Obviously, when a breast implant ruptures it needs to be replaced. But there are a number of other reasons women come to Dr. Kearney for breast implant revision surgery. Here are the common reasons.
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. Kearney 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
Some women are almost immediately unhappy with the implant size they selected. It’s wise to wait one full year before making any decisions about revision surgery to change your implants, however. 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. Kearney will enter through the original incisions. 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.
Sometimes a less experienced surgeon will place the implant pockets either too far away or too close together and the spacing between the breasts looks unnatural. In these cases, Dr. Kearney will use scar tissue from the capsule and will reconstruct new pockets for the implants in better positions.
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. Kearney 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.
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. It’s likely a breast lift will be needed to remove excess skin that has stretched to accommodate the implants.
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. Kearney, to perform the surgery. Do your research beforehand and the odds are you’ll be happy with your results.
Do you questions about a possible need for revision surgery for your breast implants? Call Dr. Kearney at (858) 677-9352 to make an appointment.