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Breast Augmentation Revision

In addition to primary breast augmentation, Irvine plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Smith performs revision surgery for women who want or need changes at some point after their initial breast augmentation. Revision surgery is typically more involved than the initial procedure, and should be undertaken only by a board-certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience in complex breast surgeries. As a renowned breast augmentation and reconstruction specialist in Orange County, Dr. Smith has more than 15 years of practicing the intricate surgical techniques required for successful breast revision procedures.

If you live in Riverside or Orange County and need revision breast augmentation, request a FREE surgical consultation online to meet with Dr. Smith in Irvine, Corona, or Huntington Beach, CA. You can also call his office at (949) 653-7000 to schedule an appointment.

Choosing Breast Augmentation Revision

Most women are happy with their breast augmentation results, especially when they choose a board-certified plastic surgeon. Unfortunately, some are dissatisfied or experience complications. Others simply experience changes over time that prompt them to seek a revision procedure. For women who believe they need secondary surgery, choosing a qualified revision surgeon is the first step toward a beautiful result.

Reasons for Revision

Elective Implant Exchange

It's not uncommon for a woman to decide to change the size, type, or shape of her breast implants. Dr. Smith's patients often cite changes in their bodies or lifestyles when deciding to go with a different implant.

Unsatisfactory Results

Women are often referred to Dr. Smith when their original surgery did not produce the results they wanted. Common complaints include breasts that are too high, asymmetrical, widely set, saggy, or lack upper pole fullness.

Capsular Contracture

This is the most common complication addressed through revision surgery. When the scar tissue around the implant hardens and contracts, it can distort the appearance and sometimes cause discomfort.

Visible Deformities

Improper or inadequate surgical techniques can cause visible deformities that appear over time or immediately after breast augmentation. These include bottoming out, symmastia (uniboob), a "Snoopy" appearance, and the double-bubble deformity.

Ruptured or Deflated Implant

When a saline implant ruptures, it deflates very quickly and the result is noticeable. When a silicone gel implant ruptures, it may go undetected for months or years, which is why imaging tests are important. When one or both implants are no longer intact, women undergo implant replacement surgery.

Most patients who undergo breast augmentation will need revision surgery at some point. Statistics indicate implants usually need to be replaced after 10 to 15 years, although some women will have their implants for 25 years or more.

Your Breast Augmentation Revision Procedure

Breast augmentation revision is more complex than an initial breast augmentation procedure, due to issues produced by previous surgery. These include scar tissue, stretched or thin skin, damaged or displaced chest muscles, compromised blood supply, or even silicone gel that has bled from an older, ruptured implant.

Not all plastic surgeons perform revision surgery because it is a technically demanding operation that requires a unique set of skills. Dr. Smith draws from his extensive experience with complex breast reconstruction cases when performing revision breast augmentation. Techniques include:

  • Changing subglandular implant placement to a submuscular or a dual-plane placement. This helps with visible rippling or wrinkling, and may be a better option for those prone to capsular contracture.
  • Repairing or re-creating the implant pocket either with internal sutures, an acellular dermal matrix, or both. This corrects visible implant displacement, and provides better support and coverage for the implants.
  • Changing the size or type of implant to accommodate a patient's preference. Many women in recent years have exchanged their saline implants for the newer silicone gel implants. It is also not uncommon for women to decide that they'd like either larger or smaller implants. Other choices include round or anatomically shaped implants, textured or smooth, and many different implant profiles (projections).

In some cases, a breast lift is needed to improve the position of the breasts and nipples.

Although the surgery is more complicated than primary breast augmentation, it is still typically an outpatient procedure. The recovery process is often a bit longer than after the initial surgery, and Dr. Smith recommends that patients wait 2 weeks before participating in any strenuous activity.

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