Breast Implant Replacement
Breast Implant Revision Surgery in Shreveport, LA
We understand that breast implants are a long term investment, and in a perfect world, they’d last forever. But, unfortunately, they do not. Breast implants will eventually wear out and need to be replaced. Thanks to the advances in plastic surgery, patients can enjoy their breast implants for much longer than those in the past.
When you think you should replace your breast implants, it’s important to work with a board certified plastic surgeon that has extensive experience with breast implant revision surgeries. The surgical procedure varies for the initial breast augmentation and the breast revision surgery, so your plastic surgeon will need to possess the skill set required to tackle the unique challenges of replacing the breast implants.
Common Reasons for Breast Implant Replacement or Revision Surgery
Typically, Dr. Wall sees changes in one of three areas that lead to patients wanting a breast plant exchange or implant replacement surgery:
Let’s dive a little deeper into these common issues that merit a breast implant replacement surgery.
The technology behind breast implants is always improving. Because of this, many plastic surgeons across the United States expect to see the increase for a breast implant’s lifespan continue. Right now, most patients can expect to love their breast implants for at least fifteen years or more.
But, there are a few reasons why a patient may want to replace their breast implants, due to the implant itself, including:
Silicone implants will deflate when they rupture. This causes breast asymmetry.
Ruptured silicone implants essentially disappear. When these types of implants rupture, the capsule of scar tissue around the implant starts to shrink dramatically.
The longer you wait to have ruptured silicone implants replaced, the more difficult your plastic surgery will be and the longer your recovery time will take.
With a silicone breast implant rupture, the effects will not be as noticeable, as they do not deflate. If you think that one or both implants has ruptured, then Dr. Wall will recommend that you go for an MRI.
When a silicone implant ruptures, there isn’t the extreme sense of urgency that there is when a saline implant ruptures. But, when an older silicone implant ruptures (1970’s-early 1980’s silicone breast implants), you will need a more experienced surgeon, like Dr. Forrest Wall, to remove the more “syrup” textured silicone gel.
This is the most common reason for patients wanting breast implant replacement surgery. Preferences change, and eventually, a patient may desire to change their implant size to be bigger or smaller, or they may even want to change the shape of their breasts.
Additionally, many women opted for breast implants when their only option was a saline breast implant. And, after years of saline implants, they’re starting to experience the wrinkling effects that saline is known to cause.
Capsule or Scar Tissue Issues
Your body forms a capsule, or a sac of scar tissue, when it recognizes an “outside source”, such as an implant. For most patients, this layer of tissue is extremely thin and causes no problems. But, for a small number of patients, this layer of tissue becomes noticeable.
Some patients may develop a contraction in the tissue sac that becomes extremely noticeable and painful. Oftentimes, this causes hardened scar tissue.
Most of the time, we can soften the capsule by cutting into the wall of the capsule during a surgery called a capsulotomy. A capsulotomy allows the tissue to soften and stretch back out the way it should.
However, in more severe cases of capsular contracture, this method won’t work and we’ll need to remove the breast implant altogether.
For some patients, there is nothing wrong with the capsule, except for that the breast implant isn’t in the best position. Those who wish to have a breast implant revision may feel as if their breast implants are too high or too low, too wide or too close together.
When a patient feels their implants are too low, they may schedule a consultation for a breast lift but in reality, most of the time, they’ll need a capsulotomy to encourage the lift. In some cases, patients will need a capsulorrhaphy. This is essentially the process of suturing the capsule closed so that the implant will stay in the correct position.
Natural Breast Tissue Shifts
The vast majority of patients are extremely satisfied with their initial breast augmentation results. But, over time, your breasts will start to sag, and this does affect the way that the breasts appear.
For some patients, the capsule is still in great position, but the natural breast tissue has started to sag, which makes the nipple look droopy. A hybrid of breast lift techniques is used to reposition the implant and natural tissue for optimum positioning.
There are many important factors to consider when opting for a second surgery. Many patients are still in good health and simply want to revise their original surgery due to aesthetic preferences. However, for a small number of people, breast implant complications can occur.
Most of the time, this happens to patients who went to a non-board certified plastic surgeon who performed the surgery without proper training, oftentimes outside of the United States.
Untrained cosmetic surgeons are only comfortable with a few surgical procedures and apply the same practices to each and every patient, regardless of the goals outlined in the initial consultation. This approach to surgery leads many women to be extremely unhappy with their results, at best. Or, at worst, they experience a breast implant complication.
If you’ve experienced any of the following complications, you may want to consider reconstructive surgery:
- Implant rotation
- Capsular contracture
- Implant wrinkling or rippling
- Consistent pain from implants
Meet Your Surgeon
Breast Implant Exchange FAQs
To be a good candidate for a breast implant removal, implant replacement or breast reconstruction, you need to be in good health. If you are a smoker, you need to quit smoking for at least six weeks before your breast surgery. You must also be able to take time off for recovery, stop all heavy lifting, and adhere to Dr. Wall’s pre and postoperative instructions.
Dr. Wall will take the time to discuss your first surgery and what you wish to accomplish with new implants. If you are not a good candidate for breast revision surgery, he will provide you with alternate options.
Like your initial breast augmentation, the results vary depending on the situation. In terms of longevity, your implants should last and retain their shape for many years to come. Now, more modern implants have features that allow them to stand up to wear a lot better than older implants did.
However, it’s important to remember that plastic surgery to replace breast implants will not prevent any natural breast changes in the years to come. Natural changes associated with pregnancy, aging, and large weight fluctuations will alter the appearance of saline and silicone gel implants. The best way to protect the appearance of your breasts is to follow general self-care measures, such as exercising regularly and eating healthy.
Patients who experience sagging over time may want to consider a breast lift procedure.
Most women find the recovery process easier for the revision surgery than they did for their initial breast augmentation. But, this can vary based on the complexity of your surgical procedure and experience of the plastic surgeon performing the operation.
Most patients will need to take several days off work and avoid strenuous activity for several weeks after the surgery. After your initial consultation, you’ll receive a list of detailed post-operative instructions.
If you want a breast replacement surgery to change the size of your breasts, then you’ll need to consider several key factors. These include your current breast size, whether or not you have complications or breast pain.
Most women choose to go larger when they have their second augmentation surgery. In some instances, selecting the right implant can help women achieve better results while avoiding a breast lift.
For women who experience back pain, we recommend opting for smaller implants, as this can help to remedy that.
If you dislike the results of your initial implants, we know this can be extremely disheartening, but you need to wait at least several months before you can undergo another surgery. It usually takes 6 months for your breasts to settle into their “permanent” position.
No. A breast implant exchange is usually done during the same procedure. Most of the time, we can perform the implant removal procedure, address complications and place new implants all while the patient is under general anesthesia.
Some patients prefer to remove the old implants without replacing them. This is known as implant removal or breast implant explantation.
After a breast implant removal procedure, you can avoid the need to undergo additional breast implant surgeries, but this can also contribute to the appearance of drooping breasts. For patients who don’t want to replace their implants, we recommend a breast lift surgery to achieve the best possible outcome.
Breast Implant Replacement Surgeon in Shreveport
If you’re considering having your breast implants replaced, please call our plastic surgery office at 318-221-1629 to schedule your consultation with our board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Forrest Wall.
Corresponding and Complementary Breast Procedures
In addition to breast implant replacement and implant removal procedures, Dr. Forrest Wall provides many other corresponding and complementary procedures. We can discuss the following during your initial consultation: