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Breast Revision Candidates

Breast Revision Candidates


Breast augmentation is one of the most frequently performed cosmetic surgeries in the world. Incredible advances have been made in the field of breast enhancement. However, there is still a risk of developing complications. Additionally, some patients who have undergone breast augmentation as young women may want to reduce the size of their implants as they age. Learn more about candidacy for breast implant revision, bad breast implants, and the surgical complications associated with breast augmentation.

Who Is a Candidate for Breast Revision?

There are several aesthetic, emotional, and medical reasons why women may consider breast implant revision surgery. The best candidates for the cosmetic surgery procedure are women who are in good health, not pregnant or nursing, and are dissatisfied with their current breast implants. Bad breast implants and surgical complications are the two main reasons that patients choose to have breast augmentation revision.

Bad Breast Implants

Breast augmentation surgery does not always produce a patient’s desired results. This may be due to bad breast implants, incorrect surgical procedures, or just unrealistic expectations on the part of the patient. Women may realize that they were happier with their body shape prior to receiving breast implants or that larger breasts are a hindrance to their daily activities. These women are good candidates for breast implant removal surgery.

Other cases of bad breast implants include women who are unhappy with the size or shape of the breast implants they received. Women who feel that their original implants were too small or too large may consider breast augmentation revision. Breast implant replacement may be an option for women who feel they received bad breast implants and are not satisfied with the shape of their breasts.

Silicone breast implants, which were recently re-approved by the FDA after more than 14 years off the market, generally provide a more natural feel than saline breast implants. Women who had hoped for the feel of silicone implants but had to get saline implants due to FDA regulations may be unsatisfied with the feel of their breasts. Women who are unhappy with their saline implants could now be candidates for breast implant revision to receive silicone implants instead.

Surgical Complications

Like all surgeries, breast augmentation carries some risk. Although the safety of implants used to enhance women’s breasts has steadily improved since their introduction in the early 1960s, a number of complications can still occur. Bad breast implants, scarring, improper implant placement, and health problems not directly related to the implant surgery are just three examples of medical reasons for breast implant removal or replacement.

Some of the complications that may develop after breast augmentation surgery include:

  • Capsular contracture – a tightening of the capsule, or scar tissue, that surrounds the breast implant. When this happens, patients must undergo scar tissue removal or breast implant removal, which can be followed by the insertion of another implant if the patient so chooses. Capsular contracture can be very painful, and some symptoms include hardening of the breasts and changes in their size or shape.
  • Implant rupture, deflation, or leakage – can be caused by natural wear and tear, or by bad breast implants. Ruptured saline implants are usually easy to detect and necessitate less urgency than ruptured silicone implants, which can lead to a serious negative reaction by the body.
  • Infection – all surgical patients are at risk of developing an infection in and around the incision site(s). Most infections can be treated with antibiotics, but if a severe infection does not respond to non-surgical treatment then the implants may need to be removed to allow the area to heal completely.
  • Wrinkling of the implant – also known as “rippling,” wrinkling can occur when the silicone or saline inside the implant moves around, or when the breast tissue around the implant changes over time due to things like hormonal fluctuations and thinning of the skin across the chest.
  • Shifting – over time, the breast implant may shift and create a lopsided look. Three common effects of implant shifting or displacement are symmastia, unanticipated implant shape, and asymmetry.
    • Symmastia – when the two breast implants rub up against one another, over the top of the breastbone; common in women with a depressed sternum or inadequate breast tissue.
    • Unanticipated shape – once they are in place, bad breast implants can take on an undesirable and unanticipated shape, such as sitting too high on the sternum or being too wide for the patient’s figure.
    • Asymmetry – can be the result of a surgeon’s inexperience or the weight of the implant itself; asymmetrical breasts often look mismatched and lopsided.

It is important to note that some of these complications can be avoided with careful planning and selection of the right surgical technique. In addition, recurring breast implant revision surgeries may result in an unsatisfactory cosmetic result.

Other Considerations

Not all candidates for breast augmentation revision suffer from bad breast implants. For some patients, unrelated health problems can arise that require the removal of implants. An example is the diagnosis of breast cancer – although breast cancer is not linked to breast implants, treatment of the disease may be more effective after breast implant removal.

Lifestyle changes are another motivating factor behind breast implant revision, replacement, or removal. A woman may simply decide she no longer desires implants, or that the specific size she opted for no longer meets her cosmetic goals. Whatever the reason, any patient dissatisfied with her breast implants is a potential candidate for augmentation revision.

Visit the DocShop gallery to view more breast augmentation before and after photos.

Photo credit: Accent Plastic Surgery

Locate a Plastic Surgeon near You

If your augmented breasts have developed complications due to bad breast implants, or you are considering altering the size or shape of your implants for non-medical reasons, an experienced plastic surgeon can help determine if you’re a candidate for breast implant revision or removal. Search the DocShop's directory of doctors to locate a breast surgery specialist near you.

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