The goal of any breast revision procedure is to improve the aesthetic of a woman's breasts while modifying the implant material, usually by making changes to the size or shape. Whether this procedure is needed to address issues with a previous breast augmentation treatment or to replace older implants, it is vital that patients find a skilled and experienced practitioner to carry out their procedure.
While many patients know that these issues can come up, few of them know what to look for in identifying a problem. In this article, we have laid out some general warning signs to look out for.
A long amount of time has elapsed since receiving the implants
While breast implants technically never expire, they aren’t designed to last forever. Both saline and silicone implants are designed to only last about 10 to 20 years. This is most often the reason for undergoing a breast revision; the old implants need to be updated. The implant options in terms of size, shape, and type are constantly changing, meaning that patients will have more options available to them now than they did during their initial breast surgery.
Patients who think it may be time for a revision but are not sure can consult with an experienced practitioner to find out. Any and all aesthetic problems or concerns can be identified and assessed during this meeting.
Pain or discomfort
Of all the signs that patients may require a breast revision, the most urgent is pain or excessive discomfort in the breasts. This may manifest in the following ways:
- Experiencing pain when one or both of the breasts are touched
- A heightened sensitivity in one or both of the breasts
- Breast size or shape is changing, and there is swelling or firmness present
- Redness or a burning sensation around the breasts
Signs of capsular contracture
Capsular contracture is a common condition that is caused by excessive scarring, causing displacement of the breast implant. This can be an unpleasant and painful experience. Breast revision surgery is able to remove or replace the implant as well as treat any scar tissue that is causing pain. Patients walk away with more comfortable and natural-looking breasts.
Leakage or rupture of the breast implants
Older silicone and saline implants have been found to be likely to rupture or leak. In recent years, the quality of implants has greatly improved, ensuring that this is less likely to happen. Fortunately, even if a rupture does occur, the fluid will not have any negative impact on the body.
Nonetheless, ruptures and leakages can have an effect on the appearance and feel of the breasts. These changes can be addressed with breast implant replacement surgery or other interventions that will improve the aesthetic of the breasts.
While all patients hope to achieve their desired results on the first attempt, unfortunately, some patients require a revision to get there. Some other reasons that may lead to patients seeking out this treatment include the following:
- A desire for a bigger or smaller size in the bust
- The space between the breasts is too close or far apart
- The breast implants in place are causing the breasts to hang too low
- The implants currently in place are visible at the bottom of the breasts
- The breast implants are rippling and need to be corrected
- An asymmetrical appearance, characterized by an implant in one breast sitting higher than the implant in the other
- Improper healing of incisions or scars
What is the takeaway?
For many patients, breast revision surgery is a normal part of the process of attaining the ideal breast aesthetic. For others, it is a vital procedure that can alleviate pain and other functional issues in the breasts. Understanding the warning signs for these issues is vital, as they can save the patient a lot of time, money, and pain. As with any surgical procedure, it is highly recommended that patients seek out a credentialed, skilled surgeon to perform this treatment.