When is the right time to fix your breast implants?
I like to think about breast revision surgery as a risk benefit analysis. I look at the benefits of the surgery and then the potential drawbacks of surgery. If the benefits do not far outweigh the potential drawbacks, I will typically recommend patients wait until is is clear they need an implant revision surgery.
Check out the YouTube video below for a full explanation or read the blog below:
1. When do you NEED Implant Revision Surgery?
First step, however, is to determine if you need surgery. There are five things that need surgery to fix:
- The implant is broken - For Saline and Silicone implants, patients with ruptured implants desire a revision surgery to either remove the implants or replace the implants. With saline implants, typically a patient can easily tell as one breast becomes smaller than the other. With Silicone implants, usually patients find in their routine MRI or ultrasound.
- Implant is contaminated by bacteria or infected - Typically this only occurs in the first month or so after surgery.
- The implant is encased in abnormally thick scar tissue (capsular contracture) AND is causing pain
- Very rare types of cancer - Typically associated with textured surface implants
- Breast implant illness - Typically associated with other auto-immune diseases
2. Cosmetic Issues
In most instances, it is for cosmetic issues with the implants that patients seek revision. Other issues are typically cosmetic in nature which include the following:
1. Implant size either too large or too small
2. Nipple position either too high or low or not symmetrical
3. Noticeable rippling of the implant
4. Implant position
5. Waterfall deformity
6. Double Bubble
7. Capsular Contracture
3. Drawbacks of Breast Implant Revision
Now for the drawbacks…I cover these in the three C’s:
- Cost - Both financial cost and the time spent in recovery
- Consequences - This one is best explained with an example. Let’s say we are thinking about removing the implants and not replacing them. The consequence is potentially a lack of upper pole fullness and / or drooping of the breast
- Complications - Any revision surgery has a higher risk of complications like infection and wound healing issues.
Typically after I talk through this risk benefit analysis with my patients it is often easy for them to decide the right next step for themselves.
What do you think? If you are interested in having a more detailed discussion with me about your revision surgery, click on the link to schedule a consultation.