Breast Implant Revision

Breast RevisionSurgery isn’t a perfect science. The human body can heal in different fashions with different people.

Breast augmentation isn’t immune to variables. There are times when a patient comes to Dr. Kearney for breast implant revision surgery. Sometimes another surgeon may have placed the implants either too close together or too far apart and the patient isn’t happy. Other times, the patient has decided she would like larger implants. The scar tissue surrounding the implants could have hardened. Whatever the reasons behind the need for revision, these procedures are generally easier for the patient than the original surgery. This is because Dr. Kearney can usually use the original incision locations.

Here are some reasons Dr. Kearney has performed revision surgery, and the approach taken for each.

Capsular contracture

Besides possible rupturing of the implant, this is the main side effect of breast augmentation. 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. When this occurs, surgery is usually required. If the capsule is very calcified, Dr. Kearney will remove it along with the implant. If that hasn’t happened, he may leave the capsule. 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

Sometimes a woman decides she would like a different size implant. This isn’t a decision that should be made soon after surgery, however. Dr. Kearney advises patients to wait one full year before making this decision, as this will allow the implants to fully settle into their final position, and any residual swelling will have passed by then. If the patient still wants to change her implant size, Dr. Kearney 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, the size of the pocket is reduced 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, the scar tissue from the capsule can be used to reconstruct new pockets in better positions.

Implant Rippling

Implant rippling is usually a result of saline implants that have been placed atop the chest muscle. There isn’t enough skin and tissue to cover the implant, and rippling occurs. Sometimes the edge of the implant may even be able to be felt. Dr. Kearney enters through the original incisions and replaces the implants with better muscle coverage. This may involve switching implant types and/or placing them in new breast pockets. Saline gel implants have less occurrence of rippling.

Implant removal

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

It’s important to remember that breast augmentation is major surgery; this isn’t something to trust to discount pricing or fly-by-night practitioners. Dr. Kearney is Board Certified in Plastic Surgery by the American Board of Plastic Surgery as well as General Surgery by the American Board of Surgery. Do your research beforehand and the odds are you’ll be happy with your results.

Do feel as if you may need implant revision surgery? Call Dr. Kearney at (858) 677-9352 and set up a consultation.

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Our office is now open!

Your health (and ours) is our highest priority so we are making a few changes to our reopening so that you can feel safe and confident coming in to see us. We are of course following all federal and local guidelines such as wearing masks and conducting phone screenings prior to your appointment but we are also implementing the following:

      Increasing the frequency of cleaning and sterilization to not only include exam rooms but also the waiting room, restroom, all doors, counters, etc.

      Offering multiple hand sanitizer locations throughout the office

      Reducing the number of appointments per day as well as our office hours, to limit the number of people in the office, including staff members

      Minimizing patient overlap to allow for proper social distancing

      Testing all surgery patients for COVID-19 at their pre-operative appointments

      Asking patients to leave family members or friends at home, unless they are coming with their primary caregiver. Please leave children at home as well

 

How can you help?

      Come alone to your appointment, unless you need your primary caregiver with you

      Please wear a mask or face covering to your visit and keep it on unless you are asked by Dr. Kearney or an RN to remove it

      Postpone your visit if you have traveled by air or experienced symptoms in the last 14 days

      Use a pen from the holder marked “clean” and put it in the one marked “used” when you’re done

      Use the hand sanitizers in our office

      In the rare case there is someone at the front desk when you come in please take a seat until we call you and maintain proper distance throughout your visit

      Take advantage of our virtual consultations or follow up appointments if it makes you feel more comfortable

Please bear with us as we work to return to our new “normal” and feel free to call or email with any questions. We look forward to seeing you again soon!

Sincerely,

Dr. Kearney and staff

858.677.9352

www.kearneymd.com