Breast Augmentation remains one of the nation's most frequently performed cosmetic surgery procedures. While it almost always brings long-lasting positive results, breast revision surgeries are sometimes necessary to correct issues that may arise over time like capsular contracture (implant rippling), rupture, or implant displacement. A patient looking to change size or switch between silicone or saline may also opt to "swap out" their implants. Dr. Leo Lapuerta is an accomplished breast surgeon who performs a full spectrum of breast surgery including augmentations, reductions, lifts, and revisions at his Houston, Pearland, and Katy practices. This, combined with his years of experience, commitment to patient satisfaction, reputation, and surgical excellence all help make him a frequent choice for patients looking to revise a prior breast augmentation surgery.
Some of the most common reasons women undergo breast revision surgery include:
If a saline implant ruptures, the implant device will deflate due to the leakage of saline. This will result in an obvious deflating of the breasts. Silicone implants will not deflate visibly, however, a break in the shell may still occur. The only true way to detect a shell break is through an MRI, which is why routine check-ups are recommended throughout the years.
Breast rippling and/or wrinkling can occur along the side of the breast, or underneath it. This occurs within saline implants resulting in an unnatural appearance under the skin. This is most common in women who are extremely thin.
DOUBLE BUBBLE IMPLANTS
“Double bubble” is a rare complication with women who have breast implants. This occurs when the implant drops down behind the natural breast crease, or it has risen and now over-drapes (double folds) the breast. When this occurs, an unnatural indention will result in a “double” breast appearance. This is usually caused by improper breast placement from the original surgery, or severe capsular contracture, which shifts the implant from its position.
BREAST IMPLANT REMOVAL
Some women may decide later in life they no longer wish to have breast implants in place. Breast implant removal is a procedure that removes the implants and tightens the skin around the breasts to create a natural look.
Some women will be unhappy with their breast size following breast augmentation surgery. They may desire a secondary surgery to replace the implant with one of a different size, texture or shape. Some women may want to go from saline to silicone, or vice versa to achieve the results they desire.
Scar tissue that has formed around the implant may create a capsular contracture. When this occurs, excessive tightening of the capsule will result in a hard feel of the breast. Sometimes, in order to correct this, a capsulectomy must occur. This is the removal of scar tissue from around the implant. In general, silicone implants have a higher incidence of capsular contracture (approximately 10-15% chances) than saline implants (5% chance).
IMPLANT BOTTOMING OUT
This can occur post-surgery when implant shifts or moves from its original location. This can also occur with aging, gravity, trauma to the chest area, or with excessive scarring.
Patients who wish to have their implants replaced will undergo a procedure where an exchange of one or both implants may occur. These revision surgeries are generally straightforward. If scar tissue does exist around the implant, an additional step will be taken to remove this. Some patients may require a breast lift during the revision surgery. In addition, a tissue matrix device known as a strattice may be used if added support is needed. The goal of the revision process is to resolve or overcome issues in a way that satisfies the patient’s aesthetic goals.
Breast revision surgery is performed under general anesthesia as an outpatient procedure in an accredited surgical facility. The ease of recovery will depend on exactly what was being done during the revision process. Most women are able to resume their normal work activities after a full week of rest. Exercise will be a gradual process. It may take up to a full year for the scars to begin to fade and for the newly revised breast or chest area to look and feel natural.
The cost for a breast revision procedure will vary greatly, but on average, the range is between $5,000-$10,000. The final cost will depend on numerous factors including:
If the breast implants are being removed or replaced
If breast replacement is occurring with a silicone or saline breast implant
If any additional surgical technique will be needed (i.e. a capsulectomy or a breast lift)
If the implants were covered by a manufacturer warranty