Why do patients opt for implant revision?

People sometimes wonder why a woman would opt to have revision surgery for her breast implants. Here are the main reasons for implant revision and how Dr. Smith handles the surgery for each.

Capsular contracture

You’ve heard of this side effect with breast implants. When an implant is placed into the body, there is a reaction, as you would assume. This reaction is called the “capsule” and it is made up of calcified cells and scar tissue. If this capsule becomes very thick and causes the implant to shift or the breast to feel very firm, or if there is pain from the constricting scar tissue, this is called capsular contracture. If the capsule is very calcified, Dr. Smith will remove it along with the implant. If it isn’t, he usually will leave it in place. If there is a rupture of a silicone implant, the capsule may contain silicone shell fragments, silicone gel, and inflammatory cells that all need to be removed prior to placing new implants.

Changing the implant size

When a woman is unsatisfied with the size of her implants, Dr. Smith suggests she wait one full year before opting to make a change. This allows for any swelling to fully subside and for the implants to settle. If the patient still wants to change her implant size, Dr. Smith will enter through the original incision. If a larger implant is desired, he will increase the size of the pocket, the space in the breast to hold the implant. If the patient seeks smaller implants, he will reduce the size of the pocket with sutures to fit the smaller implants. In cases of reduction, a breast lift may be done in conjunction with the implant revision to remove any sagging tissue and possibly relocate the nipples.

Implant position

Sometimes a less experienced surgeon will place the implant pockets either too far away or too close together and the patient is not happy with the placement. In these cases, Dr. Smith will use scar tissue from the capsule and will reconstruct new pockets for the implants in better positions.

Implant rippling

Occasionally, particularly with saline implants placed atop the chest muscle, the implants show rippling and the edges may even be able to be felt. In these cases, Dr. Smith enters through the original incision and replaces the implants with better muscle coverage. This may involve switching implant types and/or placing them in new breast pockets.

Implant removal

When a patient decides she no longer wants to have her implants, they are removed through the same incisions. Dr. Smith will also remove the capsule if it is calcified and thick. He may recommend a breast lift at the same time to remove excess sagging skin and breast tissue.

While breast augmentation is a life-changing procedure, the results may not be what the patient had hoped for. Of course, expectations need to be realistic. But this is another reason to opt for a surgeon with extensive experience, such as Dr. Smith, to perform the surgery. Do your research beforehand and the odds are you’ll be happy with your results.

Do you have questions about augmentation? Call us at 843-705-8940 and let’s talk about it.

Posted in: Breast Augmentation, Breast Implants

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16 Okatie Center Blvd S, Suite 101 | Okatie, SC 29909
Serving the communities of Hilton Head, Bluffton, Beaufort, and Okatie.
Fax: 843.705.6816