body’s tissues. Today’s cohesive silicone implants are designed to hold their shape even if they’re damaged, so you may not even realize it has happened until having an MRI or examination.

Other complications include conditions such as capsular contracture, which occurs when the body creates too much scar tissue around an implant. While the development of some scar tissue is normal, too much of it can make the breasts feel hard and tight, and that’s an unwanted effect that can be corrected with surgery.

Cosmetic Revisions

Sometimes a patient considers revisionary surgery simply because she isn’t happy with her current results. This can occur shortly after primary surgery – for example, once your breasts are fully healed, you may realize they’re smaller than you’d envisioned – or years later, if you feel like you’ve “outgrown” your enlarged breasts or merely had a change of heart. Like primary breast augmentation, your reasons for having a revisionary procedure are entirely your own.

With your new implants, your choices are relatively similar to the options you had during your primary breast augmentation. However, if it has been a while since your primary surgery, you may be pleasantly surprised at the advancements in implant options, as the industry continues to evolve. During your consultation, we’ll discuss how breast implants have changed and what you can expect from your new pair.

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