Dr. Brucker is highly sought after among women for implant replacement and breast revision surgery. For years, women from La Jolla have trusted Dr. Brucker to repair the unsatisfactory breast augmentation results that can occur from either natural occurrences or a breast surgery performed by another plastic surgeon. But what are the reasons to consider replacing your implants through a breast revision surgery? Here are some of the most common reasons:
1. You Have Capsular Contracture.
Capsular contracture is a complication in which thick scar tissue forms around the breast implants. With capsular contracture, breast implants can feel hard and appear tight, misshapen and often sit higher on the chest than desired. The national average for this complication is about 5% and in Dr. Brucker’s practice, it is closer to 1%. Capsules can occur soon after surgery (within 6 months) or many years later and discomfort can gradually increase as the thickness of scar tissue increases. Women with capsular contracture need to have their scar tissue removed to correct the problem and restore a soft, natural feel and look to the breasts. This procedure is called a capsulectomy or capsulotomy.
It is also a good idea to have your implants replaced at the same time even if your original surgery was not too long ago. While there is no definite reason for the cause of capsular contracture, one theory is that a micro-infection may spur the body on to wall off breast implants with additional layers of scar tissue. To reduce the likelihood of recurrence, Dr. Brucker generally recommends that his patients remove and replace their implants at the same time as the capsule removal. There are a number of options available including placement of Strattice ADM (acellular dermal matrix) and the use of a Keller funnel that Dr. Brucker uses in his arsenal to help women with this complication, depending on the history of recurrence and severity of your capsular contracture.
2. Your Implants Have Ruptured.
While both saline and silicone breast implants are safe and FDA-approved, after a period of time they can and do rupture. If one or both of your saline implants rupture, you’ll know immediately because your breast(s) will quickly lose volume, usually over the course of a day or two. If one or both of your silicone implants rupture, these are called “silent ruptures” because it is not easily detectable by visual exam. This is why the FDA recommends that women with silicone breast implants have an MRI performed periodically to verify that their implants are still intact.
If either your saline or silicone implants have ruptured, you will need breast revision surgery sooner rather than later. This procedure is also known as an implant exchange wherein your ruptured implants are removed and new breast implants placed.
Some women come in to Dr. Brucker’s office just knowing that “it’s time” to replace their implants after 15, 20 or 30 years have passed since their original surgery. They may or may not be experiencing a rupture other problems but since we counsel women to understand that breast implants are not lifetime devices, you should understand at some point you will need to have them replaced.
3. Your Implants Are Visibly Rippling.
Sometimes, women who have saline breast implants will experience visible rippling. This often embarrassing, telltale sign of breast augmentation can make women feel self-conscious. Dr. Brucker performs breast revision surgery on many women who have visible rippling of their implants, replacing their original saline implants with silicone gel implants, which are not as prone to visible rippling. There are different options for silicone implants including high fill implants which will be discussed during your consultation with Dr. Brucker after an in-person assessment.
4. Your Initial Breast Augmentation Results are Asymmetrical (Uneven).
Most women who get a breast augmentation are hoping to improve pre-existing asymmetry, which is why uneven results can be so frustrating and embarrassing. Sometimes, despite your plastic surgeon’s best efforts, one breast implants will appear higher or lower than the other due to a pre-existing asymmetry (if your breasts were asymmetrical before surgery, this difference can be magnified after surgery), the implant size(s) chosen, or using incision sites farther away from the breast (such as the transaxillary/armpit incision or the TUBA/belly button incision).
Differences in your chest wall and the projection of your ribcage may also contribute to the appearance of asymmetry. Your breasts may appear to be different in size if the bones of your chest wall are uneven from side to side. This is frequently seen on the left side where the chest wall tends to protrude outward more than on the right to accommodate your heart.
Occasionally, one implant may bottom out (drop lower on one side) or an implant may raise up due to capsular contracture. This may be a result of implants that are too large or it may occur spontaneously and is not necessarily result of surgeon error.
If you have asymmetrical breasts, you have probably thought about a breast revision surgery to have your symmetry improved. Dr. Brucker has many years of experience replacing implants and evaluating each patient’s case individually to provide you with a more aesthetic, symmetrical results, and he encourages you to come in to discuss your options in more detail.
5. You Want to Change Your Implant Size.
At times, women regret the implant size that they chose initially. In fact, the desire to change implant size is one of the most popular reasons that Dr. Brucker performs breast revision surgery. If you have breast implants and wish to be smaller or larger, you can trust Dr. Brucker to listen carefully to your wishes and provide you with the results you desire that are proportionate and that fit in with your lifestyle and activity level.
Schedule Your Breast Revision Consultation Today.
If you’ve had a breast augmentation and for one or more of the reasons listed above you realize that it’s time to have your implants replaced, call Dr. Brucker at Brucker Plastic Surgery for a breast revision consultation at (858) 707-7384.